Review Summary: One of metalcore's most defining albums, right next to Botch- We Are The Romans.
7 Angels 7 Plagues (hereby referred to as 7a7p) made a promise. A promise that, before they were done making music, they would redefine the standards of the genre of metallic hardcore. Most bands that say something about their album, or promise something from their next album, usually fall flat on their face as they realized they built up too high of expectations, or they were just flat out wrong about what they thought about their album.
But 7a7p kept their promise with this album. This album is as influential on metalcore as [b]Botch's[b] We Are the Romans
. After the release this album, this band became one of the front's of the genre, built around aggressive touring and incredible live performances. They were getting great reviews from underground and mainstream press. But suddenly, after a year of touring, 7a7p unexpectedly broke up.
This threw many questions into the minds of every fan. Why? Was it because they had already accomplished their goal of redefining the genre, and they no longer felt a need to play anymore? Was there an internal conflict in the band that tore them apart? Still to this day, no one knows. And still to this day, people ask 7a7p, Why? Why did you break up? The confusion shows, with a poll in 2002 by lambgoat.com that said that the breakup of 7a7p affected the fans the most.
After the breakup of 7a7p, two fellows named Ryan Morgan and Kyle Johnson went on to form a little band called Misery Signals
, who continue their own unique style of metalcore. And this, would be the best way to describe the music of 7a7p. They sound a lot like Misery Signals, but a little bit less technical and the drumming is toned down a little more. The voice of Matt Mixon on this album is most comparable to the voice of Jesse Zaraska on Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
The album starts with "A Farewell To A Perfect Score" (which ironically enough, is how I would describe the last song) and after that, it doesn't let up. Beautiful dual-guitar intertwining can be found throughout the whole album, with a lot of fast riffing to dissonant notes being hammered into your ears. Along with the guitars and drums destroying your ears, you have the vocalist who is just shoving words by the fistful into your mouth with his throaty growl, one that may get a little monotonous as the album goes on, but never gets boring. These guys also do a lot of heavy-soft-heavy dynamics, but they never sound too gimmicky nor do they overdo the heavy-soft-heavy thing.
"Someday" includes some faster guitar work, but the true shining part of this song is the spectacular drum work laid throughout the whole song. The drums are the backbone of this band (with the bass being droned out by the guitars, sadly, one of the very few gripes I have with this album). Also, this song has a quite a nasty breakdown halfway through it.
One of the more surprising things about this album is the final song, "Jhazmyne's Lullabye", a full piano outro, you just may as well call this a farewell to a perfect score. No other album in metalcore that I've heard yet has done something quite this spectacular, they don't try and finish the album as brutal as they started it, but they try and finish it with a beautifully crafted piano piece.
That's what you get with this album, well thought songs and superb musicianship, albeit the bass. The way the songs are written and how the sound is truly unique. The vocals (back then) sounded new in the young, new genre of metalcore. It's very easy to see the mark of 7a7p on metalcore today, with their music being one of the most copied right next to Botch. If it's either the great dual-guitar work interplay, the clean vocals under the throathy growls, the way they did their breakdowns (and never an overabundance of them) or just how the music came together, these guys kept their promise, with one of the most underrated metalcore albums, or just, one of the most underrated albums, of all time. With an album as big of an influence as this one goes as unnoticed as it has, it truly is a crime. But it's not to say, this guys didn't break a promise, and that's truly what matters.
The music as a whole: 4-4.5/5
Influence of this album: 5/5
5/5, a truly definitive release for metalcore