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Seventh Key
The Raging Fire
March 2004
Released: 2004, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Some of you will recognize Billy Greer from the famous rock band Kansas. THE RAGING FIRE is Billy’s second solo record, the debut came in -01 under the name SEVENTH KEY. I haven’t heard the debut so I can only say something about this one. Billy teamed up with guitarist Mike Slamer, his old band colleague from the band Streets. Both Slamer and Greer hare credited with writing the 10 songs on the album together. Slamer has also produced, mixed, and mastered this album. He also plays both guitar and keyboards. The production and sound picture is brilliant. This is what melodic hard rock should sound like.

For once I can actually agree with the info provided with the CD that says this is melodic hard rock, I would also like to add that this is melodic hard rock with very nice guitar playing. There are some very sing a long friendly tracks and a ballad here and there as always. ”The Sun Will Rise” is a bit faster melodic hard rock with a lot of guitar and lead vocals on top. ”Always From The Heart” has lead vocals and acoustic guitar in the intro before the rest of the guys play, this is a melodic hard rock track in regular tempo. This song has a very sing a long friendly chorus and a lot of tempo changes throughout the song. ”You Cross The Line” has an instrumental intro with only guitar and keyboard before Billy starts to sing. The first verse has a ballad like start before the tempo rises and it becomes melodic hard rock. Mr. Greer’s voice fits perfectly to this kind of music. ”An Ocean Away” is more melodic hard rock influenced by heavy rock. ”The Raging Fire” is the first actual ballad, a very slow one with Greer on top of the mix and Slamer’s guitar parts sound really nice. ”Winds of War” starts off as a ballad before it turns into a heavy melodic hard rock track. ”Pyramid Princess” and ”Sin City” are two melodic hard rock tracks with Slamer taking up a big part of the sound picture. These songs are very sing a long friendly. ”It Should Have Been You” is a real ballad straight through. Slamer does a stunning guitar solo in the middle of the song. ”Run” is a heavy, guitar based song with a very sing a long friendly chorus, and if you listen carefully to the chorus you’ll find some similarities with the old Bee-Gee’s song “Staying Alive”.

Billy Greer delivers a really strong second album and there’s nothing bad to say about it at all. This is melodic hard rock at its best. All of the songs are really strong but my favorites are ”The Sun Will Rise”, ”An Ocean Away”, ”Sin City” and ”Run”. This album impressed me a lot and it’s recommended to all of you who like really good melodic hard rock.

Labels: AND
Track Listing

1. The Sun Will Rise
2. Always From the Heart
3. You Cross the Line
4. An Ocean Away
5. The Raging Fire
6. Sin City
7. It Should Have Been You
8. Run
9. Pyramid Princess
10. Winds of War


Billy Greer – lead vocals, bass
Mike Slamer – guitar, keyboard
Jamie Thompson – drums
Terry Brock – b-vox

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