SEVEN THE HARDWAY – Seven The Hardway

SEVEN THE HARDWAY - Seven The Hardway
  • 6/10
    SEVEN THE HARDWAY - Seven The Hardway - 6/10


Mascot Records
Release date: August 23, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Seven The Hardway is a new group formed in 2009 by the guitar master Tony MacAlpine. MacAlpine has recruited some of the most talented and unique musicians from all across the globe for this project… most notably, legendary vocalist Mark Boals from Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force.

Their self-titled debut album is filled with very strong vocals and extremely heavy guitar riffs. The album also features some incredibly amazing guitar solos from MacAlpine on each track. It has an Alice In Chains feel on several tracks with the usage of heavy riffs and vocal harmonies.

Even though this album was produced by Roy Z, known for his great production and songwriting for Bruce Dickinson’s and Rob Halford’s solo projects, it has some problematic areas. The most noticeable would be the overused heavy guitar riffs, which overpower the vocals. Mark Boals has some amazing vocals throughout the entire album. In each track he stretches his range and hits notes that most vocalists only dream about. The only problem is you hear more guitars blasting your eardrums than vocals.

Musically, the songs are very chaotic. Most tracks do not contain a continuous theme or melody, and they end up sounding messy or incomplete. Although the musicianship of each band member is very good, it doesn’t sound like a cohesive team effort. The best example of this is during the track “Blame”, which starts out as a dark, melodic Rock song. However it soon takes two or three unexpected different turns and is never able to fully capture the listener as a complete song.

There is no shortage of shredding from MacAlpine on this album; he does a fair share of showing off his amazing guitar virtuoso skills. One of the highlights of the album is the acoustic track “Where I’m Going”, which also features MacAlpine extending his talents to a softer side. However, the true saving grace on this album is the vocal work of Mark Boals. His vocals are truly impressive. The rough and forceful presentations are a perfect fit for this type of music. He incorporates a tremendous amount of passion into his songs; it’s a shame that MacAlpine has to drown him out for most of the album.

Seven The Hardway describes themselves as a Progressive Rock/Metal band. Although they are progressive to a degree, they cannot be classified into one genre. There are several different influences incorporated in the songwriting. Each influence is seemingly trying to outdo the other. This album will take you several listens to hear everything that is going on and gain a full appreciation for the effort. If you’re willing to invest some time into the work in progress, which is Seven The Hardway, then you just may be pleasantly surprised with the results.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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