Review: The Union of Sinners and Saints

It didn\’t take long after the announcement of The Union of Sinners and Saints for fans to start talking and getting excited- when members of Petra and Whiteheart- two of the biggest bands in the history of Christian rock come together, it\’s a big deal. They released their first single pretty early on- “Christ The Lord Has Risen Today” and, though not as heavy as some fans would have liked, it was a strong indicator of what was to come- and an impressive one at that. Did we mention Megadeth bassist David Ellefson had a hand in penning the track? Their debut record- self titled- takes the sound of the lead single and expands it to a larger, heavier one but also balances the ballads to the point of perfection. They also throw in a few Whiteheart and Petra classics- “Beyond Belief” and “Independence Day,” which stay true to the original format but have enough of a modernized boost to keep the purist fans happy. Songs like “Rise Up,” “The Things We Do” and “Brother to Brother” proudly display the dominant rock vocals of John Schlitt and show that his pipes haven\’t lost a step. Then there\’s ballads like “Lone Soldier” and “Now Not Never,” which stand right up there with Petra classics like “Love” and “No Doubt.” In the end, Billy Smiley, John Schlitt and company have put together one heck of an album. Is it as heavy as we\’d like to hear from members of Petra and Whiteheart? Probably not but it still rocks hard. Musically, it\’s some of their best work. Vocally, it\’s some of their finest work as well. This is an album with which fans of both iconic bands can find something to love and hold closely. Rating: 9/10 -Reggie Edwards