Try Something Different
Seven7's debut album Try Something Different was released on MGP Records (UK) in 2009. (Their second album is due next spring.)
Consisting of vocalist Dave Brown, (principally jazz) guitar ace Nicolas Meier, Arran McSporran on fretless bass and drummer Dave Moulding, Seven7 are in many ways a metal band with a difference. They combine genuine virtuosity with deep musicianship, well thought-out compositions with uncommonly high quality lyrics (that you can actually not only hear but also understand), and have a style that's a joy to listen to. Metal for the thinking man.
The title of this their debut album is a most fitting one. Try Something Different - indeed, do! Seven7 truly are a refreshing breath of fresh air on the metal scene and highly original and inventive. Meier, who penned all the music on this album, is of course a guitar wizard of the highest order, best known for his jazz work and brings something completely fresh to metal, including also, in addition to his electric guitar, acoustic guitar, oud and the Turkish baglama. McSporran plays the finest (fretless) bass heard in metal in a very long time. Add into this mix the excellent dramatic vocals of lyricist Dave Brown and the uncommonly creative drumming of Dave Moulding, and you have something really rather special. Special guest musicians are guitarist Steve Smyth (tracks 4 and 13) and percussionist Pete Riley (tracks 1 and 8).
The soloing on Try Something Different is also something a bit, well, different. It is of the highest standards, and more than the usual token collection of riffs; rather, it succeeds at being original and coming across as genuinely spontaneous.
Of course, classical leanings in metal are not particularly new as such, one only has to think back to the often rather grandiose "symphonic metal" of early heavy metal. However, the kind of beast Seven7 unleash in The Scream Of The Bolero, with its quotes from Ravel's Bolero and maintaining its - here utterly relentless - beat in the drums almost throughout, is something entirely different. Its creative originality hits you in the teeth, and even on an album of stand-outs such as Try Something Different it stands out as something extra special.
Eastern modal scales are in evidence on Try Something Different, and the rhythms tend to be complex. There's also the occasional nod to prog-rock here and there, suffused in the grooves and riffs of metal. Each of the tracks is original and inventive in its own way, with almost every track taking a different direction. Try Something Different is an album one simply doesn't tire of listening to. Something of a rarity in metal. Seven7 breathe new life into this much-maligned and under-estimated genre. They may take heavy metal as their starting point, but their style is something uniquely theirs and perhaps best fits the new metal tag, if such a thing is necessary.
The lyrics to all the songs are reproduced in full in the sleeve notes. These, along with the cover, stand out on account of the superb and fantastical artwork based on paintings (sometimes overlaid onto photographs of the band members) by the distinguished artist Songül Yilmaz-Meier. Especially at the small scale of a CD booklet, these paintings bear a remarkable similarity to photographic pseudo-solarisation and bas-relief. A highly effective and atmospheric design.
Not only thoroughly consistent with not a weak track in sight, Try Something Different is also an utterly compelling, entrancing album with a good deal of wit and sheer metal magic. For a debut album, it is simply sensational. After this, I certainly can't wait for Seven7's new album in the spring!
Seven7's Try Something Different has to be essential in any modern metal collection as well as any good rock and general guitar collection. Don't miss!
© 2010 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.