'80s Christian Metal Band CRYSTAVOX Signs With ROXX PRODUCTIONS

After 20 years of silence, one of Christian metal's loudest bands is back, with a great story and a line of new limited releases in collaboration with Roxx Productions. CRYSTAVOX, based out of San Diego, California, recently met again informally to mark the 20-year anniversary of the group's first record deal (Regency, 1989). Discussions progressed, causing the band to research where the original master recordings were located. CRYSTAVOX lead guitarist Tony Lopez found the master tapes — stored in a warehouse in Burbank, California. The band's previous record label, Ocean Records, released the archived media back to CRYSTAVOX.

"We were finally in possession of all the two-inch masters from both records but after 20 years in storage, we would have to bake the tapes in order to allow them to pass through a tape machine again," said Lopez. "Convection baking worked and we were able to digitize the tapes in high resolution to the Pro Tools format."

Not only did the band now have control over a remix of such hit songs as "Sacrifice" (#1 PRR 1990), "Home Again" (#3 CCM 1990), and "It's All Right" (#7 PRR 1990), but also discovered a "never-released" live concert and MTV-style video. Bringing this dated and worn media back to life fell on the shoulders of drummer, Fred Helm, who had become a director and producer for regional and national televisions shows since his departure from CRYSTAVOX.

"Finally getting to load this live show into our production studio was so much fun," said Helm. "The only copy we had was a 20-year-old VHS tape that had been played several times over the years. All the blacks were grey, the color was washed and in 1990, widescreen TV did not exist. We have corrected the color issues and re-mastered the video in the 16:9 format." These videos, which consist of four live songs and four MTV-style video productions, will also include a recently recorded "where-are-they-now" segment — shot in HD, and featuring the band "self-narrating" the story of CRYSTAVOX.

The band took a shot at remixing the old songs to see if modern technology could add a new edge to the hit songs recorded so long ago — when MP3s, the Internet and non-linear digital recording did not even exist. "The pre mixes were good enough to import a complete Pro Tools HD system into the production studio and take a serious shot at remixing the old songs," said CRYSTAVOX songwriter and guitarist Loren Holmquist.

"When I heard the pre-mixes, I was astounded as to the clarity and general lack of over-processed sounds that we had gotten used to," said Adam Lee Kemp, lead singer for CRYSTAVOX. "The '80s were all about excess; in vocals, layered harmonies, guitars and effects. Consequently, I knew that converting those previous concepts into a current format would involve a major overhaul in order to synchronize the delivery with modern music and culture. Ultimately, Fred was able to start from scratch and remix these new versions using a minimal portion of subtle effects — causing the songs to appear modern, 20 years after they were recorded."

The songs have been totally redone; new guitars, drums and an over-sampling method vastly increasing the mastered volume of each song to today's standards.

The re-discovery of CRYSTAVOX in 2010 comes complete with a custom-built media web site featuring the band's songs and videos.

The new release, entitled "The 20 Year Mix", will include a DVD and the
"best-of" songs released through Roxx Records/Roxx Productions.

"I realized CRYSTAVOX might be in the position to re-release its library which, in its original versions, would have done well. Realizing the songs had been remixed and there was a DVD interested Roxx," said Bill Bafford, president of Roxx Productions. "We are very excited about this limited release and the relationship with CRYSTAVOX."

"The 20 Year Mix" is due in early spring on Roxx Records.

After the break-up of CRYSTAVOX in early 1992, original members Adam Lee Kemp, Loren Holmquist, Fred Helm and Tony Lopez continued in the production and recording industries, having worked on over 45 releases and 27 television shows.


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