This album features an even more complex spaceship guitar than the others. The guitar is flying through space; we see it from the rear. The word "PETRA" and the phrase "NOT OF THIS WORLD" are flying toward us out of space. In the distance we can see a ringed planet, stars, and even another spaceship. We can also see some clouds which are apparently placed there more for effect than for any particular reason.
This is the first Petra album to feature a lot of synthesizer sounds; the older albums mostly seemed to stick to organ sounds (as rock tended to at the time). Also, it is possibly the most concept-oriented Petra album to date. The basic theme of the album is contained in the title track: "We are pilgrims in a strange land; we are so far from our homeland; with each passing day it seems so clear, this world will never want us here; we're not welcome in this world of wrong; we are foreigners who don't belong... we are strangers, we are aliens, we are not of this world." That song is preceded on the album by a very pretty synthesizer rendition of the Doxology ("Praise God from whom all blessings flow...") that sounds like the cover art looks; they had been performing it in concert for years before it was recorded. The next song is a rocker, "Bema Seat", about the judgement seat of Christ at the end of time: "When our labor all retire there will be a trial by fire; will your treasure pass the test, or will it burn up with the rest?" "Grave Robber" is about the resurrection when the graves will open and we will all meet Jesus in the air. "Blinded Eyes" is another of my all-time Petra favorites; the guitar hook creates an irresistible groove. That song is about the spiritual blindness of the unbeliever; side two starts with its antithesis, "Not By Sight" (as in, "We walk by faith..."). "Lift Him Up" gives a charge to the Christian to lead people to Jesus, and (again on the other side of the coin) "Pied Piper" is a warning to whoever would lead others away from Him. "Occupy" is about what we are to do until Jesus comes: "Occupy, standing firm, lifting high the holy standard... 'till our captain marches in." "Godpleaser" is both a warning and an exhortation: "...there's a way that seems right to a man, but it only brings him death. I wanna go the way that leads to life 'till I draw my dying breath; don't wanna be a manpleaser; I wanna be a Godpleaser; I just want to have the wisdom to discern the two apart... I just want to do the things that please the Father's heart." Overall the album is great for placing your mind on the future we have in Christ, and the present in which we are to store up treasures for then.
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