Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Seventh Rize - Visceral Rock (2000)

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Visceral Rock

Seventh Rize - Visceral Rock
Formed in 1991 at the tail end of the hair metal craze, Seventh Rize spent several years scorching the stages of the West Texas club circuit before jetting off to Los Angeles to record their debut album - Visceral Rock. Repackaged with new, rather titillating artwork (see what I did there?) in 2007, the recording is original and captures the familiar sounds of the hair metal elite.

For fans of Dokken, Poison, and Ratt, Visceral Rock will elicit fond memories as guitarist Darin Anderson teams with slide guitarist Brett Garsed to craft riffs that are groovy, a bit gritty, and highly contagious. "Hearts On Fire", one of the standout tracks on the album, has a very melodic and distinctly Poison-esque guitar sound to compliment the highly infectious chorus. More than a hint of Dokken can be heard during album closer "No Peace Of Mind", but despite the familiarity to the riffs, Anderson helps keep Visceral Rock fresh through a number of very nice solos. "Love Ride" and "Mind Trip" stand out for some rather nifty leads and an occasional wistful tone, all of which is pure gold for lovers of '80s metal.

Seventh Rize
Vocal duties on Visceral Rock are handled by Henry Font (of NYC metallers Pist.On), who possesses a quite gritty set of pipes and can at times bring to mind former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy - most notably on "Taken Down By Love". Elsewhere on the album, Font's multi-tracked performance results in some nearly sing-along refrains and choruses that were the staple of '80s rock radio. After the release of this album, Stacy "Big Daddy" Humphries would bring a distinctly different vocal style to Seventh Rize, but that's a story for another day.

While Visceral Rock was certainly released, originally, far too late to ride the wave of rock created by the L.A. Strip scene, it remains a bit of a hidden gem for fans who still look back on those days with fond memories - scattered and fading as they may be. Seventh Rize is still around, having released another full-length in 2009 and - as of this writing - hard at work on another album.

Track Listing
2Devil's Line3:08
3Hearts On Fire3:42
4Divine Intervention3:44
5Taken Down By Love5:48
6Love Ride4:27
7Sound Of A Heartbreak4:21
8Mind Trip4:05
9Can't Go Home5:10
10No Peace Of Mind4:03
Total Runtime38:52

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