For the six people who may live under a rock and don’t already know, Seventh Void is the band featuring Type O Negative alumni Kenny Hickey and John Kelly. Rounded out by second guitarist Matt Brown and bass player Hank Hell, Seventh Void could be considered the antithesis to Type O Negative. Whereas TON builds upon hefty arrangements and gothic overtones, Seventh Void adopts a comparably organic, straight ahead approach to their tunes. The result is ten songs of angry, sludge covered riffs that aim to please.
I’ll try to avoid the usual references to Sabbath here, but it’s no secret that Hickey and Kelly have an affinity for the old Sab albums. That influence is prevalent throughout the disc, as evidenced by the surplus of dark grooves, wah’d riffs, and plodding stomp. While unmistakably abrasive and heavy, the ten tracks here are generally accessible enough to appeal to the mainstream rock radio crowd as well as their more underground fan base. Consider the curb appeal of the album being released through Vinnie Paul’s “Big Vin” records and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Though the concept of the band has been rolling around between Hickey and Kelly since 2003, Seventh Void only began to materialize as a real band in 2005. The time between the formation of the actual band and the release of HEAVEN IS GONE must have been well spent in getting the band to gel, as they sound exceptionally tight and locked in together. Whether it’s the stoned out COC vibe of “Closing In” and the title track, the bluesy swagger of “Broken Sky” and “Drown Inside,” or the sludgetastic crush of “The End of All Time” and “Descent,” the band covers a lot of territory while still sticking to the same general musical neighborhood.
Though Seventh Void is certainly more of a band than just a Hickey/Kelly side project, it’s really Kenny Hickey’s performance that’s the star of the show. Certainly more stripped down than Hickey’s other gig, you get the feeling after listening to the album that Hickey’s been honing these riffs for some time, making sure that they’re just right. Hickey also shines in his role as band frontman. Though he’s regularly provided supporting vocals with TON to contrast Pete Steele’s deep delivery, he delivers the lyrics here with enough intensity to pop a vein in his forehead.
Cutting to the chase here, Seventh Void has seemingly come out of nowhere with a tremendous debut effort. HEAVEN IS GONE is a great slab of metal goodness with enough broad appeal to pique the interest of metal fans across the board (get those promotional wheels movin’ Vinnie). Don’t let this one slip under your radar.
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