Seventh Key: Live In Atlanta (CD & DVD)
Seventh Key - Live In Atlanta (CD & DVD) - [Frontier Records]


Seventh Key is comprised of Billy Greer (vocalist-bassist and the former Kansas man), Mike Slamer (guitarist who also contributes on the keyboards and bass), Pat McDonald (drummer), Dean Manion (keyboard player), and Terry Brock (guitar player who supplies backing vocals) which has a résumé that contains a few works with Michael Bolton. The band plays a soft and melodic rock, the kind of music you’re used to hear from the Glam Rock bands of the eighties.
In order to sum up five years of existence, Billy decided to make a CD out of a show in Atlanta. The band might be young, but the band members certainly aren't.
With so much talent between them they certainly know how to put on a show, even if it's only for a small crowd of family and friends.
They start with the peacey song, “The Sun Will Rise”, to get everyone going. The next song takes it down a notch, and it's called “An Ocean Away”. The Third song is a complete halt, since it is a charming ballad named “It Should Have Been You”.

Just when it seems the band and the crowd will fall asleep, Seventh Key comes back alive with a cover version of AC/DC's “Sin City”. You could feel the missing voice of Brian Johnson, but the band plays it well enough and professionally enough in order to make it enjoyable. “Always From The Heart” is next, and it is very reminiscent of the first song, but then again, most Glam Rock songs are reminiscent of each other.
On the next song Billy invites his older brother, Johnny, to do an acoustic version for “Forsaken”, one of Seventh Key's most recognizable tracks from their first album; the song sees another guest, Robby Steinhardt, who, like Johnny, is also doing backing vocals alongside playing an instrument (Johnny plays the mandolin and Robby plays the violin).
After this acoustic song comes a hard rockin' song that really wakes you up. It is called ”You Cross The Line”, and although it has a few quieter parts, it can easily be considered as one of their loudest, especially in the chorus.
“The Kid Could Play” follows the same line, and even drops the quieter parts and includes some rhythmic tunes that emphasize the guitars and drums. After “When Love is Dying” (very touching) comes “Winds Of War”, which starts off with a quiet intro of about a minute, then the drums add some tempo and the keyboards add a musical effect of an orchestra; The song ends with the tempo slowing down up to the finishing drum segment.
The next song, “Cold Hearted Woman”, is the encore and it is a fun song to hear for a conclusion of the show.

The last three songs on the CD are songs that were mainly published in Japan.
“The Storm Rages On” is the first one, and it is a hard rock song that is a typical example of the Hard Rock – Eighties Style.
The second, “Remember You Well”, hasn’t even published in Japan; It is a pop-rock song where the musical instruments disappear behind Billy's voice, so perhaps it wasn't promoted for a reason.
The last one, “Love Train”, is another Poison-like or Warrant-like (yeah, those guys with the cherry pie) song, and if you like that style you have here another song to add to your collection.

I really liked this CD, even if some songs take musical elements from other songs and bands. This melodic rock is just good on the ears, and the band performs the songs so professionally that you have to like them. I also liked the parts where Billy talked to the crowd before a song, during a song (like on “Only The Brave” when Billy presents Pat with his drum solo, followed by a guitar solo courtesy of Mike) and after a song.
A live CD without a few words with the crowd isn't authentic enough in my view, so I'm glad they left it inside.
The DVD doesn't offer a lot more. It has the show as heard on the CD, an interview with Mike, Billy and Terry, the makings of the video for “An Ocean Away”, a slide show, behind the scenes footage of the show and clips for “Always From The Heart”, “Love Train” and “An Ocean Away”; It seems like a lot, but the video quality is not of the highest standards, and the camera angels are boringly the same.
Still, I believe that seeing the show and the extra material would be more interesting than just hearing the show.

Nir Haviv

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