Seven Ten - Love and War
Metal Mayhem Music
80's Metal
12 songs (50:06)
Release year: 2003
Metal Mayhem Music
Reviewed by Mike
Surprise of the month

For anyone out there looking for an 80’s metal “blast from the past,” keep reading. If I didn’t know any better, I would quickly guess that this album was some sort of overlooked album from 15-20 years ago. Wrong. Love & War is the debut album for the band Seven Ten, and I can’t think of too many bands making music like this these days. Seven Ten has managed to capture some of the best qualities of 80’s greats like Motley Crue and Quiet Riot and put them together in an album that would have been huge 15 years ago.

Seven Ten play what was widely known as “stadium rock” in the 1980’s. The music features loud guitars, sleazy lyrics (women, booze, and partying), and a “bad boy” attitude not so distant from Motley Crue. In fact, lead vocalist Michael St. Allen’s voice sounds very much like a young Vince Neil full of fire and attitude. While I did notice that he made a few modest mistakes throughout the album (off key in the high range), he does an otherwise fantastic job throughout the album, adding a lot of life and character to the songs. Perhaps the strongest selling point for this band is the guitar work. Seven Ten whip out strong, crunchy guitar riffs left and right. What would a release like this be without lots of flashy guitar solos? Seven Ten do not disappoint in this department either. There is plenty of soloing and shredding to go around, but it is well placed within the structure of the songs. The harmony vocals are big and way over the top, but you won’t forget them anytime soon. Any one of the songs on this album would be well suited for the live audience with their raw energy and sheer catchiness. Even the Steelheart-esque power ballad, Cross My Heart is more than just worthwhile. Seven Ten have attained one crucial goal with this album that many similar bands failed at miserably back in the day: consistency. Every one of these songs simply kicks ass, no filler material to be found. In my opinion, too many 80’s bands aimed for 3 or 4 big “radio hits” per album while the rest of the album was mediocre or just flat out sucked. Thankfully, Love & War doesn’t succumb to the same mistake. The only real complaint I would have about the album is the production. It is a bit raw and rough in spots, but it's not enough to ruin the sound at all. Some may even say that it adds to the vintage feeling of the songs.

While there is nothing on this album new and the songwriting isn’t challenging or complex, it is a damn good album. I don’t mind borrowed ideas as long as the result is an entertaining and enjoyable listen. The guys of Seven Ten have managed to take the best elements of 80’s sleaze / stadium rock, applied their stamp to the sound and compiled it all into one hell of a debut album. Thankfully, they have left all the filler material off this album unlike so many bands during the heyday of this genre: two thumbs up to the band for this. Fans of the 80’s LA metal scene will find a lot to like here. Folks who require some sense of originality in their music will of course want to steer clear, but Love & War will undoubtedly please fans who are simply looking for a great party / sleaze rock album that rocks just as hard and well as the big name bands of yesteryear.

Killing Songs :
Chosen One, Live For Today, Why'd You Lie
Mike quoted 82 / 100
Jeff quoted 78 / 100
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