Petra's 15th release, Beyond Belief gives an easy reason to see why Petra has been one of Christian music biggest artists. They have sold thousands of albums and sold out numerous tours. Beyond Belief starts out with "Armed and Dangerous," which talks about "storming the gate" and telling the world about Christ's love, and how we are armed and dangerous because we have Christ's love with us.
"I am on the Rock" deals with the fact that everyone goes through trials in their own personal lives, while the world is crumbling into sin. It is a mid-tempo song that offers a great message about being on the Rock of Christ, even though this world might come down on you. Following this is "Creed," which starts out with a synth/keyboard intro for the 1st verse, and the lets loose with some powerful guitars. The whole song is an 'I Believe' statement in which states John Schlitt's affirmation in God's power.
The highest point on Beyond Belief by far is the title track. This is an upbeat song about how unbelievable God's power can be. The keyboards are a great touch to the song which gives it the perfect touch. The slower song "Love" follows which tells how "Love is patient - Love is kind." A high point is the sizeable chorus of people that join Schlitt by the end of the song, which gives a lot of power to its meaning.
"Underground" follows with a driving power about showing God's love, and not hiding because of it. The song also includes an insturmental section with a guitar solo which is very impressive. "Seen and Not Heard" follows with a plain rock sound that, while giving a good message, leaves the listener longing for a little something extra. The song doesn't have any outstanding points, but is still a good song to have on the record.
"Last Daze" is another good song, but as in "Seen and Not Heard," it just doesn't stand out like the rest. The lyrics are still powerful, stating "In the last daze, the final haze/ There was a strong delusion to believe a lie/ In the last daze before the blaze/ They couldn't see beyond their misty trance/ To grab the truth and have a fighting chance/ In the last daze."
"What's in a Name," is a unique song that adds a great message. It has a very powerful feel that is very encouraging. Finishing out this record is the mellow "Prayer," which is comprised solely of a piano and keyboards. The song doesn't include any electric guitars, which actually makes the song better, and gives it a real feeling for a worship song.
Petra's Beyond Belief is a great album, which very few problems. I totally recomend it and feel it would be a great one to add to your collection.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 3/21/03, written by Brandon Rarig for Jesusfreakhideout.com
This album is beyond belief! Most Petra fans, including myself, consider it to be the greatest record by a band that has had many great records. Beyond Belief came out in 1990, the year when Petra was at the height of its career. The album sounds like a record from the 80's as it has the wild "Arena Rock" sound that Petra is famous for. Although I am only 17, I have to say that 80's music is still my favorite. Beyond Belief is characterized by Louie Weaver's pounding drums, Bob Hartman's stellar guitar skills, and, of course, John Schlitt's amazing vocals.
The album starts out with the four best back-to-back songs of any album I have ever heard. "Armed and Dangerous" begins the album with some great drums, followed by "I Am On The Rock," which features great guitar playing. The third song is "Creed," a song based directly on the Apostle's Creed. It starts off slow, giving John Schlitt a chance to really spotlight his voice before getting faster and more rocking at the mention of Christ setting captives free and returning to Heaven. The title track is one of the all time classic Petra songs, beginning with a long guitar solo that constantly speeds up as the song goes.
The rest of the album is an incredible mix of songs. The only two songs that are not straight up rock n' roll are "Love" and "Prayer." They are both absolutely wonderful songs are perfect ways to close off each side of the old cassette tape. "Underground" is the loudest song on the album and speaks of standing firm, unashamed of the cross. "Seen and Not Heard" is another rocker that talks about l iving the life by bolding proclaiming "There's too much talk, and not enough walk. Sometimes God's children should be seen and not heard!" "Last Daze" is the least impressive song on the album, but is still really good and talks about the delusion that will sadly blind people's eyes in the end times. "What's In A Name" is a very powerful song about the power in the name of Jesus, "The Mighty God, the Prince of Peace."
This album is a must have for all Petra fans and is still my favorite album of all time. The passion in John's voice coupled with the unbelievable talents on drums and guitars make it a great album for anyone who can appreciate great music. Plus, as is always the case with Petra, every song has powerful lyrics, based directly on the Word of God which is the real thing that Petra has always prided itself on.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 2/6/03, written by Mark Smith for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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