Reviewed: March 2006
Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
It’s time for Seventh Key to release a live album and it goes under the name LIVE IN ATLANTA. Bandleader and founder is Billy Greer is mostly known for his membership in Kansas. Prior to this release, Seventh Key released 2 studio albums, the last one THE RAGING FIRE is reviewed in metal-rules and is in my opinion a small masterpiece and has all the fitting components to be called a genius melodic hard rock album.
Along with this album, a DVD is also due to be released. I have seen it and I can guarantee that it’s a wet dream for all SK fans out there where Mike Slamer plays guitar live on stage for the first time in 22 years! It was the president of Frontiers Records that made this live album/DVD possible by persuading the duo Greer/Slamer to play live.
The recording of the album was done in front a crowd consisting of family, close friends and guests. I have had my doubts regarding live albums and whether they really ARE recorded live, but this album clears my doubts at least when it comes to this album. Mike Slamer has produced the album and unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like a live album because you can’t hear the small crowd. It sounds like Slamer has cut down a few parts of some songs and to be honest I think that to be called a live album it shouldn’t be any cuts what so ever, the recording was made during one single show, another reason that makes you wonder why he cuts in the songs.
This is a single live album including 12 songs and as a bonus we have 3 added tracks as well but those are plain studio songs and not live tracks. The material comes mainly from both albums but it leans a little bit more towards the second album which is pretty natural because it’s that one they’re supporting. 7 tracks are taken from that one and 4 from the debuting album. They have turned “Forsaken” into a totally acoustic song and it’s done great by Slamer/Greer and the two guests one of the is Billy’s brother Johnny on mandolin, this version almost feels a little bit stronger compared to the original. Otherwise the material is extremely well delivered by all highly skilled musicians and the material has a tendency of becoming a bit harder live and the tempo also rises. This is the bands first meeting with a live audience and their first live gig ever and I when I hear this I really hope that Slamer/Greer will take the band on a worldwide tour.
The 3 bonus tracks, that’s a bonus for you that aren’t going to buy the DVD, starts off with “The Storm Rages On”, after that follows “Love Train” and “Remember You Well” which Billy Greer has composed with former Kansas mastermind Kerry Livgren. All of the 3 tracks are solid melodic hard rock tracks and if you like both albums I think they are something for you.
This album is a given purchase for any fan of melodic hard rock and like Billy Greer or Mike Slamer’s earlier work together. There isn’t much negative things to say other than what I already mentioned. I hope you enjoy this album and don’t forget to buy the DVD as well, this album gets only better with live video.
Labels: www.frontiers.it AND www.atenzia.com
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The Sun Will Rise
An Ocean Away
It Should Have Been You
Always From The Heart
You Cross The Line
The Kid Could Play
Only The Brave
When Love Is Dying
Winds Of War
Cold Hearted Woman
The Storm Rages On
Remember You Well
Billy Greer – lead vocals, bass
Mike Slamer – guitar, bass, keyboards
Pat McDonald – drums
Terry Brock – guitar, b-vox
David Manion – keyboards
Special guests on “Forsaken”
Robby Steinhardt – violin, vocals
Johnny Greer – mandolin, vocals