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On disc: Seventh Key

The Raging Fire - Sandra Bucher - 8 stars
I Will Survive - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

I Will Survive

I Will Survive
(Frontiers Records - 2013)

Fans of Billy Greer and Seventh Key have waited for this album for years, The Raging Fire was released in 2004 and Live In Atlanta in 2005 - and the waiting began. Now Billy Greer, Mike Slamer and his mates are back with I Will Survive.

They kick off with the title track, a prog-ish melodic rocker with a catchy hook. You soon will find yourself singing along the chorus! So, everybody who feared that they covered Gloria Gaynor, they didn't.

Quite heavy is Lay In On The Line with sharp riffs and the typical Hammond sound. With I See You There they ease off a bit and once more it's Slamer's excellent guitar play combined with effective keyboard passages and topped with Greer's vocals which make the song special. Sea Of Dreams stick out, violinist David Ragsdale supports the song with his emotional play and gets enough space to shine. Enchanting. Down and The Only One will hook you up right away, both rockers have a different feel and so Billy Greer and Mike Slamer make it interesting for the listener. David Ragsdale steps in at What Love's Supposed To Be, a beautiful balladesque rocker. The slow opening passage has a melancholy touch, but when they go full force this melancholy is gone. They return to the opening theme and so it's a sonic roller coaster ride. The closer is called I Want It All, another rocker you soon will sing along - even if it has a progressive edge.

Many bands who come back after almost a decade deliver a average to decent album, but Seventh Key managed to present another great one! Hope it won't take another 9 years til they return!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


The Raging Fire

The Raging Fire
(Frontiers - 2004)

Bassist Billy Greer (Kansas) presented the debut album of his 2nd band Seventh Key about 2 years ago. Now he's back with The Raging Fire. Musically he didn't changed much, there are still rockers like the album opener The Sun Will Rise and also mid-tempo hymns like An Ocean Away and ballads like the Foreigner-like It Should Have Been You. Finest AOR! Again Greer is joined by guitarist Mike Slamer who shows his talents best at Run and the title track The Raging Fire. For the ones who don't know the debut, Billy Greer also sings in Seventh Key. This time not that close to his main band Kansas, coz at the debut some Kansas songs been released which didn't made it onto the Kansas releases. A straight heavy rocker is Pyramid Princess which sounded a little Egyptian for Greer - the song is written by Slamer - and inspired him to write about Egypt in a way.
With Always From The Heart they recorded a balladesque song which starts slowly, but then gets into mid-tempo. The chorus is hooking you up immediately. After a break - slowed down - the guitar riff sounds aggressive, but stays in the background and so supports the song. A sing along one.

A powerful production makes this melodic rock / AOR album even better and I can recommend it to fans of Kansas, Damn Yankees, Styx, Giant, etc.

8 stars

Sandra Bucher
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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