Why would you call a landline for half an hour just to talk to a friend, when you can reach that someone in person? Why would you make the effort to swim against the current if you’re just going to turn back when you’ve almost reached your destination? Why would you quit climbing a mountain when you’re almost at the top?
These are the same questions I had back in 2011 when the unknown-to-many Seven Day Sonnet decided to split up.
Why would it matter then? Why would I be so depressed about that? Why would I care about another garage band not making it in this tough world of big labels?
The reason is: they actually had everything to make it to the top.
Back in 2007, the musical phoenix named Seven Day Sonnet had been resurrected from the burning ashes of Ziel in Chicago, Illinois. After playing with notes and probing different approaches, they established themselves as a hard rock/alternative metal band, immediately recording demo tracks and getting a positive feedback from the Chicago public.
Pushing their way through the jungle, 7DS finally released their first full-length album in 2009, titled Reprisal, which received warm and welcoming critiques. The band exploded after that. The success on their first album gave them an opportunity to be seen all around the U.S., touring with such bands as Killswitch Engage, Attack Attack!, The Chariot, and Theory of a Deadman.
In 2010, Seven Day Sonnet finally signed a contract with a label, Big Time Records, and immediately started to record singles, which 7DS would keep on their note sheet for a long time.
It was an undisputed success! Seven Day Sonnet gave the world something nobody expected from a garage band: a chart-peaking single, titled ‘Hapless’, which climbed as high as No. 39 on the Billboard charts.
The song is, indeed, amazing. This high-quality release easily matches well-established metal bands’ level of execution. As such, ‘Hapless’ became a flagship track, giving the band prospectives it never dreamed of before. Nevertheless, to say that is to say nothing at all!
The first few calm seconds of the song, the drumbeat mixed with electronic accompaniment followed by frequent percussion, give listeners the feeling of a metal intro waiting around the corner. After a heavy and even badass rhythm guitar riff, highlighted with the drum, the lead guitar part follows, bringing some live notes into the song.
I love the way the song progressed with the drums building the tension during the verse and pre-chorus. A little pause with the soft touch of percussion and lower vocal pitch were perfectly matched with the chorus literally exploding with highly melodic lyrics and that riff we already enjoyed during the intro. However, no lead guitar enters just yet – it waits for the perfect timing in order for us to enjoy it a bit later during the very last chorus and outro. The solo is quite short and simple. However, unlike other bands that just shred the guitar fretboard back and forth, this band made their solo simple-stupid, in a good way. For a band with alt-metalcore roots, this single, however, was too dry and riff-based, though perfectly matching their hard-rock dimension.
I also loved ‘The Butcher’, another single from Reprisal. Catching riffs, guitar, plunking stings, using alternate picking rather than power chords throughout the verse in such way that the hard rock song sounded much more melodic, plus the heavy vocals, unique growl and skillful lead of vocalist Ben VanBuskirk, who has an amazing range, made this song stand out in many ways. I even enjoyed ‘All Fall Down’ due to my addiction to alternation of clean vocals and scream, as well as for the unique progression of the song and the feeling that lyrics gave me as if they do not follow the standard pattern but still fit amazingly well. Together with ‘The Butcher’ these two songs kickoff the album in the way that makes listeners wonder what awaits next if this was just the beginning.
‘Saturdays’ breaks the tension and fills listeners with the warm emotions of acoustic ballads. However, as every rock ballad, it cannot keep calm for a long time. Drums ignite the fire and the rhythm guitar follows, playing the rest of this beautiful song in a hard rock manner.
The album gradually becomes softer and calmer, ending with the emotional but lyrically sad ‘A Solitary Existence’.
With such a success on Reprisal, and their charting single ‘Hapless’, 7DS was about to become worldwide-known band.
They even signed a contract with Johnny K, who produced such names as Avanged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Sevendust, among many others, and released ‘A Farewell To Good Days’ – my favourite track, featuring heavy vocals and riff-based instrumental. Touring throughout U.S. and gaining more and more popularity, they announced the new album in the works.
Team members of 7DS are extremely gifted musicians, and no two songs of theirs are alike. Seven Day Sonnet managed to bring truly unique content to this world, matching Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold in their ability to create high-quality music.
Unfortunately, the commercial factor of the industry, with bigger artists recording tons of musical content for established labels that sometimes sound like jaded template music, did not allow Seven Day Sonnet to step forward.
On November 27, 2012, these folks from Chicago released what might be the very last we’ve heard from 7DS: a single titled ‘Crying My Name’.
Listening to this very last song, undisputedly one of the best I have heard in my life, I could not believe that such talented folks are forced to abandon what they did so well.
Currently, each member of the band is looking for a new shelter. With new songs and music written but unrecorded, I do not believe this is over. It will be sad to see the band stretched in different directions and absorbed by other bands and their uncompleted work remain unheard. Sadly, but I guess this is the way the musical world goes.
For more on Seven Day Sonnet, visit www.sevendaysonnet.com.