May 20, 2009

CD Review: Seventh Void - Heaven is Gone

Seventh Void is one of those bands I am surprised we aren't hearing more about. I mean, it took me nearly a month after its release to hear the name for the first time, if I had known, I would have been all over this release the moment it hit the shelves. To be sure, they are not a band out to change the world and the album will never be able to be penciled in as a game changer, but it is still a darn solid album that I can find myself turning to time and time again. It is the sort of album that will put a groove in your head and a smile on your face. You will not be disappointed.

Seventh Void is a project first conceived by Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey back in 2003, but it wasn't until a few years later when the line-up was finalized and writing began. The band is signed to Big Vin Records, the label begun by Pantera/Hell Yeah drummer Vinnie Paul. Joining Hickey, who also handles vocal duties, is his Type O Negative band mate Johnny Kelly on drums, along with Matt Brown on guitar and Hank Hell on bass. Together, they form a tight unit of rock and roll aggression.

seventhvoid_imageThe sound is nothing that we haven't heard before, but it has a little bit of a spin on it. I have decided to call it post-goth. You see, Kenny and Johnny are integral members of Type O Negative's dark, sludgy goth sound, a style the have modified here. Combine that style with the early metal doom of Black Sabbath and the 90's grunge of early Soundgarden and Alice in Chains and you will get a pretty good idea of what Seventh Void is all about.

No sooner has Heaven is Gone begun, it drags you under with a doomy dose of hard rock that is sure to get to you. "Closing In" gets the ball rolling with its slow, dark groove, with Kenny's grungy wail coming over the top. It definitely gets under your skin as it begins to prepare you for what is to come.

The guitars from both Kenny and Matt Brown are solid. They are locked together as they churn out the sludgy, bluesy riffs that go a long way to creating a foreboding atmosphere. It is not quite like the material Type O Negative turned out. This is much more accessible by a general audience while also allowing Kenny to work out some different styles.

While Kenny and Matt's riffs lead the charge, the rhythm section is downright thunderous. Johnny Kelly is not a fast drummer, and we are all better for it. The guy pounds the drums hard and keeps the beat interesting. Hank Hell's bass follows along keeping the low end think.

Finally, we have the vocals. Anyone who listens to Type O Negative is no stranger to Kenny Hickey's voice, as he often provides a counterpoint to Peter Steele's deep, doomy voice. Here he gets to step to the front and show what he's got. While he does not have a lot of range, he puts his heart into it and is generally very effective in his delivery.

Bottomline. What it comes down to is this band delivers a strong dose of rock and roll with just the right amount of attitude. They bring a new flavor to a familiar style, resulting in an album that is rock solid from start to finish. This is a rock album to play angry and loud!



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