Session Nine
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Session Nine

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The best kept secret in music


"Soulful hard rock:Session Nine releases new cd."

Soulful Hard Rock: Session Nine releases new cd
By: John Hitt
Hard rock lovers‚ collective heads have been hurting for quite a while now. This is not because they’ve thrashed their heads back and forth too briskly or fell asleep upside down in an empty hot tub. It’s because an acute lack of originality is more than enough to make one’s skull throb worse than a nine-hour tequila bender.

There are some mainstream hard rock bands that are doing good things (I won’t mention them here, for fear that yet another band will try to copy them). But, based on our experience, the best place to look for originality is in the local music bin at the record shop.

Wilmington band Session Nine tries and succeeds at bringing a bit of originality to the table.Led by singer/lyricist/manager Stephanie Hart, the band intentionally and subtly moves away from the conventions of muffled-guitar-and-vocals rock. This sound will be heard on their new album, To the Hollow and Back, to be released April 25th.

encore received an advance copy of the album, and it is certainly noteworthy. Anchored by the title track, the album begins at an interesting, almost lulling pace, with dreamy instrumentation behind Hart’s able vocals. Listeners are then thrust into track two, “Hypocrite Prophet,” a hard-hitting follow up to the experimental opening cut. Although attractive experimentation abounds, the album never looks back.
I hate to admit it, but the best two tracks on the album are perhaps the most mainstream: “Uninvited” and “Carry On.” The former rings of classic grunge, reminiscent of mid-90’s bands, such as Alice in Chains and Seven Mary Three, with cleaner, sometimes heavier instrumentation. The later reminds me of the harder, less popular (but best) songs from Pearl Jam.

Don’t be fooled by the references to ‘90s grunge; Session Nine is not a nostalgic throwback band. They’re hard to classify than that-a quality that is becoming more appealing in music these days. When forced to classify them, I’d call the band soulful hard rock. They’re more like Evanescence than Slipknot (not just because of the female vocals), using lyrics and subtle musical hints, rather than heavy instrumentals and guttural chants, to convey emotion.

With all the interesting lyrics and refreshing riffs, perhaps the best thing about session nine is the variety. To the Hollow and Back doesn’t seem to follow a certain theme from song to song; each song is different from the one before it. Yet, they still work together as an album. They’re not the first band to achieve this, but they’re one of the few that we’ve reviewed in encore. Their music certainly won’t make your head hurt.

Check them out at their cd release party at 10pm on Monday, April 25th at the Soapbox. Session Nine will perform with Negative Nancy, No Turning Back, and Reason to Breathe. - Encore magazine,Wilmington,NC,April 2005


Remove the Veil EP,2003-track listing:Solitude,Uninvited,Remove the Veil,Bastard Time.
Live at Lucky's,2003-track listing:God,Forever,Force,Bastard Time,Remove the Veil,Uninvited,Hypocrite Prophet,Solitude

We will have several tracks from our new cd,being recorded,available for streaming and download soon.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Session Nine was formed by Mistress Stephanie and Chris Hart in 1998.
After going through several guitarists and drummers they found T. in 2001,and Andrew in 2005, and began formulating the sound that is known as Session Nine today. Intense dark/melodic rock is a general description of the music,but in all honesty,there is no one else like Session Nine,and they do not strive to be like anyone else.
What sets them apart is the ability to draw the listener in with familiar feelings but still keep them on their toes with instrumentation and vocals outside the norm.
Influenced by everything from jazz to metal,the music posesses a diversity not usually seen in an unsigned band. At any moment a metal song can turn melodic,and a melodic song erupt into sonic mayhem. But the beauty of the music is that it still manages to not be formulatic in it's approach and delivery.
There is a passion and drive in this band that cannot be denied. Hear the music and see them live and you will feel and understand where this band want to take you.