His Witness- Kingdom Come (Retroactive) 1988/2008
1. Everlasting Life"
His Witness are a Southern California based heavy metal band from the early-to-mid 1980's. "Kingdom Come" was originally recorded by His Witness in 1988, but was never released. Retroactive Records managed to get hold of the master tapes and finally twenty years later, "Kingdom Come" was officially released on CD.
The music featured herein is galloping, triumphant, classic American heavy metal. His Witness could have been a force to be reckoned with in 1988. While the entire album is a good listen, the better songs are the upbeat, pure metal numbers such as "Everlasting Life" and "Last Days", which ends with a quick guitar flurry. "Jesus Heals" is a bit of a blues-based, melodic number that could have easily been on one of the early Whitecross albums. "Call on Him" is a mid-paced, melodic number with a melodic, sing-along chorus. “Guard Your Heart” and “Pick Up Your Cross” are a couple more mid-paced metal numbers that I also found to be quite good. As with many 80's metal bands, there is the obligatory ballad in "Love of God". The album finishes off with a boogie, party-rocker called "Party's in Heaven".
Vocalist Ken Redding has a voice that reminds me of guys like Ken Tamplin, David Coverdale and Rob Rock. He has that clean, powerhouse, classic metal style that fits so well the galloping, traditional metal riffs and melodic song writing that His Witness has to offer. He even occasionally belts out some of those high-pitched screams that guys like Ray Perra and Michael Sweet were so proficient at.
Lyrically, His Witness are typical of what was going on in the 80's Christian metal scene. The lyrics are pretty simple and straight forward pleads for non-Christians to come to faith in Jesus. With song titles like "Jesus Died for You" and "Pick Up Your Cross" they don't really leave much room for interpretation. Some of the lyrics come off a little cheesy. "Party in Heaven" for instance has lines like, "oh, oh, oh-oh, the party is in heaven, oh, oh, oh-oh, there ain't no party in hell." In the middle of the song the vocalist actually preaches a message of salvation and prays a prayer of salvation for the listener.
Surprisingly, the sound quality here is quite good. The album was originally recorded by Randy Thomas (Sweet Comfort Band/Allies) and mixed at Pakaderm Studios, which was owned by the Elefante brothers. As such, the recording is especially good for a project that was self financed in the late 80's. Fans of bands like Bloodgood and Sacred Warrior as well as classic underground heavy metal such as Cross, Holy Saint, Angelic Force, Emerald and Oracle would do well to check out His Witness.