first came across 7th Heaven in early 2001 when I did an interview with
them. Even then I could tell the band had such strength and
determination in where they wanted to go with their music. Now here we
are 3 years later after listening to what can only be described as one
of the most impressive rock albums of 2004, it would appear the band
have achieved a great many of those original goals.
For a mere $10 you get a highly polished double album containing no less
than 30 monumental rock tracks, yes that gives a combined running time
of almost 2 hours! Many of the songs on this album have the potential to
become hugely popular in their own rights. Don’t waste your time
trying to download it off the net; this album is so cheap even you can
afford to take a chance on it. This isn’t merely an album you talk
about to your friends, it’s an album you make a point of recommending
to them safe in the knowledge you know they’ll thank you for it.
Def Leppard seems to be one of the major influences on a lot of the
songs on the black disc. ‘Gravity’, ‘Cellophane’ and ‘Fall
into You’ are key examples of this. However being a big fan of Harem
Scarem I would say the songs would appeal to listeners in both those
camps. Perfectly blended melodies with catchy guitar hooks and big
infectious chorus’s that demand for audience participation seem to be
the order of the day with these songs. It’s as if the band took out
all the elements they themselves enjoy from these bands and combined
their strengths into these tracks.
The bands mood leans slightly more towards Bono’s vocal style on
‘Kill the Cycle’. Then we have ‘Undone’ which gives us a glimpse
of what HIM would sound like if they took a more mainstream approach to
their songs. Starting with these two songs you begin to hint at the true
diversity and imagination this band have put into this album and its
musical content. You only have to venture to the next track
‘Ethereal’ to hear the band leap into yet another dimension of
music. At first I wasn’t about this song because it sounded like a
high powered boy band song. However after a couple of listens the
intense industrial drum-beats won me over and I’ve since warmed to it.
Working your way through this album I found it hard to believe that
singer Andrew Blake did do all the lead vocals on the album. The vocal
styles are at times so extreme this guy’s voice is very Jekyll and
Hyde in character.
One particular track that stands out a mile to me is ‘On the Inside’
with its classical guitar and drums which remind me very much of Blue
Murder. Although once the vocals are added it ventures more towards
classic Queensryche. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a band
recapture this sound that was so popular in the 80’s, think ‘Eyes of
a Stranger’ meets ‘Valley of the Kings’.
The closing track on the black disc ‘War Machine’ was actually first
released on the bands last album ‘Faces time Replaces’. Which was
such a big hit with the fans at the time that the band decided to tinker
with it, and then re-release it in this collection of songs. It starts
off by giving you the distinct impression it’s going to be another Def
Leppard type track but then the biting guitars come in and the hard
vocals hit out and it’s more akin to the newer material put out by
Alice Cooper, or even dare I suggest Union Underground. If you
appreciate the use of the samples of George Bush announcements used on
this track then flick to ‘Shelter’ for more of the same.
‘Face of Terror’ is again more along the lines of the newer Alice
Cooper songs with its sneering vocals that seem to mock the listener.
Marvellous, I love it, but again I ask, is this really the same singer
that sounds more Mike & The Mechanics in ‘Everlasting Love’?
Two songs I found hard to get away with are the nu-metal influenced
‘Truth’ and ‘Breaking me Up’. I suppose out of 30 songs that’s
not bad going. ‘Truth’ is too close to Linkin Park for my liking and
although I adore the guitars in parts the overall effect is just too in
the face for me. ‘Breaking me Up’ isn’t quite so hard-core but
I’m still not convinced.
By total contrast then we have ‘Erased’ which carries the listener
along at a gentle but quirky pace that you might hear from a street
busker on a lazy summer’s day. It’s the sort of song you would stand
and listen to and just enjoy with its folk rock feel good vibes. Anyone
remember the first time they heard George Michaels ‘Careless
Whisper’? Remember the goosebumps you had down your spine? Well
‘Letting Go’ will have much the same effect on you and is such a
lush ballad it’s one to save for those more intimate of moments.
If you like rock music, particularly the melodic rock, AOR, hard rock or
pop/rock genres, then Silver should be a welcome additional to your
collection. The band have put together a wide variety of styles and
influences into their songs and have brought together a worthy offering
to both the seasoned, as well as first time listener to the band. Highly
polished and beautifully mastered and produced, it makes you wonder how
these guys can put forward something so perfectly crafted when so many
of the big boys seem to miss the target. You really can tell this was a
labour of love for them from start to finish with no fillers or loose
ends left in.