It’s not every day that you get the honour to review an album from a legend in Christian rock, especially someone like John DeGroff, a founding member of one of Christian rock’s biggest acts, Petra.
With Petra’s beginnings back in 1972, John has been a huge influence to many Christian musicians over the years through his humility, hard work and love of the craft. Since leaving Petra in 1979, John has worked with many bands before rejoining with former band mates Greg Hough and Bill Glover in 2004 with a project called GHF. Since their reunion tour with fellow former band mate Bob Hartman in 2004, to completing their original line-up in 2005 for Petra’s last ever show, John since then has been very active with his family in the local church and trying his hand with media.
Now, no one would have guessed that John DeGroff would find himself once again recording and signed to none other than Fort Wayne metal label Rottweiler Records, a label more famous for their extreme styles and genres. This bold move by Rottweiler Records finds them pushing the envelope once again in choice of style and genre, considering once they wanted to be a punk rock label. Adding this extra facet to them finds Rottweiler a more versatile label to date.
As the album Salt came through my email yesterday, I knew this was probably going to be a bit of a task as when I really started to get into Christian rock/metal was at a time where my tastes were on the ever-growing extreme end of the spectrum in the early ’90s with Mortification, Vengeance Rising and the thrash metal scene. Since then as time has wore on, my maturity in music has grown and I find myself a lover of most genres in the rock/metal scene.
Salt – John DeGroff
- Dave’s Living Room
- I’m Your Man
- Wish I Was A Child Again
- Silk And Cookies
- Celebrity Squat Thrust
- From Yes To No And Back Again
- Theme For A Perfect Day
Petra lead singer John Schlitt features on the first single “Runnin” which with John DeGroff’s brand of mid to late ’70s rock is displayed, you can really appreciate the style and the musicianship at the time. Plenty of groove, and here one somewhat can understand where Opeth as a band got most of their influences since day one, as their quirkiness and song writing skills were crafted in a wonderful and magical way.
Elements of rock are constructed throughout, with a few singles that are pointed out like “Runnin”, “I’m Your Man” and “From Yes To No And Back Again” with vocals are included in the fold, the majority gives a blend of jazz, keyboards and acoustic with obviously heavy elements of bass guitar that totally construct the entirety of the album.
I’m completely impressed with John DeGroff’s unique quality and progressive songwriting that you don’t see in many bands today and I mean this seriously.
Rock has never been the same, nor will it ever be, unless future songwriters learn from these amazing people and artists.
Christian Sullivan 2018