Album Review – Barnabas Sky / What Comes To Light (2023)

Combining groovy guitar riffs, catchy choruses and spherical synth sounds, the sophomore album by German multi-instrumentalist Markus Pfeffer offers us all another exciting Hard Rock voyage.

The brainchild of Kaiserslautern, Germany-based multi-instrumentalist Markus Pfeffer (Winterland, Scarlett, Lazarus Dream), Melodic Hard Rock project Barnabas Sky combines groovy guitar riffs, catchy choruses, distinctive voices of several singers with international reputation, spherical synth sounds and filigree solos to a timeless rock melange way beyond short-lived trends, which is exactly what you’ll get in the project’s sophomore opus, titled What Comes To Light, the follow-up to its 2021 debut Inspirations. Supported by drummer Thomas Rieder and an array of guest vocalists the likes of Jesse Damon (Silent Rage), Doogie White (Rainbow), Dan Reed, Roy Cathey (Coald Sweat), Dirk Kennedy (Hittman), Carsten Lizard Schulz (Evidence One, Domain), Lee Small (Lionheart), Alan Tecchio (Wartchtower) and Danny Vaughn (Tyketto), Markus embellishes the airwaves with his fusion of Hard Rock and AOR, with the beautiful artwork by Stan W. Decker (Powerwolf, Megadeth, Rage, Masterplan) and the mastering by Rolf Munkes (Michael Schenker, Mad Max, Voodoo Circle) at Empire Studios turning the album into a must-listen for fans of Winterland, Tyketto, Silent Rage, Rainbow and Phenomena, among others.

Featuring the talented Danny Vaughn of Tyketto on vocals, the title-track What Comes To Light brings forward a mix of classic Hard Rock taken directly from the 80’s with modern-day Melodic Rock, spiced up by the amazing job done by Markus with his melodious riffs while Thomas brings tons of groove to the music. Then we have We Are Electric, featuring vocalist Lee Small of SHY, Phenomena and Lionheart, a more rhythmic tune where the bass lines by Markus sound metallic and vibrant, offering Lee exactly what he needs to shine on vocals; followed by Till My Dying Days, featuring Roy Cathey of Cold Sweat and The Fifth on vocals, another modern rock creation by Markus showcasing ethereal backing vocals, classy guitars and passionate vocal lines. Then with the one and only Doogie White of Alcatrazz, Rainbow and Malmsteen on vocals, we have Circus Of Delight, where Markus is once again on fire armed with his guitar and bass while Thomas kicks ass as usual on drums. Needless to say, Doogie has an incendiary performance on vocals. And featuring Dan Reed of Dan Reed Network, Take A Ride is a synth-fueled Hard Rock/AOR extravaganza showcasing delicate but powerful vocals by Dan, while Markus once again brings the groove with his bass lines.

A futuristic and thunderous intro gradually evolves into a Rock N’ Roll song titled A Dying Song, featuring guest vocals by Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz of Lazarus Dream and Devoid, and despite its solid structure it could have been slightly shorter, though; whereas Deibys Artigas Venegas of Preincarnation kicks ass on vocals in Isolation, where pure 80’s Hard Rock flows from all instruments and of course from Deibys’ vocals, sounding very exciting from start to finish and with Markus being spot-on with his riffs and solos. Then we have Grant Me A Wish From Heaven, with vocals by Jesse Damon of Silent Rage and backing vocals by Paul Sabu, a solid mid-tempo creation by Markus and his henchmen; and get ready to bang your head together with Barnabas Sky in One Or The Other, showcasing guest Alan Tecchio of Watchtower on vocals, sounding electrifying and modern without losing the project’s core essence rooted in the 80’s. Featuring Dirk Kennedy of Hittman on vocals we have Seven Wonders, closing the regular version of the album by offering our ears more of the project’s melodic and thrilling rock music, whereas Lee Small returns in the bonus track No Tomorrow, a very entertaining composition that’s worth the investment in the physical version of the album, with Lee stealing the spotlight with another stylish vocal performance.

Markus Pfeffer and his Barnabas Sky are waiting for you on Facebook with news, more of the project’s classy rock music, and other nice to know details about it, and of course if you want to purchase a copy of What Comes To Light you can find all information you need by clicking HERE. In a nutshell, it’s impressive how Markus was capable of putting together such cohesive and dynamic album even with so many different vocalists as guest musicians. Well, all of those vocalists are extremely talented, which already helped him a lot in shaping up the album to be so powerful and balanced, but there are many out there who wouldn’t have been able to reach the same level of quality, proving how skillful and focused Markus is and, therefore, leaving the gates oh heaven and hell open for Markus and his henchmen to deliver another excellent album of Hard Rock in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: What Comes To Light, Circus Of Delight and Isolation.

Worst moments of the album: A Dying Song.

Released in 2023 Pride & Joy Music

Track listing
1. What Comes To Light 4:53
2. We Are Electric 4:33
3. Till My Dying Days 4:49
4. Circus Of Delight 4:44
5. Take A Ride 4:24
6. A Dying Song 8:04
7. Isolation 5:47
8. Grant Me A Wish From Heaven 4:16
9. One Or The Other 4:22
10. Seven Wonders 6:02

CD bonus track
11. No Tomorrow 4:59

Band members
Markus Pfeffer – guitars, bass, keyboards, synths

Guest musicians
Danny Vaughn – vocals on “What Comes To Light”
Dan Reed – vocals on “Take A Ride”
Doogie White – vocals on “Circus Of Delight”
Jesse Damon – vocals on “Grant Me A Wish From Heaven”
Roy Cathey – vocals on “Till My Dying Days”
Dirk Kennedy – vocals on “Seven Wonders”
Lee Small – vocals on “We Are Electric”
Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz – vocals on “A Dying Song”
Alan Tecchio – vocals on “One Or The Other”
Deibys Artigas Venegas – vocals on “Isolation”
Thomas Rieder – drums, percussion
Paul Sabu – backing vocals on “Grant Me A Wish From Heaven”
Stephan Hugo – backing vocals

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