Another female fronted metal band, you say? Yup. Letters From The Fire hails from the San Francisco area, with North Carolinian Alexa Kabazie at the microphone. While their history is rather sketchy, it's generally a turbulent one with the vocalist position being a revolving door. But the band has gelled around Ms Kabazie, enough to create their debut album, Worth The Pain.
My immediate reaction with one spin of this 13 song album was that this all sounds too familiar. Like cookie cutter familiar. The LFTF sound is a mixture of traditional melodic hard rock groove, with some contemporary modern pop bounce and heavy metal edginess. The former comes from both the dance-like groove of the rhythm section and techno flavor of the synths. The latter comes simply from assertive to sharp riffage and then the strong guitar solos. Founder and guitarist Mike Keller has definite skills and a flair for the dramatic with his clean classic guitar lines, though his solos seem few.As for Ms Kabazie vocals, she has a strong melodic presence which rises with and above the music.
After thinking through these things, my second impression was that this band would be or should be from Europe. Maybe this will fly in America. The third thought, after a second spin, returned to the first: we've been there and heard this all before, whatever side of the Atlantic you're on. Maybe I'm just jaded by the plethora of female-fronted heavy bands out there, but many of these songs simply run together. Alternatively, when I hear the sweetness of the piano line and Kabazie's voice within the song At War, I'm persuaded of Letters From The Fire's promising potential. Basically, if you liked any of the aforementioned characteristics or elements that make the Letters From The Fire sound, you should probably check out Worth The Pain. If anything, the band scored a major win recruiting Alexa Kabazie as she's a top flight vocalist.
While their debut album Worth The Pain and sound my seem all too familiar, San Francisco's Letters From The Fire is a promising melodic metal band with a uber-talented vocalist in Alexa Kazabie.
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