SEVEN RAVENS (feat Mats Levén, Billy Sheehan) – After The Storm (2023)
We were greatly surprised by SEVEN RAVENS debut album two years ago, now the stellar classic hard rock combo are back with new album titled “After The Storm“.
SEVEN RAVENS is the project songwriter Scott Bazzett & guitarist James LePak. The pair have been writing songs together since back in the late ’80s. Over the years they have moved on (both geographically to other states, and in life, to other careers), but kept in touch and kept writing together.
Originally, Bazzett sent tapes back and forth through the mail, and as technology improved, they were eventually able to share files online. All together, the two have collaborated on over 100 recordings to date: Bazzett writing lyrics and vocal melodies and James playing the guitars and working out song architecture. Finally, in 2020, they called some of the best in the business to record their debut album.
“After The Storm” brings an all-star line up again all over the recording: lead vocalist Mats Levén (Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Talas), Johan Niemann (Evergrey), drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Graham Bonnet Band), Swedish drummer Björn Fryklund (Freak Kitchen), and talented Pete Newdeck (Midnite City, Nitrate) who not only play drums but also has mixed “After The Storm”.
Add to that the mastering by Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess and you have a very strong hard rock album here!
This is a big sounding hard rock record in the traditional American sense, Leven singing like the metal shouter legend he is, but the album is founded on a huge guitar sound and a really tough production, putting it into the quality of material a major artist might be proud of.
The songs aren’t necessarily instant, but they are there, and repeated listens uncover those layers and melodies and also unlock so much more riffing. This is a record for fans of late era Dokken and heavier side of US hard rock, with all bases covered as far as production, mix and and mastering.
You can’t go wrong with these cats: world class musicians and rocking melodic songs in the classic hard rock vein akin the ’80s, balanced with a few more modern, groovier numbers.
01 – Deja Vu +
02 – Letting Go #
03 – Feels Like Home #
04 – Nevermore # *
05 – Mudslide + =
06 – Blue Skies #
07 – T.K.O. +
08 – Higher Ground # =
09 – The Bitter End + *
10 – After the Storm + *
11 – The Blind # =
12 – The Downfall + *
13 – Blood in the Water #
Scott Bazzett – lyrics & melodies
James Lepak – guitars & structure
vocals on all tracks – Mats Levén (Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion)
drums (except noted) – Pete Newdeck (Midnite City, Nitrate)
bass – Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Talas) +
bass – Johan Niemann (Evergrey) #
drums – Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Graham Bonnet Band) *
drums – Björn Fryklund (Freak Kitchen) =
Mixed by Pete Newdeck. Mastered by Harry Hess