Letter 7 - Salt of the Earth (independent) 2007
1. "Intro" (:34)
Wow! Now this is a throwback to the glory days of Christian heavy metal in the 80's. Letter 7 play traditional, melodic heavy metal with very blatant evangelistic lyrics and strong, clean vocals. Most of the material here rocks pretty hard, although probably wouldn't be considered heavy by modern standards. Unlike most contemporary metal bands, Letter 7 use the standard E tuning. However, the guitars are still crunchy. "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Great I Am" are both upbeat rockers. There are also the obligatory ballads in "Seek First" and "First Love". Musically, comparisons can be made to bands like Dokken, Whitecross, Guardian, Allies, etc. The production values of Salt Of The Earth are crisp and successfully capture the band's natural and all out raw energy. For an independent release, the overall sound is quite impressive. Band leader JD Evans handles nearly all the instrumentation on this album, including lead and rhythm guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and lead vocals on one track. Tom Collete capably contributes lead vocals on the remainder of the albums material. The lyrics are straight out of the 80's school of metal as well, with song titles like "Stand on the Rock", "Fear No Evil" and "First Love". The album even begins with an narrated introduction Ephesians 6:12, reminding me of album like "Weapons of our Warfare" and "Behind Enemy Lines". However, at the same time, the lyrics seem a bit formula, unimaginative and canned. While I totally enjoy Christ-centered lyrics, some of these lyrics sound like they came right out of Sunday School. Those longing for the old days of "rocking for the Rock" should find something to enjoy here. Over time, I think that Letter 7 could become a band to be reckoned with. Since recording this album the band has become a full band and includes Tykkus guitarist Dale Burton.