“STORIES WE TELL”
Album Review By Iron Mathew
Seven Hard Years, aka 7HY, are a UK based melodic hard rock band formed by ex Shy drummer Alan Kelly. Making contact with Line Of Fire vocalist Shawn Pelata, 7HY released their debut album, ‘No Place In Heaven’, in 2014. The album was well received and established the band as a worldwide melodic force. Shawn Pelata left Line Of Fire and now fronts the power metal band Final Sign, however, Shawn and Alan have recorded and just released a second 7HY album, ‘Stories We Tell’.
‘I’ll Survive’ is a bombastic opening to the album and is a storming melodic hard rock song that is infectious and catchy and will have you vigorously nodding your head back and forth. Final Sign vocalist Shawn Pelata is a superb singer and his powerful voice is well suited to this type of hard hitting and punchy hard rock. Played at pace, Alan Kelly does a cracking job with all guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. A mellower pace greets the listener as ‘Break The Spell’ ambles in, yet retains the hard rocking oomph of the opening song. Heavy metal this is not – hard and heavy rock it most certainly is. ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ takes on the ambience of AOR with a faultless vocal performance by Shawn. ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ is melodic, catchy, infectious and will have you smiling from ear to ear. The pace slows as ‘One More Day’ hits the airwaves, sounding a lot like the glam and sleaze rock genres from the eighties/nineties when bands such as Motley Crue, Night Ranger and Aerosmith were defining the genre. Everything that 7HY are delivering is every bit as good as these bands were back in the day.
7HY are a relatively new band, but the experience of the engine that drives it, the duo of Alan and Shawn, have talent in abundance, both in terms of song writing and musical ability. The soft rock ‘Only Human’ nods its head towards eighties AOR powerhouse bands such as Boston, Asia and Toto, ‘Church’ pushes the vocal talents of Shawn to the limits with his voice reaching a higher level than heard so far on the album, and ‘In To You’ picks up the pace and is a heavier hard rock song that has a foot tapping rhythm so infectious that anyone who listens will be tapping their feet without even realising it. Add to the mix, one of the best guitar solos on the album and ‘In To You’ is a great song. A mellower feel surrounds ‘Broken Man’ as it glides in and effortlessly strolls on.
Mild and mellow, ‘Driving Me Crazy’ is an amble of superb musicianship with another top drawer vocal performance. While the album is steeped in eighties AOR, there is also a freshness, a newness and a passion that many other bands lack. Both Alan and Shawn are not resting on their laurels and allowing their names to attract a following, they have produced an album of great quality songs. Moody and more menacing than anything else on the album, ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ rumbles along like distant thunder. Raising the energy levels and hitting hard, ‘Sweet Sensation’ is a throbbing slab of heavy rock with a wide ranging vocal performance and another superb guitar solo. The album is brought to a close with the awesomely powerful power ballad ‘Wasn’t Always Like This’. 7HY, remember the name, they are gonna be big…
Overall, a sparkling collection of AOR blended with hard rock, 7HY have delivered a cracking album, setting them on a path to global acceptance.
Break The Spell
Don’t Believe A Word
One More Day
In To You
Driving Me Crazy
I’ve Been Waiting
Wasn’t Always Like This
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