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Released: 2002, Frontiers Records
Touted as modern progressive hard rock with a sound that was a cross between Dream Theater/Queensryche and Journey, I was very interested to give to this CD a spin. It also didn’t hurt that this band was signed to Frontiers Records, a label that is know for helping keep melodic metal and hard rock alive in an age where most believe that it belongs back in the 80s. Well Frontiers and their acts prove that wrong. 7 Months was formed by Chris Jacobson: guitars and Garegin Kalajian: keys. They met while attending the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. After many false starts and months of frustration they finally got together with the following lineup: Jacobson, Kalijian, Joe Booe: vocals, Barry Magnuson: drums and Shawn “The Dude” Richkind: bass. The band had no problem choosing a name. After 7 months of writing, struggling and recording it was a simple choice.
As I have already stated, the hype is that 7 Months is a cross between the prog like Dream Theater and more mainstream music like Journey. The band definitely strays into the prog arena. There is not a song on here that doesn’t contain some sort of time change or intricate guitar or keyboard solo or joust. The interesting thing is that this band actually does live up to its billing. They include prog elements but the songs for the most part are well written hook-laden tracks that while not quite as bombastic as say Journey were in their heyday nonetheless are much more accessible than many prog bands on the scene today. “Stay” is one of the highlights of the CD as it is a perfect blend of the bands progressive and melodic rock sounds. Kalijian’s use of the organ and Booe’s tremendous vocal performance combine to create one of the disc’s highlights. Booe releases his more aggressive side on “Sometimes”. This is one of the more varied songs on the disc complete with extended keyboard and guitar solos.
I have to say that the first time that I heard this disc. It just didn’t click for me. I threw it back on the pile in the hopes that some time would open my mind. Now after revisiting the disc I have gained a new appreciation for the sound that the band is trying to create. The only problem that I find is that on the whole the songs seem to be a bit too laid back. I don’t expect a lot of aggression but it would have been nice to hear a couple of tracks that were a bit more up beat, with a harder edge. That being said I can’t fault the musicianship of the band. I look forward to their next release.
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