I asked in another recent review whether women have a place in heavy metal music and the answer then was a resounding YES. Letter From the Fire are another female fronted band and, once more, the answer to my question would be yes!
Female fronted bands are on the increase and the women are showing they are just as much a force to be reckoned with as the men and, despite in the past being accused of jumping on the Nightwish bandwagon, many of the women now have made their own way and created their own sound, with a lot of them forsaking the operatic vocals of Tarja and preferring tough, gritty styles of singing.
Letters from the Fire are a five piece hard rock band hailing from the San Fransisco Bay Area of the USA and was founded by guitarist Mike Keller in 2007 under their previous name of Park Lane. The band had a turbulent origin and after a few line up changes re-introduced themselves to the musical world as Letters From the Fire. They suffered numerous vocalist problems before finding Alexa Kabazie, who nailed it right from the outset.
The band had early success on national tours with bands such as Fuel, Trapt, NonPoint, and Pop Evil and recording with Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody they even scored a few rock radio hits with “Zombies in the Sun” and a cover of “Eleanor Rigby”
“Worth The Pain” is the band’s debut full album and was released in Europe on 17th March 2017 and has really been a labour of love for the band to produce. “These are our stories our trials and tribulations. This is who we are,” says founder member and guitarist Keller and this phrase now serves as both a reminder of the band’s sometimes turbulent origins well as a rallying cry as the band moves forward.
Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Kile Odell (Motionless in White, Cursed Sails, Vanisher) the album is a “beguiling mix of melody and heaviness” packed with energy, killer riffs and passion.
The album opens with “Perfect Life”, packed with furious and unrelenting drums and a jaw dropping solo from Keller that would leave even the most skilled guitarists green with envy, and is the perfect opening to the awesome album.
I could go through all the songs one by one but, if you have read any of my reviews before, you would know that’s not really my style. The whole album is fantastic and is a mix of traditional, melodic hard rock and contemporary modern pop and groove along with heavy metal edginess, which results in something that sounds quite different and there really is something for everyone.
If you like the more ballady tracks then “Bruised” and “At War” are songs for you, while the drum heavy opening and intensive lyrics of “Living a Lie” give off a more venomous energy. “Last December” has a strong use of synthesisers and the hard and heavy “One Foot in the Grave” is packed with fast riffs and double bass drumming.
All in all this is a great album and if you like your female fronted bands then don’t give these a miss. This is definitely one to be added to your collection and I think should be up there along with the likes of Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil and Evanescence (and if I’m honest I think its better than all of those!)
But don’t take my word for it. Go check ‘em out and see for yourself!
1. Perfect Life
2. Mother Misery
3. Give in to Me
5. Live a Lie
6. My Angel
7. Last December
8. Holy Ghost
9. At War
11. Worth the Pain
13. One Foot in the Grave
Alexa Kabazie – vocals
Mike Keller – rhythm guitar
Cameron Stucky – lead guitar
Clayton Wages – bass
Ben Anderson – drums
This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith and The Metal Asylum