Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Seventh Season-Transposition

December 1, 2006

seventhseasonBand Name: The Seventh Season

Album Name: Transposition

Best Element: Melody, style

Genre: Alternative Rock/Rock/New Age

Website: www.theseventhseason.net

Label Name: Independent Records

Band E-mail: info@theseventhseason.net

In today’s field of music, most if not all rock bands are founded by groups of musicians who, despite different callings in the music field, are all drawn together by one indestructible factor: friendship. For some musicians, that bond is even more solidified by having brothers or sisters to play along with. The Seventh Season takes that foundation one step further. Not only has bass player and back-up vocalist Yuri Batygin been behind the wheel for Seventh Season since 1972 with drummer Sergey Smet, but he has finally found a voice for his outfit in his son Konstantin “Chad” Batygin.

The Seventh Season has been through ups and downs in its almost 35 year existence. Their latest offering is a live DVD entitled Transposition, which was filmed live at the Emeryville College for Digital Arts in February of 2006. In this set, Seventh Season presents itself as a band that has not only a unique sound, but also consistent songwriting ability.

Chad Batygin sets the mood for the album with his unique and trippy guitar tones with “Desire.” Smet starts tapping the beat on his throne while Yuri gets the listener in the groove with his bass. Chad’s vocals come in early on in the song, yet they almost appear too rough for the song; due to it being a live show, it could just be first-song-anxiety. Regardless, the vocalization is done very well between Chad and his dad throughout the tune.

The album zips over a song about not wearing underwear (“Commando”) to “Pirate Song,” a poppy song that will get fans of any genre bopping along.

Chad’s vocals are more understandable in this song, and the lyrics turn out to be well written and thoughtful.

If anyone has even wondered what Russian blues rock sounds like, look no further. Yuri lays it down in “New Day,” a toe-tapping blues-rock song sung completely in Russian. The trio shows off their English song-writing skills as well in “So Insane,” a new age rocker that leaves Chad pleading, “Please tell me there’s no need to be alone for God’s sake.”

“Ocean of Time” is arguably the best tune on the DVD. Manifesting from the tender, fluid notes that drip off Chad’s guitar, the song immediately brings to mind images of the subconscious, of floating around in space, and an eternity of tripping. A brooding bass line carries the song beneath Chad’s dimmed vocals until the gentle dynamics soar into a hard hitting, powerful solo. The Batygins bellow out one last chorus before Smet kicks his kit into gear and the band races off at a new tempo with Chad’s fingers in the lead.

The DVD ends with several decent tunes, the most noticeable being “April,”

which features political overtones and lyrics like “Why should we have to die…for someone else’s lie?” Chad also takes this time to show off his axe-man skills, rifling off several solos with his guitar over his head.

Transposition offers a few good songs and is sure to draw in some fans for the Seventh Season. Unfortunately, the purpose of a live DVD is to capture the live energy of the band. With Transposition, though the tunes sound great, there was no feeling of urgency from the performers. The groove was there, the beat was there, but a lot of the stage presence felt robotic and/or forced in accordance with the music. Being that they advertise themselves as a rock band, if there is one thing the band could work on, it would be to move around a bit more, interact with each other more, and really go crazy.

Other than many of the tunes sounding semi-similar due to the same atmospheric guitar tones flowing over everything, The Seventh Season have done some great things on Transposition, and “Ocean of Time” is an extremely well-written song.

If you’re looking for some trippy rock ‘n’ roll and have an hour to spare, pick up Transposition and let the groove take you away.

Erik Williams

–Endlesscreed@charter.net–

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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