SEVENTH CALLING – Prelude to Madness CDEP
Heaven and Hell Records
This Minnesota band’s three song dink has some cool sounding tunes but unfortunately they are marred by questionable vocals. That’s kinda ironic since Minnesota is a beautiful state with great people but they have that asshole Al Frankin as a senator, go figure. SEVENTH CALLING’s sound harkens back to that time when NWOBHM was giving way to Thrash. So expect some mid-tempo riffs with leads that will cut through steel. Alex Ritchey is a fine guitarist who reminds me of Michael Schenker and keeps this thing smoking with his fret work. He’s also responsible for the backing vocals which are good. With this kinda music you need a decent sounding rhythm section while your lead guitarist wails away and they’ve got one with Michael Poplees on bass and Shannon Frye on drums. Now with those three components in place the three cuts on here are memorable. But here comes my complaint and it’s with Steve Handel’s lead vocals. On the first cut, “Deliverance” he hits these high octaves which make me cringe in disgust. It’s almost a nasally whine. When he’s singing in a lower tone it’s bearable. Actually he’s best when he throws in a death growl or grunt. He’s somewhat better on “Blood for the Divine” and “Lost” but I’m really just being nice.