"some music was meant to stay underground..."

UFO - "Seven Deadly" (CD)

UFO - "Seven Deadly" CD cover image

"Seven Deadly" track listing:

1. Fight Night
2. Wonderland
3. Mojo Town
4. Angel Station
5. Year Of The Gun
6. The Last Stone Rider
7. Steal Yourself
8. Burn Your House Down
9. The Fear
10. Waving Good Bye

Reviewed by on June 8, 2012

"What 'Seven Deadly' is, with its soulful vocals and muscular blues-powered guitar riffs, is a classic rock album in both senses of the term."

UFO may have served as an inspiration for the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica back in the day, but the band's latest album is by no means a heavy metal album. What "Seven Deadly" is, with its soulful vocals and muscular blues-powered guitar riffs, is a classic rock album in both senses of the term.

Phil Mogg's vocals have an almost Steve Winwood quality to them on "The Last Stone Rider" and especially the quieter "Angel Station," which has him bemoaning the "20 years of walking, 18 years of talking, one year to lose you and five of regret." He's also quite excellent on the disc's more overt rockers, including the excellent opener, "Fight Night."

Vinnie Moore's tasteful guitar work reminds me a bit of Joe Satriani's on the Chickenfoot albums in that there's still some of the shredding he's known for, but it blends in so well that it doesn't detract from the rest of the song. Take, for example, the solo in the appropriately titled "Burn Your House Down," with a lightspeed run at the end and some whammy bar work that somehow fits in with the bluesy classic rock structure of the song.

The riffs are nothing to sneeze at either, with "Year Of The Gun" feeling a bit like the Jimmie Vaughn-era Fabulous Thunderbirds and "Mojo Town" having a swampy feel that's a little reminiscent of Mountain's "Mississippi Queen." The one song that flirts with heavy metal territory is "Wonderland," with a speedy, chugging riff in the same vein as Deep Purple's "Highway Star."

Though only 10 tracks long, the album could've probably used some judicious trimming here and there. "Angel Station" and "Waving Good Bye" both overstay their welcome a little. Still only one track — "Steal Yourself" — feels like it doesn't add anything to the mix (other than another killer solo on an album full of them).

Yes, UFO's "Seven Deadly" is more hip-shaker than headbanger. But when the vocals have this much soul and the guitars have this much swing, even the most dedicated mosh pit veteran won't mind mellowing out for a while.

Highs: Superb vocal and guitar performances throughout, with "Angel Station" and "Burn Your House Down" especially standing out on both fronts.

Lows: A couple of too-long tracks.

Bottom line: An excellent blues-infused classic rock album.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)