Tuesday, January 25, 2011


     That's right folks!  Petra is back and this time they're going as CLASSIC PETRA.  BACK TO THE ROCK (2010)  is a noteworthy release for several reasons.  It marks the first time in 24 years that Greg Volz handles all the lead vocals.  He largely helped propel the band to fame from 1981 to 1986.  It also sees the return of long-time beloved and once dismissed drummer Louie Weaver.  Other band members on this project are Mark Kelly (bass), John Lawry (keyboards), and founder Bob Hartman on guitar.  BACK TO THE ROCK is being used to re-introduce Petra to the stage again.  International dates are set to begin this Spring, and stops at this summer's Cornerstone and Kingdom Bound festivals are already planned.  This tour will give many of us John Schlitt era fans the opportunity to see the Volz fronted version of our favourite band live for the first time.
     BACK TO THE ROCK consists of ten remade Petra classics and 2 new songs.  Bob Hartman's signature rock guitar work and solos standout throughout this album.  Fans of previous projects such as WAKE UP CALL and JEKYLL AND HYDE will appreciate this.  Hartman is one of CCM's best guitarists.  Of the remakes, three of my favourites are 'Angel of Light', 'Godpleaser', and 'Adonai'.  They are full of energy and spiritual passion, as well as encouragement to live the Christian life.  'Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows' looks at the state of the church: "Another sleepy Sunday safe within the walls/Outside a dying world in desperation calls/But no one hears the cries or knows what they're about/The doors are locked within, or is it from without?"
     What of the 2 new tracks?  'Back to the Rock' is a reworking of the song 'The Rock' from Greg Volz's 2009 GOD ONLY KNOWS solo project.  It reminds us we ought build our lives upon a firm spiritual foundation so we have staying power when we face the storms of life.  'Too Big to Fail' speaks of God being all powerful: "He stretched forth the heavens and He laid the foundations of the earth/All glory and honor and praise/To the One who lives and reigns." 
     Two more CD's are planned already, with the third said to be all new material.  It truly is a blessed time to be a Pethead!  For more info visit http://www.classicpetra.com/ or http://www.thepetrazone.net/.