Mixed by Pete Newdeck | Mastered by Harry Hess
Seven Ravens is still a project, based on the songs of James LePak and Scott Bazzett, but we switched to an all new lineup for the second album. We stuck with the concept of "Seven" members though - keeping James with one singer, and switching up two bassists and three drummers in the rhythm section.
There are singers with great range and control - and there are singers with really distinctive voices. It is a rare breed that have both, and we are thrilled to have one of them singing for us on this album. I first heard Mats Leven over 25 years ago when he was the new singer on Yngwie's Facing the Animal album. And I have been following him ever since. Not only does Mats have an immediately recognizable delivery (a feat that is almost impossible in such a saturated market) but he has taken that voice from sleazy bar rock, to Neo-classical, to alternative industrial, to classic rock, to doom, to metal, to modern rock, to his solo Skyblood creation, to currently fronting the newest version of Vandenberg ... And to be THAT versatile while having such a unique sound is amazing to me, so when we were talking about who could step in amid all this amassed talent and not only deliver the songs, but really add something extra, it was a pretty short list. Luckily we had an in - (thanks again Johan!). Needless to say after listening to this guy sing for over 25 years, it's been a real treat for me to to hear him bring all that emotion into our songs.
#matsleven #vandenberg #skyblood #therion #crux #prinssvart #yngwie #treat #candlemass
When it comes to the best bass players, there are really only a handful of guys that are in EVERY conversation, and Sheehan is ALWAYS on that list. He has been the epitome of bass excellence for as long as I can remember, so when he agreed to play on our album, it was a real pinch-me moment (and it still is, every time I hear it). When we sent him our songs, the only direction I gave him was, "I want people to know it's you playing, without me having to tell them" and he delivered on every song he touched. It seems odd to say I was surprised at how good he was, but he surprised me every time he sent one back, and I think a lot of people are going to agree. He is a legend and a consummate pro, while being just as humble and down to earth as he seems. To hear that special Sheehan magic in 7R style, in these songs has been a dream come true and I can't wait to share it.
#bilysheehan #davidleeroth #mrbig #talas #winerydogs
Johan is actually one of the guys we reached out to when we did the first album, but he wasn't set up to record from home at the time, so he couldn't do it. I kept in touch with him though (and kept bugging him), and when we were recording the second album, he contacted me to let me know he got a computer and was ready, so we jumped at the chance to get him on board. Johan has played with, recorded with, and toured with LOTS of bands, but he is known mostly for his masterful work with Evergrey. He is a phenomenal talent, and was an absolute pleasure to work with. He added some absolutely amazing bass lines to seven of our songs, and we couldn't be happier to have him involved with 7R.
#johanniemann #evergrey #therion #hollingshead
The first drummer joining us on this album is Mark Zonder! Mark got his start in Warlord, but really built his name as the drummer for Fates Warning. Playing on legendary albums like Inside Out, Perfect Symmetry and (my personal favorite) Parallels, Zonder brought an artistic creativity to his playing that has become a signature element of his style. Mark is a highly sought after session drummer and has recently found success with his new band A-Z. We were grateful that he made time to record four songs on our album and add that unique Zonder sound to Seven Ravens.
#markzonder #fateswarning #warlord #AtoZ
Next up is our friend, Björn Fryklund from Sweden! Björn's main gig is playing drums for Freak Kitchen - a band that gets a lot of attention for their guitarist (and Mattias deserves it - he is awesome), but I can't say enough about their drummer! Bjorn only played on three songs for us, but he elevated everything he contributed to, with speed, precision and patterns a plenty. We were thrilled to get him and can't wait for everyone to hear him.
#bjornfryklund #freakkitchen #freakdrums
Finally, it's our good buddy, Pete Newdeck from the UK! Pete handled all the mixing for us on our first album (and Pete Newdeck Production/Mixing mixed this one too!), but this time we are very excited to have him joining in on drums on several tracks also! Pete has played drums with Paul Di'anno's Killers, Steve Grimmett and Grim Reaper, Eden’s Curse, Midnite City, and currently he is the drummer for Vega. He’s a fantastic drummer and he brought a lot of groove and power to every song he played on for us.
#petenewdeck #vega #midnitecity #edenscurse #grimreaper #stevegrimmett #pauldiannoskillers
James started playing guitar in the mid 80s. By the late 80s he had already become an amazing talent, and by the early 90s he was playing in local bands in the Seattle bar scene (Most notably with a group called Reignstorm). He should have made it then. Unfortunately, he was a few years too late and his Dokken/Priest style was fast falling out of favor in the wake of grunge. Twenty-five years later, an unlikely second chance has presented itself. This time, we did it on our terms. We wrote the songs, we picked who we wanted to play on them, and we were lucky enough to record with some of the very same musicians who's songs he used to play along with as a kid. But this time they are playing along to HIS songs.
#SevenRavens #7R #BarelyHangingOn #AftertheStorm #JamesLePak