SEVENTH WONDER – The Great Escape
Following 2008’s fine concept record "Mercy Falls" and a series of tour dates that took them even to America for the premiere progressive/power metal festival in Atlanta ProgPower USA, Sweden’s Seventh Wonder enter the market with their fourth album "The Great Escape". A seven song, 67 minute progressive journey, these musicians are not here to merely showcase their schooled ability and music prowess – they aim to write material for entertainment and enjoyment all the same.
For a change of pace, I’m going to begin at the end with the 30 minute plus title track that concludes this album. Imagine if you will a marriage of Rainbow, Iron Maiden and Dream Theater and this will give you the set up for what a journey you take with this track. Opening with Johan Liefvendahl’s acoustic strumming and Tommy Karevik’s emotional melodies, the lyrics are based on the epic space saga Aniara, written by Swedish Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson. Around the 3 minute mark, the Rainbow slower epic tendencies build, as drummer Johnny Sandin and bassist Andreas Blomqvist carry the bulk of the off time tempo juggling – which then at 5 minutes takes on more of a Maiden-like gallop. The following 25 minutes keep dashing back and forth between prolonged keyboard/bass/guitar instrumental parts and Tommy’s soaring, yet comforting voice relaying the main points of this outer world tale. I would nominate this as my song of the year, it’s refreshing, exhilarating and never tedious.
The other six songs are shorter numbers with as much focus on prominent keyboards from Andreas Soderin and cohesive hooks and melodies. “Alley Cat” has the mid-tempo guitar refrain that seems to appeal to most of the progressive crowd, the one where you can easily bob your head or tap your feet as the song moves through it’s 6:07 maze. “Long Way Home” is a ballad that still jams due to the acoustic heroics and the ease of range movement from Tommy – another voice for the young to study for his power, conviction and personality. Two thumbs up for the simple cover art as well- a spider makes you think about the word/music web tangling this five piece produce.
If you want high caliber progressive metal bands to continue, you need to buy their albums and show your support in their art. Seventh Wonder deserve more than a complimentary golf clap- they should be rewarded with fervent audiences from country to country.