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CD REVIEW: Seven 13 - 'Devour'
By Steve Allat - 07/01/2005 - 07:24 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Seven 13
Album: 'Devour'
CD Review: Label: Independent: What Matters Records
Tracks: 5
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Meatloaf, Evanescence, Bowie, Gowan
Fav Tracks: No Apology, Devour

As a theatrical rock band, Seven 13 sound the part. A team of 7 combine to create music and dance theater.

With a backdrop of piano and keyboards provided by group founder Amanda Adams, and leaning heavy on the hearty lead vocals of vocalist Court Linehan, there are a lot of excellent ingredients here for the making of progressive rock with something different.
I listened for it, listened hard, but never really heard what I thought might be there. Instead, what I hear sounds interesting, a little forced, and a little old and tired even while pushing into some new territory and being quite original. What I hear are the stereotypes of the genre - the emotional lead vocal, the dreamy piano and the obligatory guitar solos. It's unfortunate, because with this group of people, there should really be something special.
At times, Court's voice blows me away (as near the end of 'Abuse Me', floating strong and clear) and at other's I want him to hold back, as it's obvious that the grit is a bit forced. I much prefer his smooth, strong vocal phrasings, with the occasional natural growl.

The songs themselves are ok, but not overly appealing. Again, they sound more like theater songs than just songs, which doesn't do it for me. Many great elements are contained within, but they don't seem to bind together coherently enough to make a strong whole. Lyrically, I didn't find any strong appeal or theme to grab hold of. They're kind of just there, seemingly in an attempt to be a little angsty and to grab attention with that alone.

So, while there are countless tasty ingredients, in the end what I hear sounds bit like mush instead of 5 separate dishes being cooked to perfection and served up accordingly.

What's the missing ingredient?
My suggestions would be:
- more focused songwriting
- simpler melodies
- Court singing powerfully, but without us hearing it as being forced in any way - I know it's there.

I think that's enough from me for Seven13 to digest. Hopefully next time around is a bit more refined and then I'll be ready to listen again.

Contact: Eddie Q. Matthews, Promotions
Website: Seven 13

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