CD Review: Seven Against Thebes “Art of Deception”

Seven Against Thebes (also referred to as 7AT) is a 4 piece Hard Rock band from the Pacific Northwest. More specifically, the band makes its home in Seattle, Washington. Seven Against Thebes consists of band members: Rusty Hoyle (vocals), Cyrus Rhodes (guitars), Bruce Burgess (drums), Mr. Black (bass). 
This band of musicians takes their name from the play entitled Seven Against Thebes, a play which featured seven captains who were given the duty of attacking the gates of the city of Thebes in an effort to bring the city down.

The band, which takes its name from this play, creates their music by blending together styles of Rock and Roll to produce a sound that would fall into the Progressive Rock genre. Combining influences from bands such as Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Tool, the band incorporates other influences as well to help add even more depth to their music. Having already released a self-titled release and an EP entitled Equilibrium, Seven Against Thebes now returns with a new thirteen-track album entitled Art of Deception.

The album of Art of Deception from Seven Against Thebes begins with the track “MMXXII”. This track is strictly instrumental and features very strong guitar playing on the part of Cyrus Rhodes. The results of the blending of two separate guitar riffs in the song create a sound that is almost as strong as any Heavy Metal playing.

Once the instrumental track of “MMXXII” comes to an end, the track segues into the second track of “’Til Death Do Us Part”. The track segues out of a track with only the sound of a guitar into a track that begins with the sound of the pounding of the drums by drummer Bruce Burgess. When the rest of the band joins in, the song takes on a rather energetic pace. The guitars on the track bring to mind the double axe attack style of playing from bands like Metallica which gives the track an almost Heavy Metal-like feel. “’Til Death Do Us Part” is a strong track and kicks off the Art of Deception with plenty of energy. 

With the track “Killing Time,” the band takes a more Modern Rock approach to their music. The song falls more into an Alternative Rock feel than the Progressive Rock approach that is found on both “’Til Death Do Us Part” and the next track on the release, “Collision Course”. “Killing Time” features a musical delivery as well as a vocal delivery by singer Rusty Hoyle that takes the band’s music back almost thirty years. You could easily imagine the song being played on Alternative Rock stations in the nineties. If you were a fan of music back then, “Killing Time” will satisfy your craving for that style.

One of the more unusual tracks on the album of Art of Deception from Seven Against Thebes is the track “Mastervision”. The track begins with the bass guitar from Mr. Black. With this track, the instrument takes on a different feel as it sounds as if it has been fed through a distortion pedal. That distortion of the bass gives the track a slight Industrial feel. That Industrial feel to the music helps add to the Alternative Rock feel to the music. The track features a slightly slow pace to the music; although, the track still contains a driving feel to the music. While the music at the beginning of the track does contain a slightly different feel than most of the other tracks on the release, that sound leads into one of the most interesting moments on the release.

Yet another track that falls into the “unusual” category would be the very next song entitled “Ashes 2 Ashes”. First, the track features the sound of white noise in the background that adds texture to the track from the very beginning of the song. Aside from that white noise, one of the most unusual features of the song is the use of the bass as the main instrument of the track. And while it is the bass that runs through the entire song that the listener focuses on, the bass is also used sparingly, with a much lower note count than one would expect for a lead instrument. The minimalistic use of the bass creates a style that keeps the listener awaiting the next note as the guitar on the track does one thing- it gives the track texture. The track comes across as a song that feels like a laidback Industrial Rock song.

The title track of the album comes very late in the tracklist. Much like the track “’Til Death Do Us Part” from early in the release, “Art of Deception” is another track that contains a musical approach that brings to mind the Speed Metal style that has been such a staple in the musical delivery of Metallica. “Art of Deception” contains the same type of sound that the early stuff from Metallica had.

“Art of Deception” segues into the last track of the release called “Yama” much the way the album’s very first track of “MMXXII” segued into the song “’Til Death Do Us Part” to begin the release. The beginning seconds of the track feature an over-amplified and over-reverbed echo. That echo leads into a song that features a sound that feels like a combination of The Cure and Nine Inch Nails. The track’s Industrial feel of the music and the lyrical content truly give off the impression that the band was heavily influenced by Trent Reznor. In fact, the final line of “I’d Rather Die Upon My Feet Than Live Upon My Knees” definitely has the dark feel of Reznor’s lyrics.

Art of Deception from Seven Against Thebes is a track that contains many different musical styles and directions within its songs. For those music listeners who find themselves wishing for music that bring back the sound of early Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, and even Industrial Rock, this release is just for you.     

 

While the band Seven Against Thebes is somewhat a mystery of sorts as very little information exists, you can find their profile on Spotify and on Sonicbids

To purchase a copy of Art of Deception from Seven Against Thebes, click on the album cover below: