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Alan Kelly's Seven Hard Years
No Place In Heaven
July 2014
Released: 2014, Lynchburg Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Alan Kelly returns, the former drummer for 80s melodic metal/AOR English band Shy. This style of metal has had a huge resurgence lately, with bands from Germany and Sweden to the US jumping on the melodic metal ship. Seven Hard Years is a UK based international band that delivers melodic metal and rock in a style that resembles classic bands like Axxis and Steelhouse Lane as well as modern bands like 21 Octayne and Eden’s Curse. Released on Lynchburg Records, NO PLACE IN HEAVEN is a worthy entry into the crowded melodic metal scene.

US based singer Shawn Pelata is the real deal, multi-tracking his vocals, harmonizing and generally creating all the perfect melody lines for the many memorable songs. “No More Yesterdays” is a nearly flawless blending of Steelhouse Lane with Hardline while the passionate “You Lie” features a thumping verse that showcases Pelata’s talents and a catchy bridge and chorus to boot. The excellent “No Place In Heaven” is a less raunchy but still enjoyable take on Steel Panther. Unfortunately, with this style of music there is no shortage of wimpy tunes like “Never Meant To Hurt You”, the lethargic and cheesy “Live Without You” and the over-synthed, futuristic layers of “You Are The One.” Lyrically, every song is basically about being cheated on and lied too and relationships gone sour. At the end of the day, these themes are as tiring as Satan and pick axing your neighbor.

In essence, it is this rocking upbeat tune template followed by a deflating and cliché synth-ballad that drags NO PLACE IN HEAVEN down a notch. Production is amazing, the connecting choruses and melodies truly memorable. When all is said and done, the metal is sparse and the rock not always rocking. Nevertheless, Kelly has assembled a skilled band and shown he can compose energizing and upbeat songs when he wishes, the good songs being something special. Let’s hope that on the follow-up the rock outweighs some of the more brooding tunes. Recommended for fans of Steelhouse Lane, Hardline, 21 Octayne and Axxis.
Track Listing

1. Angels Fly

2. Hold Me Now

3. Live Without You

4. You Lie

5. No More Yesterdays

6. Never Meant To Hurt You

7. Call Me Tonight

8. No Place In Heaven

9. Say What You Gotta Say

10. Say Those Lies

11. Show Some Emotion

12. You Are The One


Alan Kelly (Drums)
Shawn Pelata (Vocals)
Roy Davis (Bass)
Dave Martin (Guitars)
Martin Walls (Bass)
Elliot Kelly (Guitars)

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