The Blue Letter - Prima Facie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Blue Letter

Prima Facie (2007)

Blood & Ink

The Blue Letter have a fairly convincing release in Prima Facie, an album that's quite the step up for the Richmond, VA-based Blood & Ink label. With six heavy yet brooding and lengthy songs making up the album, comparisons to Isis and Envy should be plentifully forthcoming.

Prima Facie immediately begins with low, slow-picked guitars setting the atmosphere for the all-instrumental "Your Love in the Morning." Vocals don't come in until a minute or so into the next track, "This Window Is Made of One Way Glass," with guttural, hallowing screams erupting over the soundscape, which is only brought up ever so slightly in volume; the screams temporarily retread for some clean, dual shouts that stay low in the mix, then let the more intense vocals take back over.

Unfortunately, this is largely the modus operandi for Prima Facie; variety seems to be at a premium. Even a mildly quieter track like "Moved in 98" feels similar to its counterparts. On top of that, the band are obviously not quite up to par with their influences/peers, but it doesn't mean they're failing to create some fairly compelling, epic tunes. The recording could also be bolstered a little bit -- it feels pretty thin, as if went unmastered.

Overall, Prima Facie is an adequately impressive release from the outfit. Blood & Ink Records also has a creative, genre-defying band on their hands one hopes they'll allow time to develop.

We'll Cut Down the Trees and Name Our Streets After Them