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Joshua – Intense Defense [1988]


Awesome, totally awesome album! Joshua Perahia is an American guitarist in the hard rock/glam metal/AOR fields of rock. He is perceived by many to be the fastest guitar player/shredder in the world surpassing the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Chris Impellitteri. In 1988, the quintet Joshua markets its third album “Intense Defense”. Compared to the previous albums, which focused on hyperfast guitar shredding, “Intense Defense” was a more melodic, less metal offering that was somewhere between Stryper’s hair metal sound and the harder edged power metal of Barren Cross.

Joshua recruited his strongest line up ever seeing such top notch musicians like Rob Rock. Rock has a soaring voice that is perfectly suited for melodic hard rock and heavy metal, and it is his performance here that sets Joshua apart from some of the rest of the pack. The tight drumming of Tim Gehrt joins with Emil Lech’s bass line to compise a rock solid rhythm section. Keyboardist Greg Schultz accents the bands sound without overriding the instrumentation. The album was produced by Eddie Kramer, who has produced for Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, along with Dieter Dierks, who has produced albums for bands like Accept, Scorpions and Twisted Sister, offer us one of the finest mixtures of the commercial 80s metal with the classic 80s AOR sound.

The songs are upbeat, keyboard driven melodic rockers, with the obligatory power ballad thrown in. The songs are well writen, and the lyrics, while Christian in nature, are ambiguously so. This amalgam of talent has put together a collection of memorable melodic rock belters where the guitars blaze away, laying down some sizzling hooks, while Rob’s voice keeps the melodies soaring.

“Reach Up” is a magnificent opener, where Rob Rock really gets his larynx rockin’ hard here. Catchy chorus backed by vocal harmonies with great rhythm guitars give us a glimpse of what will follow, while Perahia adds a blistering guitar solo. The pace continues with “I’ve Been Waiting” moves the album in a commercial flavored melodic hard rock direction. Hard edge rhythm guitars and a strong background vocal driven chorus will blown you away. “Only Yesterday” is one of my favourite track of this album, begins with a blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards that transitions to several seconds of lead guitar becore a powerful catchy chorus take your mind.

The guitar heroics kick in on “Living On The Edge”, by far the album’s heaviest track, where Perahia’s lead guitar starts in an aggressive and fast paced manner before transitioning to a more melodic style of playing ending to a smooth sounding chorus, while the urgent driving drum and bass prevails on “Tearing At My Heart”, one more of my favourite tracks. Nice keys and an edgy rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix and quickly takes the song to an anthem like chorus with an ethereal feel. The rockin’ “Crying Out For Love” and the semi ballad “Remembering You”, show a different side to the albums predominantly rockier nature, where a restrained mix of rhythm guitar and keyboards slowly drives to strong commercial flavored and emotionally charged chorus.

“Look To The Sky” commencing with several seconds of tight sounding guitar harmony before leads to a powerful chorus backed by operatic vocal harmonies, while the upbeat tempo “Don’t You Know” starts with vocal harmonies leading to tight rhythn guitars as it advances on a chorus driven in a hard hitting manner by pounding drums. Slowing fading in to a keyboard solo, “Stand Alone” gradually picks up pace during its first verse until the rhythm guitar kicks in and smoothly pushes it to a superlative vocal harmony driven chorus. Keyboard on this track are totally awesome.

This is another of those must have discs, as it contains some absolute fabulous material throughout. With “Intense Defense” though, it is another reasonably hard to find album nowdays, but look out for it and grab it at first sight!

Band Members
Joshua Perahia – Guitars, vocals
Rob Rock – Lead, backing vocals
Greg Shultz – Keyboards, vocals
Emil Lech – Bass
Tim Gehrt – Drums

01. Reach Up
02. I’ve Been Waiting
03. Only Yesterday
04. Crying Out For Love
05. Living On The Edge
06. Tearing At My Heart
07. Remembering You
08. Look To The Sky
09. Don’t You Know
10. Stand Alone


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Joshua - Intense Defense [1988], 9.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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