|7th heaven USA-UK||NTD Records|
Chicago natives 7th heaven should be no strangers to those that follow this site. Their acclaimed Silver double CD was a popular favourite for many and is still being discovered by new fans to this very day.|
The band's high-tech AOR friendly sound mixed with a dose of Def Leppard stadium theatrics and layers and layers of vocals have them worshipped in the US Mid-West, but with every release their profile and stature grows.
The band plays hundreds of shows each year and was part of the first MelodicRockFest in South Bend in 2007.
The line-up has changed since Silver, with vocalist Keith Semple (South African born, raised in Ireland) taking up residence in the USA as the new lead vocalist.
He is the perfect fit for the band and judging by the writing credits and the quality of the songs, has made an immediate impact with band founder, guitarist Richie Hofherr.
This band always delivers the goods and they always deliver great value.
Silver was a double disc of tunes and USA-UK features 18 tracks.
Not all tracks are new however – there are 6 tracks brought back and re-recorded from the Silver disc that now feature Semple's lead vocals.
If you are new to this band and are going to hear tracks like Cellophane, Gravity, Kill The Cycle, Undone, While You Dream and Ghost Of Me for the first time – boy – are you in for a treat.
Personally I'd rather the album feature all new material only, but as stated, the band delivers value every time and there is still 12 brand new tracks to enjoy.
And yes folks…they are every bit as good as the Silver material and dare I say – even better.
To me the band sounds more focused this time around and there is less experimentation within the sound and more sticking to what they do best – and that is delivering the music Def Leppard fans have been waiting for since Hysteria.
In fact, if Def Leppard went more AOR after Adrenalize, this is exactly how they would sound.
7th heaven is pure melodic bliss. Every song is layered with backing vocals Mutt Lange would be proud of the continuous melodies and hooks within the underlying instrumentation and the lead vocals.
The band's sound is a little programmed at times, but that's their high-tech style that has been constant since the start. The fact is they deliver some of the best classic melodic rock songs of the year on this album.
Better This Way is a smooth mid-tempo AOR anthem that has a monster chorus and a radio friendly riff that would have been a smash hit in any other decade. A monster!
The ballad Still Here has plenty of production effects and more soaring vocals through a wonderful chorus.
The mid-tempo Gave You My Heart is sentimental and uplifting at the same time and This Summers Gonna Last Forever is simply the backyard anthem Bryan Adams has been trying to write for the last decade. One of the brightest and most uplifting songs of the year. Perfect!
Save Your Life is another uplifting song with a rapid fire guitar riff about empowering yourself – great message and another catchy chorus of course.
Hand On My Heart is a lush pop ballad and the rockier Winning It All has a definite Silver vibe to it.
Oh So Really Old works will with its added angst and catchy melody; Tragedy is a nice tempo changing mood piece and Dream Of A New Day is more uptempo pop with more great sing-along lines.
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