"Heaven Is Gone"

(Big Vin)

01. Closing In
02. Heaven Is Gone
03. End of All Time
04. Broken Sky
05. Killing You Slow
06. Slow Descent
07. Shadow on Me
08. Drown Inside
09. Death of a Junkie
10. Last Walk in the Light

RATING: 8/10

If TYPE O NEGATIVE fans find themselves getting anxious during the four-year breaks between albums, imagine how certain members of the band feel during their downtime. Touring with the likes of DANZIG and KINGDOM OF SORROW might have scratched an itch or two for guitarist Kenny Hickey, but apparently the man had a few too many riffs of his own up his sleeve to simply sit on, so he called a few friends and let it fly. And goddamn did it fly.

Backed by the proverbial horsepower to his hemi, TYPE O drummer Johnny Kelly, and flanked by guitarist Matt Brown (SUPERMASSIV, ex-URANIUM 235) and INHUMAN bassist Hank Hell, Hickey takes center stage for ten tunes of super-thick, SABBATH-laden groove. Those of you expecting a Peter Steele-free reworking of TYPE O NEGATIVE should probably wait around for a tribute album, because SEVENTH VOID is its own monster. Of course, the doom n' gloom aspect is here, but "Heaven Is Gone" is a departure for Hickey and Kelly (and the other two members as well) in many ways. Lumbering and infectious beasts like "Closing In" and "Killing You Slow" offer as much slow and stony revelry as they do insta-hooks. Devout disciples of SABBATH's early days that Hickey and Kelly are, the downtrodden "The End Of All Time", which could very well be the best song not included on "Master Of Reality", isn't a surprising addition at all.

Like a caustic combo of Chris Cornell and Ozzy, Hickey steps into his frontman role with fiery passion. Most notable are his performances on the memorable title track and head-bobbing "Broken Sky". Sure, a 'name' guy might have brought a bit more to the table where vocals are concerned, but nobody could own these songs like Kenny does. His legacy aside, you can't hand all the credit to one guy as the rest of SEVENTH VOID stand tall as well. The wah-soaked and tuneful attack of Matt Brown complements Kenny's guitar perfectly while Hell masters the territory outside of his NYHC box to round out a bulldozer-like rhythm section. Faithfully monolithic, yet interestingly flavored, "Descent" and "Death Of A Junkie" give a nod to ALICE IN CHAINS' "Dirt". The latter showing a slight experimental side to the band that screams to be further explored on future albums. Speaking of experimentation, "Last Walk In The Light" is no avant-garde head-trip by any means, but this brightly-colored blues-influenced number shows a side of all four of these musicians that nobody would have expected.

Cast aside any preconceived notions of generic supergroupery you may have before diving into this blissfully dark and tuneful album and prepare for forty-plus minutes of kick-ass, doomy groove. In short, "Heaven Is Gone" is a damn solid and well-written album that shows either Kenny Hickey's song-crafting skills (while never underestimated) have been somewhat constrained over the years, or he's rounded up a group of guys that really lit a fire under his ass.


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