Barren Cross was a Los Angeles
Christian metal band that was formed by some high school friends in
1983. The band's first self-produced release was in 1985 with the
help of the Elefante brothers. Star Song Records published their
1987 release, Rock for the King,
and by 1988, Barren Cross was picked up by Enigma Records. Other
Engima recording artists at the time included the heavy hitters Poison, Ratt, and Stryper.
of their contemporaries, Barren Cross tackled tough issues in a straight-forward,
in-your-face way (from alcoholism to abortion).
Many people have likened the Barren Cross' sound to Iron Maiden, but
other than a similarity of Mike Lee's voice to that of Bruce Dickinson's, we disagree. In
every aspect of musicianship, from guitar to vocals, Barren
Cross demonstrated some solid talent, yet they were much less melodic
than Stryper, which affected their notoriety in many circles.
Nevertheless, they still had some decent MTV and VH1 air time and toured as much as
possible (we saw them in 1988 in a small venue in Wichita, KS.).
Quick Barren Cross fact: Some of you may remember that in
1989, Barren Cross appeared on The Morton Downey Show with Kiss and
The band has had a view reunions over the years, and at
the time of this writing, it was announced that their original 1985
self-produced album would be re-released to commemorate 25 years.
Currently, the Barren Cross Discography is as follows: 1985: Believe EP
1986: Rock for the King
1988: Atomic Arena
1989: State of Control
1990: Hotter Than Hell Live!
1990: Rock for the King re-issue
1994: Rattle Your Cage
1996: Atomic Arena re-issue
2004: Rattle Your Cage re-issue
2007: Paid in Blood – The Very Best of Barren Cross