Frontiers [Release date: 10.06.22]
Sixth album from Swedish Prog Metal band Seventh Wonder, for whom life began at the turn of the century.
The band is full of virtuoso musicians. Guitarist Johan Liefvendal and bassist, Andreas Blomqvist are the driving force, to the extent that vocalist Tommy Karevik (also with Kamelot) needs to be something very special, and he is.
And with The Testament, we discover that the band have reanimated their AOR genes, adding a bold melodic rock element to the hardbodied, combative Progressive Metal of previous albums.
It begins with the brightly coloured, beautifully contoured metal of ‘The Light’, and the balladic, romantic and very touching ‘I Carry The Blame’. Both songs are densely packed with razoring guitars and sharp edged rhythms, and yet an unbreakable melodic thread runs through both. It sounds like Unruly Child or Harem Scarem or Toto has decided to give us two huge slices of intensely delivered melodic Progrock.
There are clear similarities too with ‘Invincible’. It’s a brief encounter, but an exhilarating one. The song leads us down an always compelling path, as the lightly conflicting elements of Progmetal and AOR again jostle each other for center stage. And again, the collision of two different styles of Rock/metal merge into a surging, satisfying sound, rising and falling as we move through to the finish.
‘Under A Clear Blue Sky’s tight, solid mix of Progmetal complexity, and the pent up emotion of ‘The Red River’, is where all three merge their respective talents most cohesively.
Each song is brimful of heads down, driving guitarwork, sometimes superheated by Karevik’s blowtorch vocals, sometimes softened by head turning melodic moments, spiralling up through the noise like smoke.
This entire album is a delight, and an object lesson in how to do it and get it right. ****
Review by Brian McGowan
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Power Plays w/c 13 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)
NOUVEAU ARCADE Die On Me Now (FiXT)
Featured Albums w/c 13 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos (BMG)
12:00-13:00 LONERIDER Sundown (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 VANDERWOLF 12 Little Killers (Vandermax Music)
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