"Corrosive" (KR Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Corrosive" is interesting in that, despite the fact that Robert Sweet of Stryper fame has left the band, Blissed sounds a little more like Stryper here than they did on their previous CD, "Waking Up the Dead." They're no Stryper clone, but the melodic hard rock that Stryper was famous for is more apparent here than on "Waking Up the Dead." 

"Corrosive" isn't quite as gritty and raw as its predecessor, but it still rocks hard throughout its twelve tracks. The CD begins with two solid rockers with juxtaposed titles: "Superhero" and "Monster," both of which set the stage nicely for what is to come. Most of the tracks that follow are strong, if occasionally unremarkable, tracks.

There are a couple of missteps here: "Bittersweet" is an overlong, saccharine ballad with forced lyrics that's more grating than entertaining and, curiously, the title track, which starts out okay but eventually just becomes listless, seeming to drag on and on (it's followed by the irresistible "Run," however, which smoothes things out a bit).

Still, those are minor complaints. With "Corrosive," Blissed has proven that they're not just a new band with a famous drummer. "Corrosive" will retain the band's core audience while possibly bringing more fans to the loop.

Blissed: David Pearson - vocals, guitar; Geoff Breen - bass, vocals; Jeff Miller - guitar, vocals; Nathan Kojak - drums.

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"Waking Up the Dead" (KR Records; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you're like me, you might be inclined to pick up "Waking Up the Dead" due to the fact that former Stryper drummer, Robert Sweet, now calls Blissed home. If you were expecting Blissed to sound like Stryper, however, you're in for a surprise. Believe it or not, that's not a bad thing. Blissed has a completely original hard rock / heavy metal sound that often throws away the sticky sweet melodies and vocals that Stryper was famous for in exchange for a rock hard, fresh, original and modern sounding rock'n'roll.

There are times when Blissed does bring to mind the days of Stryper. The more melodic songs, like "Under My Skin" and "Losing You" do tend to bring back the days of "Against the Law" and "To Hell With the Devil." For the most part, however, Blissed is really rough and raw and gritty. The songwriting is much more in line with today's hard rock / heavy metal heroes. For example, "Waking Up the Dead" could almost be a Disturbed song, while "Obvious" is more in line with something Audioslave might come up with.

Lyrically, the band sticks with their Christian rock roots, but never to the sometimes painfully obvious degree that Stryper did. Instead, the lyrics on "Waking Up the Dead" are subtle yet poignant. 

In today's music climate, Stryper probably wouldn't work. The band's commercial songwriting and over-produced grandeur would fall on more cynical ears. Blissed, however, are another story altogether. Their raw rock sound and unique talent give them an edge other bands in their genre often don't have.

Blissed: David Pearson - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, strings, programming; Trevor Barr - lead / rhythm guitar, bass, vocals; Jeff Miller - bass guitar, vocals; Robert Sweet - drums, background vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:45 -0500 .