Band: His Witness
Title: Kingdom Come
Release Date: August 5, 2008
Catalog Number: RAR7860
Style: Heavy Metal
Insert: 8 page panel
ABOUT THE ALBUM
This album sat “in the can\" and unreleased since it was recorded in 1988. Only a handful of cassettes were sold to fans at a occasional concerts. Bill Menchen (Titanic, The Seventh Power, Final Axe) and vocalist Ken Redding had been friends since their days in the Omega Band. Bill took it upon himself to remix the album and start the resurrection process. The original 2 inch tapes were discovered years before when the guys had been cleaning out a garage. If it hadn\'t been for Ken\'s brother-in-law taking them home, this metal gem would have been thrown away and lost forever!
The album was recorded by the legendary Randy Thomas (Allies, Sweet Comfort Band, etc.), and mixed at John and Dino Elephante\'s (Kansas, Mastedon) Packaderm Studio by Mike Mierau (X-sinner). From day one, the album was surrounded by greatness, and Retroactive Records is proud to make this heavy metal gem available world-wide for the first time ever! The deep, rich vocals of Ken Redding show an obvious Dio influence, but the music will also appeal to fans of melodic metal in the vein of Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Judas Priest, and Whitecross.
KEY SELLING POINTS
**Recorded by Randy Thomas of Allies & Sweet Comfort Band fame
**Mixed at the same studio as classic releases by Guardian, X-Sinner & The Brave
**For fans of classic Dio, Barren Cross, Stryper, Judas Priest and Bloodgood
**Full Radio and Magazine/Reviews promotional campaign
**Featured on Headbangin’ 101 promo sampler
**Featured on Headbangin’ 201 promo sampler
**Full HM Magazine and Heaven’s Metal Magazine ad campaign
**Featured on Heaven’s Metal subscriber CD
01. Everlasting Life
02. Kingdom Come
03. Last Days
04. Jesus Heals
05. Call On Him
06. Guard Your Heart
07. Pick Up Your Cross
08. Jesus Died For You
09. Love Of God
10. Party’s In Heaven
METAL TO INFINITY (album review)
Bringing out a CD, well – sometimes it can make strange inversions! This can be (at least) also said op His Witness’ album entitled \'\'Kingdom Come\'\'. Original recording of this product date of many years ago – to be more precisely, it\'s an album that has been released way back in 1988. All went as follows…
Singer of His Witness Ken Redding found back the original tapes of \'\'Kingdom Come\'\' in his garage while he was pretty busy cleaning up some stuff for a removal. Bill Menchen of Seventh Power, Titanic, Final Axe and heard about this the discovery of the two inch tapes – along with Ken, he remixed the songs that have been originally recorded in 1988 by Randy Thomas (Allies, Sweet Comfort band,.. ). An great US Metal album unleashed in the late eighties on LP – so many years later on, Bill Menchen and Retroactive Records gave this output a rebirth in full glory and that we can only shout out loud of joy!
\'\'Kingdom Come\'\' survived the test of time and even all is so much changed on the area of musical developments over the last two decades, this output have nothing to fear concerning the nowadays competition. The style of His Witness actually has nothing to do with the contemporary Hard Rock / Metal scene. This band\'s name of the game is a blend of Classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, played the American way, loaded with flammable melodic line all over the way.
Great vocals, awesome rhythms and a wonderful feel for entirely, detailed finished guitar / bass lines and drum section to enjoy completely. Metal music from times passed by – yeah, it\'s old school but fantastic to the bone to me. His Witness brings a Christian message with their lyrics but that’s not a problem to me at all. I\'m not a Christian anyway but hey, who gives a damn about that. These guys want to play it all that way – a decision we all should accept without complaining.
Ten songs on the playlist, very well done production … while listening to the entire album, I hear different influences such as a few songs reminds me of the early days of Shok Paris while other tracks come on strong with vibes of bands like Bloodgoodn Holy Soldier or Whitecross. As for Ken Reddings vocals: I\'d like to describe as a mixture of Vic Hix (Shok Paris) and legendary Dio! Take it for what it\'s worth – this is what I feel!
The guitar lines are overwhelming, pure as can be US Metal minded – all I want to hear from a great Metal band is present. My attention fell on the following, actually my favourite works: \'Everlasting Life\', \'Kingdom Come\' (these are the one that reminds me of one of my all time faves, Shok Paris), \'Guard Of Heart\', \'Jesus Die For You\' and ‘Party’s In Heaven’ (the one that reminds me of a song from Tygers Of Pan Tang called \'Raised On Rock\', especially during the guitar riffs!).
Reworked albums like this deserve a lot of more attention from the world wide Hard Rock / HM community. Some individuals disrespect this kind of music and that\'s a shame to me. Originating from the glorious eighties era – an output like \'\'Kingdom Come\'\' means a lot to the history of Rock so give it a try when the opportunity occurs. I\'m satisfied all over… order possibilities via: www.retroactiverecords.net MY POINTS: 87 / 100
REVIEW BY SCOTT WATERS OF THE BAND ULTIMATUM
His Witness- Kingdom Come (Retroactive) 1988/2008
1. “Everlasting Life\" (4:09)
2. \"Kingdom Come\" (4:26
3. \"Last Days\" (3:37)
4. \"Jesus Heals\" (5:350
5. \"Call On Him\" (4:14)
6. \"Guard Your Heart\" (3:42)
7. \"Pick Up Your Cross\" (4:22)
8. \"Jesus Died For You\" (3:32)
9. \"Love Of God\" (7:13)
10. \"Party’s In Heaven\" (4:18)
His Witness are a Southern California based His Witness 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
WWW.ANGELICWARLORD.COM REVIEW (85%)
Kingdom Come, the full length debut of Southern California based His Witness, can best be described as a classic eighties melodic metal album that almost never happened. Originally recorded in 1988 but never previously released, the album “sat in the can” the past several decades until the original 2-inch tapes were discovered several years ago collecting dust in a garage. The brother-in-law of vocalist Ken Redding, wisely, took the tapes home before they were thrown out, preventing a very nostalgic – and very high quality – piece of metal history from being lost forever. The album, after being remixed by guitarist Bill Menchen (Titanic, The Seventh Power), was officially released for the first time in the summer of 2008 by Retroactive Records under the title Kingdom Come.
Musically, Kingdom Come is like opening a “time vault” from another era. Delivering a blend of melodic metal and hard rock heavily rooted in the decade it came out of, His Witness is certain to appeal to fans of Bloodgood, Whitecross, Barren Cross, Stryper and Holy Soldier. Those whose musical tastes stray towards the classic metal side of things, (think Saint or Judas Priest) should find a lot to like in His Witness as well.
The group is at its best on up-tempo numbers such as “Everlasting Life” (huge hook on this one), melodic hard rock of “Call On Him” (featuring vocal harmonies in abundance) and boogie flavored “Party’s In Heaven” (non-stop energy here). “His Witness”, however, can give us a quality mid-tempo piece as well, reflected in the heavier direction taken on “Guard Your Heart” and “Pick Up Your Cross” in addition to the blues influenced metal of “Jesus Died For You”. The mid-tempo leanings are maintained on “Kingdom Come”, a power metal laced track, and the bottom heavy plodder “Jesus Heals”. Finally, an eighties melodic metal album would not be complete without a customary ballad, and such is what we have in the classy “Love Of God”.
To say that vocalist Ken Redding is talented would be an understatement. Blessed with quite the powerful set of pipes, Ken brings a deep and rich mid-ranged vocal style hinting at Jeff Fenholt (Joshua), David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and Tom Collete (ex-Letter 7). Other vocalist worth mentioning include Robert Valdes (Regime), Ken Tamplin (Shout) and Matt Harding (Apostle). Without a doubt very good company indeed.
Guitarist Ronee Pena also proves capable. If you are interested in lightning-like lead work in the vein of Oz Fox (Stryper) or David Zaffiro (Bloodgood), then look no further than “Everlasting Life”, “Call On Him” and “Guard Your Heart”.
Kingdom Come, originally recorded by Randy Thomas (Sweet Comfort Band, Allies) and mixed at Pakaderm Studios (of Elefante brothers fame), features a crisp and clean sounding production job. Yes, there are some slight elements of thinness here (please keep in mind this is a self-financed project recorded using late eighties technology) but nothing that will distract from your listening experience.
Lyrically, Kingdom Come – with song titles such as “Jesus Died For You” and “Pick Up Your Cross” – represents as bold and forthright effort as you will find.
The album opens strongly with the catchy, melodic metal of “Everlasting Life”. The key word is “catchy” in that the song features one of those immediately infectious chorus hooks (almost radio friendly in feel)- not to mention abundance of upbeat momentum and lead guitar work on the radiant side of things. “Everlasting Life” finds the band firing on all cylinders both musically and lyrically:
But God so loved the world
That He gave His Son
And whosoever believes
Will not perish
But will have everlasting life
If you believe in Him
You will have everlasting life…
“Kingdom Come” brings a slight touch of power metal (kind of like Sacred Warrior or Apostle). Moving at the slower tempo in comparison to “Everlasting Life”, the song gives prominence to the same kind of gripping chorus hook – you will be challenged to keep this one out of your head - while exuding a heavier if not all around more symphonic feel. “Kingdom Come” draws its lyrics from Matthew 6:9-13:
Our Father in heaven
Hallowed by thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
Give us this day
Our daily bread
Forgive our debt
As we forgive our debtor
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
“Last Days” delivers some guitar riffs that remind me of Whitecross. A three and a half minute mid-tempo romp, the song drives its distance to a hammering guitar riff in amalgamating a decisively delivered chorus with a vocal performance from Redding that finds him adding a touch of grit to his delivery. More blazing lead guitar is added to a composition dealing with end time themes:
In the last days
False Christ’s will appear
Wars and rumors of war
Nation shall rise up against nation
Kingdom against kingdom
It’s just a sign of the times
In the last days…
“Jesus Heals” slows the pace to a near standstill with its plodding, bass heavy ambience. Almost bluesy in capacity, the song might not be one of the albums heavier pieces but its laid back tempo and sweeping chorus help put it over the top. I can easily see Bloodgood doing something like this. Lyrically, “Jesus Heals” presents a straightforward but direct message:
I hope that you can see
That you can be set free
Righteousness is imparted
When you let Him in
He forgives your sin
Jesus heals the broken hearted
Stryper is the first thing that comes to mind when listening to “Call On Him”. The song proves a commercial hard rocker, standing out with its front to back spirited impetus and slickly delivered chorus driven by polished vocal harmonies. Put “Call On Him” on To Hell With The Devil and it would sound right at home. As a matter of fact, the fast fingered lead guitar work here would turn the head of Oz Fox.
“Guard Your Heart”, with its edgy, metal-laced sound, represents quite the contrast to “Call On Him”. One of the heavier pieces on Kingdom Come, the song moves in a robust mid-tempo direction allowing for a driving – almost technical – environs that has old school Barren Cross written all over it. “Guard Your Heart” is aptly named:
Don’t be foolish
Don’t be deceived
What this world has to offer
Won’t last for eternity
Store your riches in heaven
Where it really counts
Not in this world
Where murderers and thieves run about
“Pick Up Your Cross” maintains the guitar driven heading. The song almost borders on classic metal with its weighty mix of rhythm guitar and hard hitting chorus backed by harshly driven backing vocals. No, this one does not quite rank with the albums catchiest numbers but the end result is a backdrop hinting at early Saint (think Time’s End era). “Pick Up Your Cross” talks about doing exactly that:
What does it profit a man
If he gains the whole world
And loses his own soul
For the Son of God
He comes in the glory of the Father
Surely I say to you
There are some standing here
Who will not see death until they see Him
Pick up your cross
And follow me…
Slow, stalwart and driving, “Jesus Died For You” is a no-nonsense piece that joins a pronounced (almost groove flavored) low end with a toiling chorus in which larger than life vocal harmonies make their presence felt. If anything, the laid back atmosphere here – think blues but with a metal edge – reminds me of the old Joshua Perahia track “Walk Into The Light” (from Chapter One).
Rarely do I have much patience with long winded ballads in the six or seven minute range (or longer). Occasionally you will find an artist capable of getting it right – think Bloodgood with “Top Of The Mountain” and “Changing Me” (both from Out Of The Darkness) or just about any ballad by Shadow Gallery – but more often than not I end up hitting the skip button. His Witness, fortunately, proves the exception to the rule with “Love Of God”. Seven minutes of inspiration and creativity, the song brings just the right amount of acoustic based moments, complementary touches of rhythm guitar, emotionally charged soloing and moving lead vocals that would allow it to rank with the finest ballads this reviewer has heard. “Love Of God” is a song of victory:
We are more than conquerors
Through Christ Jesus our Lord
We are more than conquerors
Because He loves us
Really loves us
And He for us
I am convinced that nothing
Can separate us from the love of God
Not principalities, not the powers of the air
Not anything to His love can compare
And am convinced that nothing
I separate us from the love of God
Not an angel of light
Not the present or the past
Closing things out is “Party’s In Heaven”, a boogie flavored hard rocker in the vein of “Good Enough” (Whitecross) or “Can’t Stop The Rock” (Stryper). Energy-laden metal in its purest form, the song races its length in bestowing a catchy chorus (the hook here is prevalent) along with an environs bordering on the boisterous (another stretch of killer lead guitar). Of note, “Party’s In Heaven” breaks just past its halfway point for an interlude featuring the sinner’s prayer.
His Witness would easily rate with contemporaries such as Bloodgood, Whitecross, Barren Cross, Stryper and Guardian if Kingdom Come had been released in the late eighties. Yes, the vocals, musicianship and songwriting are that good. Speaking of the songs, there is not a bad track here – the album smoothly flows its extent while showcasing an ample amount of variety (all the while rooted in the melodic metal and hard rock genres). Give Retroactive Records credit for making available another hard to find and long lost classic of the past.
Track Listing: “Everlasting Life” (4:09), “Kingdom Come” (4:26), “Last Days” (3:37), “Jesus Heals” (5:35), “Call On Him” (4:14), “Guard Your Heart” (3:42), “Pick Up Your Cross” (4:22), “Jesus Died For You” (3:32), “Love Of God” (7:13), “Party’s In Heaven” (4:18)
Ken Redding – Lead Vocals
Ronnee Pena – Guitars
Ray Kilsdonk – Bass
Jimmy Pena – Drums
Bill Menchen – Guitars & Drums