Written By: Mike Pelosi
Music is cyclical in nature. Every ten to fifteen years, a previously thought-to-be-dead genre makes a return. Fans of the slower, doom metal that Black Sabbath created with tracks like “Iron Man” and “Into the Void” will be pleased to hear Seventh Void’s “Heaven is Gone.” The band consists of Kenny Hickey (lead guitar/vocals), Matt Brown (rhythm guitar), Hank Hell (bass), and John Kelly (drums). Metal heads will know Kenny and John from goth-metal act Type O Negative, Matt Brown from Uranium 235, and Hank Hell from Inhuman. Though all of these acts may be grouped under one moon, listening to them reveals abundance of stylistic differences but with strong common denominators.
And within those differences lay the special sludge that they create.
Seventh Void is a rhythm driven band. Beginning with a down tuned guitar riff that is similar to getting hit with a blunt object, the musical content is unmistakably established. Bring in the slow pounding bass and drums and it’s like an earth quake is emulating through the speakers. Finally, add the vocals which can blend with fire or cut above it at will but either way scorches. Occasionally, a lead guitar will add in a tasty fill or short solo that contributes a melodic component that‘s icing on the cake. Seventh Void doesn’t pull any tricks or beat around the inevitable. They play at a pace everyone can absorb and get straight to the point. Aside from some semi-trance like guitar effects, Seventh Void is a group of blue collar guys who play music that deeply resonate with them.
The opening track, “Closing In,” sets the standard by incorporating a full scaled spectrum of talent. It’s a track with attitude and presence. What else would you expect with Vinnie Paul (Of Pantera and Damage Plan) as the producer? “Heaven is Gone,” is the albums first single. Kenny’s guitar playing has a hard blues, vintage sound that adds equilibrium to the drive of the rhythm section. The bridge is very sweet, giving the listener a moment to recover. Like it so far? The best is yet to come.
The third track, “The End of All Time,” possesses a timeless sound that’s attached to the glory days of Black Sabbath. It also provides a nice groove that’s easy to get caught up in. Much like the first track, the grand finale “Last Walk in the Light,” is a statement to the band’s talent and ability to be diverse within their labeling. It features a much more acoustic feel that’s faster and, as a result, the friendliest song on the album. But it leaves the listener wanting more. Bad, but so good as well. The return of a Seventh Void sophomore album seems all but in the bag.
Where Seventh Void will run into trouble is in their monotony. Yes, it’s a great thing, especially for fans of the style but even Sabbath couldn’t play “Black Sabbath” style songs forever. Most tracks have a strikingly similar commonality which leaves Seventh Void in quite a predicament: Continue on with this or do something different? However, just as so long as Seventh Void continues to make music that is good to them, it’s highly probable that they will not disappoint.
Even though it’s a fairly straightforward, you will listen to Seventh Void and say “This is some damn cool stuff.” While it’s surely recycled, it’s almost unarguable that the band has a shot of being the first modern commercially successful band (relatively commercially successful, of course) to take this style and run with it.
Like Seventh Void? Check them out on Myspace.