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Snake Eyes Seven - "13 Crows" (CD)

Snake Eyes Seven - "13 Crows" CD cover image

"13 Crows" track listing:

1. 13 Crows
2. Can’t Fall Down
3. David and Goliath
4. Show Me the Money
5. Freight Train
6. Missing You
7. All About You
8. Resurrection
9. Creatures of Night
10. Peaceful Moment
11. Little Piece of Heaven
12. Furnace
13. Hell or High Water

Reviewed by on December 12, 2010

"Snake Eyes Seven's '13 Crows' is an album fans of big 1980s-style riffs will be crowing about, even if singer Ken Stone's vocals quite often stray into over-the-top territory. "

Snake Eyes Seven's "13 Crows" is an album that fans of big 1980s-style riffs will be crowing about, even if singer Ken Stone's vocals quite often stray into over-the-top territory. As listeners will discover from the first song on, just because you can hit glass-shattering high notes, it doesn't follow that you should do so.

One thing that's quite impressive is that, though the band is obviously inspired by 1980s acts like Whitesnake, they aren't slavishly so, being unafraid to add modern, slightly heavier touches to the songs. The title track, which opens the album, for example, has an almost Alice in Chains feel in parts.

Guitarist Cole Stevens definitely shines thoughout the disc, with stinging leads that propel tracks like "Show Me The Money" and the gang-vocal powered "Resurrection." He's also comfortable in the slow grind of "Freight Train" and the Kiss-style groove of "Creatures Of Night." He's also got an ear for softer stuff, as demonstrated on the partly acoustic instrumental "Peaceful Moment."

Drummer Johnny Bland and bassist Moscow provide some solid rhythm to the proceedings, especially on "Creatures Of Night."

When he's working his mid-range, as he does on "All About You," Ken Stone's vocals add a pleasant weight to the songs. Unfortunately, he spends a lot of the time delivering the words in a banshee shriek that, when it works, rivals Axl Rose, Brian Johnson or Rob Halford. Unfortunately, much of the time, he doesn't show any of the restraint that the above three gentlemen have learned over the years, and simply goes for a power-drill high note. The end result is vocals that feel a bit lightweight and repetitive. The screams also compete with Stevens' guitar on tracks like "13 Crows." Still, I have to say that the effects of that shriek are mighty powerful on "Resurrection," where its paired with some excellent mid-range work.

Toward the end of the album, things start to feel a bit by-the-numbers, with "Little Piece Of Heaven" especially feeling like it came out of an '80s Power Ballads for Dummies manual. That said, it's still well-played.

Excellent riffs and rhythms do much to excuse some over-the-top vocals on Snake Eyes Seven's "13 Crows." If you're looking to rock out like it was 1989 all over again, this is the disc for you.

Highs: "Resurrection," "Peaceful Moment" and "Creatures Of Night."

Lows: Too much reliance on screaming vocals and a couple by-the-numbers tracks toward the end.

Bottom line: A good '80s-style metal disc with vocals that sometimes go a little too far over-the-top.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)