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The best kept secret in music



Wow, this is real deja-vu! I feel like i am back in the good old hardrock days of the 80´s /90´s. When i listen to this 3 song demo, which has a good sound, then bands like Stryper, Guardian, Angelica and Bloodgood come to mind. Three heavy guitarrockers with great solo´s we get served here. The titles of the songs "The enemy", "Jesus walk" and "Savior" make it obvious that this is a Christian band. If you are nostalgic, like i am, you should serve to their website and give it a try.

Reviewed by: Cor Jan Kat - Cor Jan Kat

"MidWest Bands"

Musicianship – 9.5 out of 10
Today’s detuned Metal music is cool, but it lacks something that older Metal fans like myself once enjoyed: the guitar solo! Shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and Michael Schenker are kings no more; in their place are guitarists that de-emphasize their individual talents, and concentrate on building a heavy, heavy riff. Okay, the 80’s solos did go a bit far, but did we have to lose them entirely?

Pekin, IL’s Metal Madmen, StrangeLand, prove that you can have your power riff and your solos, too! Their self-titled debut EP pulls out all the stops, providing listeners with three tunes heavy on the riffage, with an extra side of shredded fretboard! Guitarists Kevin Schmitt, Joe Herring and Kevin Grose work well together, playing layered parts that are melodic and hard-charging! In addition, vocalist Karl Mustard is a great lead vocalist, supported well by backup vocalists Joe Herring, Kevin Grose, and Wes Watson! Not to be forgotten, Wes Watson (bass) and Wade Helm (drums) provide a very solid rhythm section. Each individual is an incredible musician; together, they form a formidable Metal group! You should simply listen, so that you will know that StrangeLand plays some of the best 80’s Metal you will have heard in a long time!

Songwriting – 8 out of 10

From the titles of the songs, it’s not difficult to deduce that these guys are a Christian Metal Band. Thus, their faith plays a large part in their songwriting. The lyrics and melodies are good, even though a few of the lines are a bit cheesy. One thing is definitely clear; the band’s message is definitely up front for all the world to see and hear.

On the musical side, I admire the riffs that the band has written! Not since Stryper, Motley Crue, or Ratt have I heard such tasty guitar lines! They have just the right tempo and crunch for good head-banging, and make creative use of chord changes and chord progressions! In addition, the guitar solos are also creative and in good taste. Just right for the 80’s junkie longing for a fix!

Sound Quality/Professionalism – 9 out of 10

To put it simply, StrangeLand (the EP) sounds great! Recorded at Noisegate Studios (which is a part of bassist Wes Watson’s music business, I believe), the songs all have great tone, great presence and a great mix! I could go on and on, but why? Take a listen for yourself, and hear the quality!

Packaging – 7.5 out of 10

In all, the packaging for StrangeLand is pretty simple fare. The graphic/design scheme is cool, with small doses of band info and musical/engineering credit. There aren’t any lyrics published, either, though they do exist on the band’s website. In my book, pretty average stuff that neither adds to nor detracts from the band’s music. I would like to have seen more detail, to be honest!

Favorite Tracks
The Enemy
Jesus Walk

Overall Rating – 8.5 out of 10

This CD was a hoot to listen to! As an avid fan of Headbanger’s Ball in the 80’s and early 90’s, I followed the careers of many great bands! Hearing StrangeLand’s CD took me on a very cool nostalgic trip, and proved to me that Hair Metal is definitely still alive and well!

There are still a lot of fans of this music in the world today; those fans will enjoy this EP immensely. Additionally, fans of Christian Metal will dig StrangeLand as well. I admire them as musicians, and like the fact that they obviously enjoy what they are doing! Younger fans might find their stuff a bit hokey, but that’s okay! They’ve got their Metal, and we’ve got ours!

Hair Metal fans unite! Break out the spandex, spritz your hair, and put your fist in the air! Then, march yourself down to your local music outlet and demand a copy of StrangeLand’s self-titled EP! If they don’t have it, head to StrangeLand’s website and get your copy. Whatever you have to do, be sure and get this EP, and have yourself a rockin’ good time while you listen!

(MWB not responsible for neck strains due to excessive head-banging; Be safe! Always stretch neck muscles before listening to StrangeLand!)—Mark Lush,, 5/4/05 *Listen to StrangeLand on MWB Radio! - Mark Lush

"Metal to Infinity"

Well, Strangeland is a six piece Christian Metal band from the United States Of America and please read the full interview i've had with Wes Watson a few weeks ago. You can read it by clicking HERE. Strangeland is able to bring a fine combination of both old school US Metal and a dose of (as we call) Euro Power Metal.

The three songs are fully loaded with great guitar leads, rhythm sections at its best and above all a lot of melodies due to three guitar players giving away some overwhelming tunes. Their singer is very typical for a US Metal band. Strongful but nice and clear this way of singing wity all of my heart. "The Enemy" is my absolute fave and reminds me a bit of the mighty Crimson Glory. "Jesus Walk" is a more groovy one again with superb guitar solo's and awesome riffs. Last one entitled "Savior" starts with a simple, but good feeling twin guitar riff. Check out the great break halfway the track which is played and sang with a lot of passion.

What makes these guys so good to me is their simple, original way of acting. No over reacting passages or downhill musical way, everything is under control here and i've enjoyed this three tracker a lot. I really hope to hear more of these guys in the future (hopefully a full length album pretty soon). It's Metal in the US tradition with future possibilities, that's for sure! So, US Metal maniacs have to do not hesitate to meet these guys.

Check Strangeland out real fast and praise the words of the mighty US Metal movement through and through. In US Metal we belief forever and ever!! MY POINTS: 88 / 100 -

"Victory Zine"

Strange Land strikes from the unknown and in their effort to be shown on the heavy metal chart, they bring us this three-piece-demo. Strange Land consist of five really skilled musicians (Kevin Grose - Guitars, Kevin Schmitt - Guitars,Joe Herring - Guitars,Wade 'Metal' Helm - Drums and Wes Watson - Bass) and one extra ordinary singer in Karl Mustard.

This demo starts off with a catchy and strong song in "The enemy has fallen", which is a strong sing-along song, whose chorus is nailed into your head several hours after listening to it. I really enjoy this song and I think it's the best song on their demo. With that being said I want to make it clear that I also enjoy the other two as well! The second is a praise heavy metal hymn with a staggering guitar solo. The third one is an early Bride and Guns’n’roses influenced rock cracker! Crunchy guitars combined with Karl’s groovy vocals make this last song a worthy ender. And it for sure leaves me hungry for more!

In all of their song it's in your face lyrics, where they want to glorify our Saviour Jesus Christ in every possible way. And I must admit that I really enjoy listening to them, as they tend to uplift my spirit.

As I mentioned earlier, this demo is way too short to satisfy my hungry heavy metal soul. So, I cross my fingers and pray that Strange Land soon will release their debut full length album.
Style: Heavy Metal
Year: 2005
Review by: Victory -

"Heaven's Metal"


The first song kicks in a bit reminiscent of an old Dio riff, and turns out to be a great tune. I found myself singing along to the chorus and wanting to hear it again and again. I don't know if it's because I loved the first song so much or what, but the second two songs were a touch derivative and nowhere near as enjoyable to me as the first. Listen, if you want some good ole' heavey metal, this band will deliver.

[indie]Mike Larson
- HM Magazine

"Extreme Christian Ministries"

As soon as you hear the first track on this CD The Enemy Has Fallen, you realize that these guys are the real deal. They have a lock on the metal sound of the 1980's and early 1990's. If you remember those days, it was when metal was metal and hair was flying while headbanging. (Man, I wish I had some hair to headbang with.)

On the track Jesus Walk, vocalist Karl Mustard uses the lyrics of:

A new start, an open heart, It's time to take the first step

And do the Jesus Walk, I gotta do the Jesus Walk
It's time for more than just the talk,
I gotta do the Jesus Walk

I can almost picture him doing the Jesus Walk on stage. As to what tis walk looks like, I have no idea, maybe a kinda walk like an Egyptian. (Hey Karl, if you read that, why don't you use that.)

At the end of this track you can tell the guys like to goof of a little bit.

The third track on this demo CD is Savior Jesus. This track starts out with heavy guitars. One thing that can be said about this track is that you can tell these guys have been around long enough to see the harsh reality of life without Jesus.

I would suggest getting a copy of this cd and adding it to your collection.
- Mike


EP - StrangeLand S/T

The Enemy Has Fallen - has been getting local radio play - and over several internet stations - Tri-Rock Radio, Reign Radio, etc.

All 3 songs from the demo are available for download and streaming from the website -


Feeling a bit camera shy


We are a group of five guys who got together in the fall of 2000 for one reason, to play metal music like it was made to be played and put out a good positive message while doing it. We hail from central Illinois in the East Peoria / Pekin area and are expanding our gig touring into surrounding states.
Our music is a combo of old school metal with dueling leads to the new wave Euro metal that incorporates melodic phrases in it.
Influences include Stryper, Iron Maiden, Hammerfall, Rob Rock, Impelliteri, Bride, White Cross, Guardian, Holy Soldier, Judas Priest, Dio, Black Sabbath, Divine Fire, etc.