Within the last few weeks, I have reviewed three albums that can be classified as Christian rock — Ken Tamplin and Friends' Wake the Nations, Tourniquet's Where Moth and Rust Destroy and now Rivera/Bomma's Invisible Force. Could some sort of Christian-rock revival be happening? Probably not. After all, the heady days of Petra, Whiteheart, Guardian and Stryper are behind us.
That, however, hasn't stopped guitarist and bassist Rod Rivera and singer John Bomma — the rest of the musicians on Invisible Force are hired hands — from trying to spread the good news. Borrowing more from Eighties hard rock than the Seventies legends Rivera/Bomma's press materials tout (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult), Invisible Force is an eclectic record that indulges in many different musical styles — from straightforward rock and progressive metal to flamenco and calypso — while singing about Christian values, praising Jesus Christ and making you feel warm all over. Sample lyric: "The Lord will see you through/Your dreams will all come true," from "Victory." Standout tracks include the Petra-influenced "Tarot Reader," the soothing ballad "Cry of Love" (also included here in an acoustic version) and a five-part instrumental called "Eclectic" that flirts with several different musical genres in a little more than five minutes.
Rivera knows his way around the fret board, and Bomma at times sounds a bit like Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham. Despite their own protestations that they don't preach, Rivera and Bomma come off as a tad preachy in a few places. But it's nevertheless refreshing to hear guys who look like they could kill you with their bare hands singing songs that offer a positive outlook on life. I like this album more every time I hear it, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- I feel good about myself, too.