Seventh Wonder CD's and DVD's

 


Become(CD)


€12.90


$15.90

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Progressive metal from Sweden


Waiting in the
Wings (CD)


€12.90


$15.90

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The fantastic second album - a must have!


Mercy Falls (CD)


€12.90


$15.90

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South American customers will be charged 7.00 USD extra for registered mail.

The third album - Sweden's finest prog metal act!


The Great
Escape (CD)


€12.90


$15.90

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South American customers will be charged 7.00 USD extra for registered mail.

The fouth album - Sweden's finest prog metal act!

 
 
 
REVIEWS:
 
Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls 5/5

Reviewed: 2-20-09





Tracklist:

1. A new beginning
2. There and back
3. Welcome to Mercy Falls
4. Unbreakable
5. Tears for a father
6. A day away
7. Tears for a son
8. Paradise
9. Fall in line
10. Break the silence
11. Hide and seek
12. Destiny calls
13. One last goodbye
14. Back in time
15. The black parade


Yep, the many major progressive metal fans that have been raving about this CD for the last few months were right...

I don't really consider myself a progressive metal fan since I only dabble in the genre, so I passed on getting into Seventh Wonder when they first entered the metal world. I barely gave their debut 'Become' and 2nd CD 'Waiting in the wings' a glance as they were released, but after seeing tons of praise for their 3rd CD 'Mercy Falls', I decided to head off and do some serious and attentive listening of samples. Something about what I heard was calling for me to give this band a chance, so I quickly grabbed all 3 of their CDs, with my fingers crossed.

As I do with most bands that I get into, I began listening to their debut 'Become' first, and I was immediately impressed with the excellent musicianship and I even liked vocalist Andi Kravljaca, who I felt had a good voice. As for the CD as a whole, I ended up feeling like it was a promising debut, and I was already looking forward to hearing their 2nd CD. A month after starting to spin 'Become', 'Waiting in the wings' was thrown into my listening rotation and it was during only the first spin when I realized this is a very special band that had already surpassed the stage of simply being promising. The other thing I noticed right away was that the band had a new vocalist, Tommy Karevik, and while I liked Andi, calling Tommy superb is understatement, as his clear and melodic voice is up there with the best of them.

A month after my first spin of 'Waiting in the wings', the time had finally come for 'Mercy Falls', and even though I was aware the CD received tons of praise, I hadn't anticipated that it would completely blow me away. Seriously, how is it possible for this CD to be so amazing? I don't know, but I can tell you that I love EVERYTHING about it, and have had it in constant rotation for several weeks. I'm thrilled that Tommy returned as the vocalist, and quite honestly, whenever I'm not listening to this CD I'm craving to get it spinning again, as it's by far one of the most memorable CDs I've ever heard.

While 'Mercy Falls' (and Seventh Wonder in general) is definitely progressive metal, there are some hints of power metal (the opening moments of track 9 "Fall in line" for a quick example), it's easily heavy enough to satisfy, and surprisingly, there is plenty of speed present. This is not wierd, boring or wimpy progressive metal folks, it's all about catchy songs with spectacular melodies. So even though much of this CD could be lumped with Dream Theater and their many followers, there are some parts that bring to mind Circus Maximus, Pathosray, Anubis Gate, Symphony X, Pagan's Mind, Cloudscape, and even Serenity, Kamelot and Vanishing Point. The closest comparison is probably Circus Maximus, and while Seventh Wonder leans more toward progressive metal than most (or all) of these other bands, as far as heaviness, they're right on par. Plus, the few slow songs/parts are absolutely beautiful and the CD would surely lack something if they were absent.

'Mercy Falls' is a concept album, and it's an emotional one that has the ability to reach deep into your soul. The story takes place in a town called Mercy Falls and it's about a difficult family situation involving a man who finds out from his wife that the child he always thought was his isn't, and this leads to a car accident that puts the man in a coma. The concept has such an impact on the CD's emotional side and the fact that the band has captured this feeling is quite remarkable. In addition, there are some spoken-word parts and they help tell the story, while adding true life situations and personalities to this wonderful experience.

Musically, as you would expect, there are some long songs on this CD, but there are some short songs as well and everything balances out perfectly. The CD is always interesting, sometimes technical, sometimes symphonic, and is complete with brilliant time changes, memorable melodies, and really, there are some stunning musical segments. While it's usually guitarists that steal the show, keyboardist Andreas Soderin, drummer Johnny Sandin and bassist Andreas Blomqvist all have equal roles. That said, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl gives us an outstanding performance, but one aspect of this CD that's extremely impressive is that the music is sometimes led by the guitars, sometimes led by the keys, and is even sometimes led by the bass (there are some really cool bass lines). It's always a surprise to find out if the upcoming musical portion is going to be a guitar solo, a bass solo or a keyboard solo.

I obviously don't have a favorite song as every single one sits at the highest level of quality possible, and they flow together nicely to create this superb listening journey. I will add however, that I love how Tommy doesn't start singing until track 3 "Welcome to Mercy Falls", as the opening tracks build up to this song and there's some intense anticipation that's created. The closer "The black parade" has to be mentioned too, as it's a heavy yet memorable song that ends the CD with perfection and leaves a dramatic and lasting impression as the music fades. Seriously, every time this CD ends I immediately want to start it all over again, and it's over 70 minutes!

With so many metal bands in existence, I know I don't speak alone when I say that we all have to set limits on how many bands and genres/sub-genres we open our arms to, but 'Mercy Falls' is a flawless example of why we must make exceptions on occasion, and wander away from our favorite styles. So those of you who have passed on grabbing this CD because progressive metal isn't really thing, know that this CD is more than heavy enough to satisfy, and beyond that, I have a hard time believing that anyone couldn't love this, regardless of where their main tastes lie. Not only is this one of the best progressive metal CDs I've heard, it's also one of the best CDs of the decade - regarding all of the styles combined that I listen to. Highest recommendation possible!!


CLINT Metal CD Ratings

 

 
 
 
Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (2008)  


SEVENTH WONDER - MERCY FALLS (2008, LION MUSIC)
Tommy Karevik - vocals
Johan Liefvendahl - guitars
Andreas Söderin - keyboards
Andreas Blomqvist - bass
Johnny Sandin - drums


Background
Back in 2006, Swedish prog metallers Seventh Wonder took first prize in the 'album of the year' stakes from yours truly, with their superb 'Waiting In The Wings' album. Two years later, they return bigger than ever, and with a new CD guaranteed to be considered the musical equivalent of David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks TV series, with more emotional roller-coasters than the best theme park can throw at you! This new one 'Mercy Falls' is very much like a TV series, following the dramas of a small town, a family tragedy and the fragility of human nature. Seventh Wonder don't give too much else away, apart from that, they'll leave the rest of it up to you - the listener, and us - the reviewer, to work it all out! I've refrained from reviewing 'Mercy Falls' sooner than this, because there is a lot of listening to be had with the CD.. all 74 minutes of it. Actually, the idea behind the concept of 'Mercy Falls' goes right back to the 'Waiting In The Wings' period and their 2007 tour thereafter, according to bassist Andreas Blomqvist. It has taken a full two years of total immersion to bring this album to fruition, and the attention to detail is oh so obvious. The musicianship on 'Mercy Falls' has to be heard to be believed. Two years ago, I commented on what a find singer Tommy Karevik was. In fact, I named him 'rookie of the year'. Well this time around, he reinforces his credentials in no uncertain terms. The deluxe edition of this album which I purchased contains a bonus DVD. On it, Tommy said that he agonised over recording the vocals, wanting to do his best and give the ultimate performance. He needn't have worried.. let me assure you.

The Songs
The album commences with the instrumental 'A New Beginning', which recreates a car accident crash scene, with paramedics trying to save the crash victims (man and a woman) from the wreckage.. they save the woman, 'but what about the man?'.. 'we've lost him' says the paramedic.. though it turns out he survives, but in a comatose condition.

It's followed by the dramatic overture 'There And Back', another instrumental which sets the scene for the first vocal track..

And that is 'Welcome To Mercy Falls', the town at the center of the Seventh Wonder plot. Lyrically, it's very dark and despairing, like a town without hope or light. But alas, this is not so, there is light at the end of tunnel.. 'it doesn't matter how far you've gone, welcome to Mercy Falls, where nobody's leaving..'. But later on in the song, the chorus changes from 'where nobody's leaving' to 'a chance to find inner peace' and 'where the light keeps changing'.

My guess is that the survivor in the accident is the protagonist in 'Unbreakable'. Though she is alive and conscious, she misses him (as he lays in a near permanent coma). Though she is a shadow of her former self, it is that shadow that allows the pain to break the previous unbreakable ties that bind her to him.. The impassioned delivery by the band brings this song to life in the vein of Dream Theater.

'Tears For A Father' is a short heartfelt ode from the son to his comatose father, played with a mainly acoustic guitar backing.

It segues directly into 'A Day Away', a musical tale of the son, who it seems seeks adventure through dare and daring.

Meanwhile 'Tears For A Son' is the despairing tale of the parent of the accident victim. It also spells out how the victim will receive bone marrow treatment from his son in an effort to save his life.

The surviving woman seeks an escape from her misery on the song 'Paradise'. It seems she is losing hope that her husband won't survive. 'breathe life into mine Father, my spirit caught in this hell'.

The album then turns its focus on the town of Mercy Falls itself. 'Fall In Line' talks about uniting to save the town, and to prepare for the storm that is coming their way.

'Break The Silence' is the longest track on the album. At nine and half minutes, it's epic like nature fluctuates between drama, angst and (as the lyrics say) sheer desperation.

Another longer piece is 'Hide And Seek', while 'Destiny Calls' reaches that point where a decision needs to be made.

Seventh Wonder turn to the acoustic guitar for the beautifully constructed 'One Last Goodbye'. On this song, they talk about how the bone marrow treatment has failed, and whether or not they should turn the life support system off.. By songs end, you know what decision has been made.

'Back In Time' is an instrumental, or more a musical collage of all that has gone before on this album. However, an interesting passage at the end of the song - you hear some dialog between the wife and husband, where she declares to him that their son is not his.. then you hear the sound of a car accident. Could it be that the reason for the accident in the first place was because of this? Interesting. Definitely something you would expect in a TV series.. lol!

The album finishes up with 'Black Parade', a song about moving forward and leaving the past behind.. The lyrics talk about searching and finding the light, living your life until you die.. 'don't you waste one more day in your life.. not one more day!

In Summary
So there you have it. Conceptual to the max. It follows in the footsteps of the aforementioned Dream Theater, Alkemyst and Dominici, all who have released concept albums of late. Musically, the band have moved ahead in leaps and bounds, the technical proficiency evident for all to see. Each of the band members contribute in so many ways, whether it's the vocal prowess of Karevik, the six-string bass pyrotechnics from Andreas Blomqvist or the powerhouse drumming from Johnny Sandin. Making comparisons between 'Mercy Falls' and 'Waiting In The Wings' will be inevitable, but unfair in my books, because they are different pieces of work.. different in so many ways. So far, many of the reviews I've read on the album only talk about the music, and very little (next to nothing) about the storyline. To my way of thinking, if you haven't wrapped your head around the story, then you've only got half the picture.. so that means many of those reviews are incomplete.. sorry to say. The Lion Music release provides two offerings: a standard audio CD, plus a deluxe edition with an extra DVD. The DVD was put together by Andreas Blomqvist, and features three parts: the first featuring the band during the recording/production phase, the second being a series of brief interviews with each of the band members, the third being a collage of photos in the form of a slide show. The DVD itself isn't overly long, nor particularly illuminating about the album concept, however, SW fans may get some value out of it. All in all, a lengthy slab of progressive metal featuring some of the most talented musos in the genre today!

URL: www.seventhwonder.nu : www.myspace.com/officialsw

Track Listing:
01 A New Beginning
02 There And Back
03 Welcome To Mercy Falls
04 Unbreakable
05 Tears For A Father
06 A Day Away
07 Tears For A Son
08 Paradise
09 Fall In Line
10 Break The Silence
11 Hide And Seek
12 Destiny Calls
13 One Last Goodbye
14 Back In Time
15 The Black Parade

Rating:


Related Articles:

Seventh Wonder - 2006 Waiting In The Wings


Seventh Wonder - 2008 Mercy Falls


www.glorydazemusic.com/
 
SEVENTH WONDER: "Mercy Falls" 9

LionMusic 2008
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
7 October 2008

Not one, but two, instrumental pieces as the first pair of opening numbers on this 15-track CD seems like a rather strange and daring concept. Ok, the first one is a soundtrack-score, a fanfare-keyboard intro, possible inspired by Kiss and their famous car-crash accident of "Detroit Rock City". It's also the beginning of this concept album based on the fate of a small town, a tragedy, aka the crash, and the loss of a family member (who'll end up as a coma patient).

"Mercy Falls" is the third album release by Seventh Wonder and it's definitely their magnum opus. This isn't just another average Prog-Rock effort, nah, it's frankly put a small masterpiece of music, and you'll find large parts of 'Pomp' and Melodic Metal on this platter too. Imagine the close to perfect mix of Yngwie Malmsteen during 'Eclipse', Dream Theater (Images And Words) and some of the grand pomp of Robby Valentine and Queen, and you're definitely a bit closer to the core of "Mercy Falls".

Still they have their very own original Prog-Metal sound and it's a utterly melodic, complex, album, that just keeps getting better for each spin (up to a certain point of course). Vocalist Tommy Karevik is like a updated and more diverse version of Goran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, Madison, Glory), and there are just marvelous guitar/keyboard interludes to be found throughout the record. I really can't single out any tracks or even mention any 'highlights' as they're all part of this superb concept album.

Best of all, even though it smells like prog-metal, it's basically a cross-over release, and you don't really need to be a die-hard fan of any 'special' genre of hardrock to appreciate the music. Final Verdict: you'll end up in awe over the lads ability to combine melody, harmony, and complexity. The 74 minutes of music will all be gone way too soon and you'll be spinning the disc over and over again. Highly Recommended!  www.rockunited.com

 
 
 
Seventh Wonder – Mercy Falls
 



2008 Lion Music

Welcome to Mercy Falls, a town where tragedy collides with the human element – and the story unravels throughout Seventh Wonder’s most ambitious album to date – but is it more than just one story, yes it is, and it all comes together full circle on what appears to be the concept album of the year.

Mercy Falls is one solid record, a piece of work that stands in line with the first wave of progressive metal bands & modern day troubadours such as Circus Maximus, Stride, Vox Tempus, and Sphere of Souls for music that keeps the focus on the melody – but here, with this being a concept album, Seventh Wonder’s strengths are shown further when the concept is brought to the table, as so few are able to keep the musical element strong while keeping or even attempting thematic overtones – as this band pulls it off on both ends, making for a completely solid record.

The music itself is brought forth with instrumental passages, sound effects, and even dialog from characters that help enhance the overall story and mood – the album starts out with the instrumental “A New Beginning,” which is where the tragedy begins (a car accident, where we are treated to a mass of orchestration which leads up to a metallic jam session that is amongst a backdrop of sirens & emergency radio communication…hinting that this is going to be a dark journey). Intensity is followed with the second track (“There and Back”) which is also an instrumental cut; creating an interlude to more hard edged numbers such as “Welcome to Mercy Falls,” the staccato laden “A Day Away,” “Paradise,” and “Destiny Calls,” which all portray the upbeat side to the record; but with the concept comes the emotive stance and laid back tunes as well as balladry are cleverly executed with “Tears for a Son,” “Tears for a Father,” and “Break the Silence” casting the darker pall upon the fifteen cuts. Two climatic songs end this record, “Back in Time” where the concept seems to take its shocking turn, and “The Black Parade,” which is almost like a reprise, not necessarily to the concept, but to the actual psychological themes altogether.

Recorded by the band with help from Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye), mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Manticora), with bassist Andreas Blomqvist at the helm of it all, Mercy Falls is not only a record of excellent musical feat, but it proves with all involved really are helping lead the way for the real solid melodic progressive metal to come back to the forefront in the days where the song is often lost unto overdone arrangements & production (yes there is are catchy choruses and hook laden riffs on this one). Within the spectrum of concept albums it falls upon the lines of Operation: Mindcrime instead of something that is far fetched such as Pain of Slavation’s Be; the right nerve has been struck with Mercy Falls, album number three proves to be the charm for these guys, like label mates Mind’s Eye, they just keep getting more elaborate, and it’s on their own terms at their own pace, not setting out to make the wrong music for the wrong reason – it’s all right and it’s all good here.

CLICK HERE to read an Interview with Andreas Blomqvist from late 2006.
CLICK HERE to read a review of ‘Waiting in the Wings.

Added: September 14th 2008
Reviewer: Tommy Hash
Score:
Related Link: Seventh Wonder link

 

Seventh Wonder
Mercy Falls
Rating
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: September 12th 2008
 

Welcome to Mercy Falls.

Album number three from Seventh Wonder, 'Mercy Falls', is a concept album based on the fate of a small town, a family tragedy and the beast we refer to as human nature, and the story has perfectly been tied together with small bits and pieces and the story flows like a silent stream in the twilight.

Seventh Wonder takes us into another dimension with this full blown conceptual piece of art. And let me assure you that this is this year's diamond in the rough; the gem has been cut just right, and the result a precious stone of the highest carat.

Seventh Wonder has taken the proven formula from their latest album and added multiple layers to their trademark sound, taking their music to new levels in every aspect. 'Mercy Falls' is their most ambitious and musically accomplished album to date, and they have nurtured each and every little detail and worked them out to perfection, giving the album immense depth, complexity and diversity.

The music is loaded with fine details, twists and turns, wonderful melodic passages, delivered by a very talented and tight band, but the thing that makes this album something extraordinary and exceptional is Tommy Karevik, who delivers the vocal performance of a lifetime. And with a production that sets a new standard in the genre; perfectly balanced, crystal clear and rough in all the right places, we have a new genre reference in the making.

The album has some structural resemblance with 'Scenes from a Memory', and is musical in the same league, and in a month that potential sees great releases from bands like Metallica, Evergrey, Amon Amarth, Trivium and Neal Morse, this one might possible end up being the winner, at least in my book.

Brilliant!
www.powerofmetal.dk

 
Rating
10.0 rating out of 10

Seventh Wonder
Mercy Falls

Label: Lion Music
Released: September 12, 2008
Reviewed by Distortionplus
Posted on 13th September, 2008
Average time to read: 6:09 minutes


 

Track Listing
1. A New Beginning 03:05
2. There And Back (Overture) 03:02
3. Welcome To Mercy Falls 05:11
4. Unbreakable 07:18
5. Tears For A Father 01:58
6. A Day Away 03:43
7. Tears For A Son 01:43
8. Paradise 05:44
9. Fall In Line 06:09
10. Break The Silence 09:29
11. Hide And Seek 07:46
12. Destiny Calls 06:17
13. One Last Goodbye 04:21
14. Back In Time 01:14
15. The Black Parade 06:57

Total playing time:
01:13:57
 
Cenotaph:

Seventh Wonder is a band that doesn’t call for a special introduction on the Treehouseofdeath pages, for there have been many discussion about these “new” wonders since the time of their brilliant sophomore release 2006’s Waiting In The Wings (WITW, hereafter). To say that I liked what the guys offered with their instantly catchy yet very intricate blend of Progressive and Melodic Metal on that album would be a bit of understatement, as I absolutely fell in love with it, making it a regular part of my Metal menu over the last two years. The album was such a leap forward from all angles, in contrast to their good yet rather average debut Become, that it almost instantly rocketed Seventh Wonder to the highest echelons of the genre.

2008 came upon us, and once the rumors of an impending release became borne out, turned into a year of great anticipation for all their fans. But, WITW had set such high standards at both the instrumental and vocal fronts that it was difficult to believe that its magical confluence of alluring melodies and thought-provoking lyrics colored with irreproachable and inventive arrangements could possibly be surpassed or even matched with Mercy Falls. However, I take pride in calling the new material another imposing chapter in the band’s history, since it utterly confirms that there is nothing impossible at the Seventh Wonder camp. They have once again exceeded themselves, creating a masterpiece that, while being rife with many thoroughly familiar components, can also boast of some nearly intangible new touches.

The first thing I noticed was how the dark blue colors of the cover art perfectly match the overall atmosphere of Mercy Falls. As you probably know, blue is the color of tranquility, harmony and depression, all of which are abundantly reflected in the new material showing us a band that now incorporates a larger variety of slower tempos as compared to on WITW, which was in contrast a showpiece of energy, warmth and enthusiasm, as the fiery colors of its cover suggested. Thus, while “Pieces”, as a ballad, felt rather lonely on the previous release, such new songs as “Tears For A Father”, “Tears For A Son” and “One Last Goodbye” form a solid unity, each equipped with tuneful refrains and great half-acoustic string arrangements. Moreover, you will also encounter more calm and somewhat depressive sections thrown in among the more energetic and faster parts. Take, for example, the dreamy Floyd-ish guitars and keys opening the beautiful mesmerizing number “Fall In Line” with its brusque rhythm and challenging vocal lines, or the highly emotive guitar/vocal prelude to the splendid nine and a half minute epic “Break The Silence” bewitching with its multifold of dynamics.

However, the well-established sound of their previous release hasn’t undergone any drastic changes and the band doesn’t wander to far off the beaten track relying as before on the incredible interplay between the guitars and the keys, effective machine-gun drum work and extremely hooky vocal parts rather than flirting with any gimmicky novelties. Hence, don’t expect to hear a Seventh Wonder bereaved of the utterly spectacular bass improvisations by Andreas Blomqvist, guitar gymnastics and neo-classicisms by Johan Liefvendahl, or the colossal keyboard and piano roulades by Andreas Söderin. On the other hand, there is still one big plus shown in the new songs: they don’t sound like a re-hash of their earlier material, which is well confirmed by the great songwriting displayed on the album. You can easily pick out any track and get immediately carried away by its charming melodies never thinking of their previous works. Thus, listening to the amazing instrumental “There And Back” along with the following title track of the album, I would recall the wonderful entrancing synths done by Jordan Rudess for Dream Theater on Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence rather than anything heard on WITW. Yet, that parallel would feel rather subtle since Seventh Wonder, unlike the mentioned Prog titans, are much more focused on the melodic wizardry than on the overdone instrumental wankery. Being known as a die-hard fan of the band, I could endlessly sing out my praises of the Mercy Falls values, but let me call on the next reviewer’s opinion.

Distortionplus:

Well, this is definitely a big step for a band that as good as they were on WITW, really needed to do something just as spectacular for the follow up. Other groups like Circus Maximus are already championing the cause of catchy AOR style Prog Metal, while Pagan’s Mind are digging into spacey science fiction topics, so where else could SW go? The answer is in an elaborate concept album based on a story that isn’t so far fetched as to involve aliens or other such exotic themes, but rather something that could potentially happen to anyone. I guess the story may have been the springboard for the music, but in all honesty, it’s their compositions and overall musicianship that interest me as much if, not more so than any underlying narrative, so I’ll mainly focus on that.

In comparison to WITW, Mercy Falls has a little less of the instrumental showmanship, and is instead a great example of a band that has matured to play more cohesively and with a degree of restraint – when needed. They still allow each other to get a little bit of time in the spotlight, but overall they are playing tighter as an ensemble and more for the songs this time. The real standout here is vocalist Tommy Karevic who as usual, does not disappoint in any way. A concept album like Mercy Falls typically requires a great vocal performance and Tommy once again rises to the occasion, his smooth delivery still having an edge when appropriate, but without resorting to any clichéd Metal affectations in order to get his lines across. A few of my favorite performances of his include the title track where he sings with a little bit of an angrier tone-which I’ve always really liked in him, and as a contrast, the acoustic ballad “Tears For A Father” with its very soulful vocals. If you’ve already heard his stunning work on the ballad “Pieces” from WITW, you know what an extremely emotive singer he is. He’s easily my favorite vocalist in the Prog Metal genre.

Speaking of vocals, a few songs like the title track still employ fantastic layered backing choruses, but they don’t seem as frequent or as up front here as on WITW. This is my only tiny complaint as I thought it was a terrific signature part of their sound, and something I would have liked to hear more of. However, it probably imparts a lot of challenges to being recreated in a live performance so no doubt that may have been one consideration.

Although there may be less of the drawn out soloing on this one, and apart from the opening instrumental “There And Back”, there are still a few standout moments like the longer jam on “Unbreakable”, the screaming guitar solo of Johan Liefvendahl on “Paradise”, or the neoclassical leads of “Break The Silence” which are nicely countered with an improvised sounding bass line from Andreas Blomqvist. Keyboardist Andreas ‘Kyrt’ Söderin takes his turn on this number as well, playing magnificently, but not drowning the song or the rest of the album in keys, either. And I sure can’t forget to mention drummer Johnny Sandin who lays down excellent hyper-kinetic beats and barrages of fills throughout the album. He along with bassist Andreas have to be one of the best rhythm sections out there today, always mixing things up, pushing the musical envelope, and being as key to the bands sound as any guitarist or lead singer could ever be.

Thankfully, the much discussed story line narrations used on the album are few and far between, and only in the case of “One Last Goodbye” do they intrude on the music, more typically being heard between the songs. Even though I’m not a big fan of using voice-overs on a song, I can live with it in this case, as the song is fairly low key to begin with and therefore doesn’t get too overshadowed. I should mention that this album was produced by Andreas Blomqvist and once again mixed/mastered by Tommy Hansen, the result being another extremely good sounding recording from the group.

Overall, Mercy Falls is a big step ahead for the band and I think they have more than succeeded in reaching the next level of artistry beyond their first two albums. It may not be as immediately accessible as WITW due to the greater complexity of the songs, and granted, there may be some fans slightly disappointed by the lesser amounts of explosive energy on this new one, but it’s a necessary evolution and a small risk that had to be taken by the band as they continue to grow. There is definitely more to look forward to from Seventh Wonder.

THOD’S other Seventh Wonder reviews:

http://www.treehouseofdeath.com/?p=546

http://www.treehouseofdeath.com/?p=581

Seventh Wonder Myspace Page:

http://www.myspace.com/officialSW

 
SEVENTH WONDER
Mercy Falls
© 2008 Lion Music  (LMC247)


progressive metal
studio album
15 tracks - TT 74:08
release date: September 12, 2008
http://www.myspace.com/officialsw
progressive rock/metal

 
“Mercy Falls” is the third album in four years from this excellent Swedish progmetal band and they keep on surprising me with the high quality of their output. “Become” (2005) was already very good, the follow-up “Waiting In The Wings” (2006) was great and at least the same can be said of the brand-new “Mercy Falls”, which turns out to be a concept album ‘based on the fate of a small town, a family tragedy and … human nature’. Mainly written while on tour in Europe in 2007, the new album offers all the ingredients we dared to expect from the five band members: superb songs with a wealth of variety and tempo changes, soaring vocals from Tommy Karevik, fiery axework from Johan Liefvendahl, subtle yet effective keyboards from Andreas Söderin, a solid rhythm section from the pair of Andras Blomqvist and Johnny Sandin, plus an excellent sound (Seventh Wonder, Daniel Flores, Tommy Hansen) and a deluxe packaging (although there’s also a standard CD available). I just hope Lion Music can keep this flagship, because I’m afraid they’re becoming too huge for such a small label! Absolutely recommended, once again!!! (CL)
 
 
 

Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls Review

 

 
Five Stars (out of five)
 

When I heard news of this album, I knew what to expect.

I expected the same caliber of musicianship heard of Seventh Wonder's two previous albums: Become and Waiting in the Wings.

I expected incredibly catchy vocal melodies delivered with power and emotion from one of the strongest metal singers active today.

I did not, however, expect this.

For those seeking brevity, allow me to provide it for you. Mercy Falls is simply a masterpiece. Do not take that claim lightly, dear reader. Mercy Falls is, without a doubt, a masterpiece.

In short, Mercy Falls is to Seventh Wonder what Operation Mindcrime or Scenes from a Memory are to Queensryche or Dream Theater. It is a mature and fully developed concept album: one that does not fully reveal its concept upon first listen, yet never falls into the territory of thematic ambiguity. In other words, the story is complex without missing important pieces vital to a full understanding.

Mercy Falls tells the story of a tragic accident and the many years following. Throughout the album, a number of characters are examined, and we see them struggle with their lives after the accident. One character, a husband and father, remains trapped in a coma following the accident, yet his story is the real spotlight. This is but the surface of the complex plot, which becomes continually more impressive as the album progresses.

Most of the story is told within the songs themselves, though certain elements are provided through spoken sections. In many rock albums, spoken dialogue nearly ruins the album, either do to abysmal voice acting or awful writing. Mercy Falls suffers from neither of these problems. In fact, the female voice acting is stellar--perhaps the best that I've heard on any rock album.

Even more impressive is the fact that the album tells not one but two stories. Of course, they are connected, yet the way that the two stories interact is masterfully done. To provide an example that does not give away story elements, a voice acted section reveals an important action taken by the man's wife and doctors. The effects of that action are immediately explored in the next song, yet in a very unexpected and brilliant manner. It is just one example of the album's extremely creative storytelling style, which allows the plot to seem extremely fresh, despite the fact that it is, at heart, a fairly familiar situation.

Within the songs themselves, the lyrics range from good to brilliant. I counted a few lines that could be considered cliched, but these moments are far outweighed by simple moments of lyrical beauty. There are a number of vocal phrases that are extremely powerful, and the meaning contained within single lines is often multifaceted. For example, on the song Tears for a Father, the line "Please don't tell...I know you won't tell" is simultaneously heartbreaking and amusing, as it shows the typical innocence of a child coupled with the tragic reality of the situation. It's a breathtaking moment, and one of many that are likely to make your throat tighten.


Yet the story would be ineffective without strong music to support it, and Mercy Falls offers songs that will impress even the most critical progressive metal fans. The album is nearly eighty minutes long and offers songs in a variety of moods. While Seventh Wonder doesn't necessarily delve into many different musical styles, the songs never seem repetitive, and the complex rhythms and unexpected time changes ensure that the songs never seem stale.

Mercy Falls contains some insanely catchy vocal melodies. The catchiness really never lets up on this disc; it's almost overwhelming at times, as you'll be given several melodies within a song, each stronger than the last. It's something that Seventh Wonder accomplishes in a way that other progressive bands do not. Just when you think you've reached the "chorus" melody--the melody that is supposed to be the strongest within a song--another is waiting just seconds away, even stronger than the last. This is the case in the fourth track, Unbreakable, which contains some melodies that are simply stunning.

The delivery of said vocal melodies is flawless. Tommy Karevik succeeds where so many progressive vocalists fall short. Not only does he have an incredible range: the quality and strength of his voice never falters, no matter if he is singing low or high notes. In addition, the emotion of his singing is matched perhaps only by Enchant's Ted Leonard. While there are a plethora of instances in which his emotion is evident on the album, perhaps none is as strong as the performance of Tears for a Father. The lyrics themselves are heartbreaking, but the way they're sung is perhaps even more emotionally affecting. One Last Goodbye is another highlight: a song that features a female guest vocalist (who must remain nameless). Hearing them sing together is yet another moment that's likely to put a lump in your throat.

The instrumentation and production are both phenomenal as well. The production deserves an extra special mention for its ability to bring every instrument to the forefront of the mix at various times. Whether it is the thunderous bass drum technique of Johnny Sandin or the complex grooves of bassist Andreas Blomqvist, it's all easily heard in the mix, especially with a great set of surround speakers or high-quality headphones. Unbreakable, one of the album's longer tracks, has many passages in which the guitar is central, then the bass, then the drums, and it's all balanced perfectly. Furthermore, it's crystal clear.

In a better world, this album would be absolutely huge. It deserves it. It's an album that demands the listener's undivided attention. Mercy Falls is the most accomplished concept album in recent memory, and is easily a contender for the best album of 2008. It's a disc that no fan of progressive rock and metal should pass up. Mercy Falls is the kind of album that you're proud to stand behind; it's a banner that proudly proclaims "This is what music should be."

www.progressivemelodies.com

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Label / Release Date
Lion Music / Out Now
Official Website
http://www.seventhwonder.nu
Track Listing
1. Star Of David
2. Taint The Sky
3. Waiting In The Wings
4. Banish The Wicked
5. Not An Angel
6.  Devil's Inc
7. Walking Tall
8. The Edge Of My Blade
Musicians
Tommy Karevik - Vocals
Johan Liefvendahl - Guitars
Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin - Keyboards
Andreas Blomqvist - Bass
Johnny Sandin - Drums
SEVENTH WONDER - WAITING IN THE WINGS


Seventh Wonder was formed in 2000 by bass player Andreas Blomqvist, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl and drummer Johnny Sandin after their previous band fell apart. The music turned towards the progressive side of metal and as the band was joined by keyboard player Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin late 2000, the new sound was cemented.  The band released the acclaimed “Become” in 2005 on Lion Music although sadly I felt that release was marred by the production slightly (most likely down to budget constraints).  Just before the release of “Become” the band replaced then vocalist Andi Kravljaca with Tommy Karevik whose super impressive vocals take the band to stunning heights on their new album “Waiting In The Wings”. 

This new album “Waiting In The Wings” was recorded in 2006 and was mixed and mastered by the legendary Tommy Hansen (Helloween, T.N.T), and engineered by Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) and the band themselves.  Sonically it’s a huge improvement in every department over the debut and now the band have the sound the debut longed for.  In conjunction the song writing skill has also been turned up a few notches (something which wasn’t lacking on the debut in reality) and anyone that enjoys melodic progressive metal then be prepared to have your senses absolutely buzzing with the ecstasy that will be gained by purchasing this album.  The genre itself is very popular in Europe and to a lesser extent in the USA, but this album has the goods to make them into genre leaders – simple as that. 

Highly impressive from start to finish “Waiting In The Wings” has no weak points although I feel the album is at its strongest with the opening trio of “Star Of David” (relatively mid tempo), “Taint The Sky” (finely crafted metal) before the title  track “Waiting In The Wings” will blow your head off with its polished musicianship and stunning melodies (a favourite for Prog Metal track of the year).  Here the album continues very strongly “Banish The Wicked” has a Malmsteen “Eclipse” feel to its melodic verses whilst “Not An Angel” possesses a power metal meets Vanden Plas edge to it.  “Devil’s Inc” is reminiscent of Dream Theater at their best, although Tommy Karevik vocals are infinitely more pleasing to these ears than the LaBrie’s more recent output.  “Walking Tall” is a compact track which feels like it has some roots in Queensrÿche waters (Op:Mindcrime I era) with its riffing.  Album closer “The Edge Of My Blade” finishes things off in equally impressive style.

The whole album from start to finish is a progressive metal treat.  No-one member really stands out and this is to be praised as it shows the guys are playing for the song which makes the album stronger for it.  Sonically the album is very good and has a wicked bottom end.  Couple this with classy vocals and melodies and you have an all-round hit.  One to pick up for sure.

Hot Spots : Star Of David, Taint The Sky, Waiting In The Wings
Rating : 95%


Review from www.virtuosityone.com

 

 

SEVENTH WONDER - WAITING IN THE WINGS
(A-) Lion Music, 2006
9 tracks, RT: 55:48

I knew this band had great potential subsequent to my review of their debut album BECOME, and sure enough, WAITING IN THE WINGS has proved me right. An almost perfect balance of prog and melodic metal, WAITING IN THE WINGS is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows in the community as its many delights are discovered. One of the first things you notice about WAITING IN THE WINGS is the phenomenal voice of Tommy Karevik, who is ideal for this type of music. Check out the extraordinary "Taint The Sky" for a quick overview of what this band is capable of, its memorable keyboard intro leading to some killer rhythmic grooves, tricky instrumental passages and that awesome voice! Guitarist Johan Liefvendahl really distinguishes himself throughout the album, delivering involved yet tasteful solos in unexpected places. Andreas Blomqvist keeps the bass guitar foundation interesting and appropriate, while drummer Johnny Sandin skillfully manages all manner of time changes and technical challenges. Seventh Wonder certainly wouldn't be what they are without keyboardist Andreas "Kyrt" Soderin, his playing flashy in all the right places while adding the element of drama and atmosphere so important to progressive music. More brilliance is revealed on the crunchy "Banish The Wicked," majestic "Devil's Inc.," hard-hitting "Walking Tall," and anthemic "The Edge Of My Blade." The band gets a little too far into AOR territory on "Not An Angel" and finishes the album with the pleasant but relatively sedate "Pieces," but these are very small qualms; with uniformly strong material, adroit performances along with an outstanding mix and production provided by Tommy Hansen and Daniel Flores you have the ingredients for a superior album, and WAITING IN THE WINGS does not disappoint. I just hope these guys get the recognition they deserve! Stunning...
- Neal Woodall (
MysticX9@gmail.com)

Detritus Rock/Metal e-zine
"Rock Hard With A Purpose"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Detritus/
http://www.myspace.com/detritusezine

 

Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings (10/10) - Sweden - 2006

 
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Lion Music
Playing time: 51:21
Band homepage: Seventh Wonder
 

Tracklist:

  1. Star Of David
  2. Taint The Sky >mp3
  3. Waiting In The Wings
  4. Banish The Wicked
  5. Not An Angel
  6. Devil’s Inc. >mp3
  7. Walking Tall
  8. The Edge Of My Blade >mp3
Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings 

Two years ago, my fellow TMO Brother Charles McLachlan predicted that “SEVENTH WONDER…will definitely go on to great things.” The man must be psychic, because his estimate couldn’t have been more accurate. With “Waiting In The Wings”, the second full-length album from the Swedish Prog Metallers, SEVENTH WONDER have indeed produced something truly fantastic.

 

On “Waiting In The Wings”, the often at-odds theories of Melodic Metal and Progressive Metal are bridged with a polish I’ve yet to hear from any other band attempting the same (VENTURIA, CLOUDSCAPE). The verses are deliciously Proggy, with guitarist Johan Liefvendahl often collaborating with bassist Andreas Blomqvist on a light-speed harmony riff. The one around the six-minute mark on the title track is particularly interesting. I mean, Liefvendahl and Blomqvist can really play the hell out of their instruments, something that’s obviously a necessity in the musically challenging world of Prog.

 

The choruses are a whole different ballgame, although in a good way. They’re distinctly catchy and incredibly melodic, thanks to powerhouse vocalist Tommy Karevik, whose soaring voice really makes the choruses his own personal talent showcase. Karevik holds nothing back on the choruses, utilizing his full (and impressive) range to bring the song to full realization. What’s more, each chorus is noticeably different from the last; there isn’t any recycled material here whatsoever. When you listen to the multi-layered vocal harmonies of songs like “Devil’s Inc.”, “Not An Angel”, or “The Edge Of My Blade”, you really can’t help but think “Wow, this is pretty much icing on the cake”.

 

I tried my hardest to find a single flaw, just one little chink in the armour of this album, yet all my efforts were for naught. “Waiting In The Wings” is nothing but pure nirvana for Progressive Metal fans and I firmly believe it is worthy of a perfect score. If you’re a fan of Prog or Melodic Metal, or hell, even Power Metal (Karevik sounds a bit like Piet Sielck at times), do not hesitate to pick up this album. It’s well worth every cent. (Online October 6, 2006)

Mitchel Betsch

www.metal-observer.com
 


 

SEVENTH WONDER - WAITING IN THE WINGS / Lion Music
Written by Matt Coe    www.imhotep.fi
Monday, 02 October 2006
seventhwonder_waitinginthewings.jpg










 
Stability in the front man department would not be one of the strong suits after perusing the background information on this Swedish progressive metal quintet. At one point enlisting the help of Insania vocalist Ola Halen as well as recording their debut album “Become” with ex-Elsesphere singer Andi Kravljaca, Seventh Wonder have made small strides in terms of their musicianship but lacked a convincing crooner to bring home all of the melodies in the perfect manner. Until now. Recorded during early 2006 the follow up album “Waiting In The Wings” marks the debut Seventh Wonder performance for Tommy Karevik, and what a masterful find he is in terms of tonality, warmth and charm.
 

 
“Waiting In The Wings” contains nine tracks that shimmer in a lighter progressive metal framework. The keyboards preferable accenting the more challenging guitar, bass and drum parts in an understated manner while the songs gravitate and fluctuate between short, quick efforts like closer “Pieces” and “Walking Tall” to more challenging epic filled efforts such as the title track or “Devil’s Inc.”. Tommy’s versatility and sensitivity come through in spades as he moves the listener not unlike a Jorn Lande or Goran Edman- especially evident on the more challenging “Taint The Sky” which could double as a long lost classic Elegy cut during their “Supremacy” album period. Bassist Andreas Blomqvist and drummer Johnny Sandin could teach all the Dream Theater clones a thing or two as a result of their playing on this album- proving you can mix up the tempos and throw down some crafty runs without always cramming thousands of notes into the measure. Engineering, mixing and mastering left in the capable dual hands of Daniel Flores and Tommy Hansen, Seventh Wonder should feel very proud of the recording they’ve released- you can hear the time signatures flow effortlessly while they soak in progressive rock/metal influences, creating their own take on the genre.
 

 
After years of burnout on the style while new acts couldn’t come up with something fresh to save their lives, acts like Seventh Wonder renew my banner waving desire to travel deeper into the underground to unearth what could possibly hit our stereos next.
 


 
(2006) 55.48 min.
 

 
www.seventhwonder.nu

 

ALBUM OF THE MONTH! www.revelationz.net

Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings
Once in a while something different and pleasantly surprising makes your perspective towards the world change…at least just a bit, sometimes this also happen within the musical sphere and Seventh Wonder’s sophomore album has a form and content I haven’t really experienced before.

These guys draw on a multitude of different influences and musical expressions, when added together you have a most unique and vibrant Progressive-Power-Heavy-Rock-Symphonic-Thrash-Metal act…I have always enjoyed bands that dared to differ and these guys takes this to the limit, without ever crossing it.

Even though Star Of David ticks in at 5-minutes there are enough rhythm changes and obscure diversions to make you head dizzy, but somehow they all fit right in and make sense in a rather chaotic sense.

One clear highlight is found in Taint The Sky, the opening key melody is instantly memorable and when followed up by some thrilling riffing and super tight drum action I’m already thinking…this rocks.
Throw in a number of great drum fills and clever bass techniques and you have a sweet and highly dynamic creation.

Waiting In The Wings is nearly 10-minutes of progressive wonder, let me just tell you that these guys can play (being a huge understatement).
Advanced guitar lead wizardry and effusive key passages, spun into a rhythm section that’s impossible to keep track of, spiced with a super melodic piano section towards the end just before the track comes full circle.

Singer Tommy Karevik has a distinct and uncomplicated voice with a special charm to it, lots of variation and feeling giving a special life to the whole thing.
Not An Angel is a good example and another favourite, that chorus line is so strangely catchy.
Overall this song is ear candy for anyone with a flair for detailed, melodic and technical impressive Metal…there is just so much to take notice of while the songs basic elements goes straight in.

Devil’s Inc shows a softer side to the band, its atmospheric mid section is no less than amazing and the vocal line “I’m sorry I turned my back on you I hope you do forgive me… tonight” indulged in sensitive piano notes and thick key layers is just as fantastic as the subsequently fascinating guitar solo.

The playing is immensely strong the entire record through, not quite the same can be said of all ideas and melodies though…there is still room for improvements in linking the different parts together in the most fluid way and stuffing even more memorable stuff in there.
For example Walking Tall is tight but seems to lack a distinct binding element, anyway the talent and passion burns intensively and I have great expectations for the future of this band.

Lyrically the scene is one of magic, wonder and fantasy…but also a more personally perspective of doubt, forgiveness and love. All in all nicely fitting in with the diverse musical endeavour

Massive technical inventions and cunning layering pushes this album forth and makes it continually interesting. Production matters have been handled with emphasis on a groovy and solid rhythm base, giving room for all instruments without compromising the power factor.

Keep this intriguing thing evolving guys.


Rating: 7.5/10

Tommy - 10/10/2006 www.revelationz.net
 
Review by Tommy

Released by
Lion Music - 2006
 
Tracklisting
1. Star Of David
2. Taint The Sky
3. Waiting In The Wings
4. Banish The Wicked
5. Not An Angel
6. Devil’s Inc
7. Walking Tall
8. The Edge Of My Blade


Supplied by Lion Music / Intromental
 
Style
Progressive Metal
 
Related links
Visit the band page

Seventh Wonder - Official Website

Other articles
Become - (Hashman)
 

 

 

 

 

Seventh Wonder: Waiting in the Wings
 

The second album from progressive metal band Seventh Wonder, titled Waiting in the Wings, is one hot release, and will easily surprise those who thought that their debut from 2005 Become was one of the best the genre had to offer that year. With brand new singer in tow,Tommy Karevik (ex-Vindictiv), the band sounds refueled and retooled, and Waiting in the Wings is a monster of soaring melodies, instrumental virtuosity, and crunchy riffs. Produced by none other than Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT), this brand new opus sounds fantastic, and the listener gets swept into each of the CD's nine tracks quite easily.

Much like Symphony X have the ability to mix sweeping melodies with raging power metal and complex prog metal, so do Seventh Wonder. Tracks like "Banish the Wicked" and "Taint the Sky" are so damn memorable, while the killer guitar work from Johan Liefvendahl and nimble keyboard stylings of Andreas "Kyrt" Soderin never fail to impress. At times this Swedish ensemble dives into Dream Theater styled territory, like on "Not An Angel", complete with intricate bass lines from Andreas Blomqvist and some insane drum fills by the talented Johnny Sandin, as well as "Devil's Inc.", where guitarist Liefvendahl digs into some serious John Petrucci-influenced riffs and solos. As amazing as the instrumental work is here, the vocals of Karevik are really the main attraction, as his singing style perfectlly complements this symphonic metal style that the band has. Tommy has a very strong voice that occasionally rises into the upper register, but is always powerful and full of emotion.

Plain and simply, this is an astounding progressive metal release. Dripping with gorgeous melodies, stunning guitar and keyboard interplay, and a hungry attitude, Waiting in the Wings is another stellar album from the Lion Music roster, and one that will sit alongside recent releases from Sun Caged and Nightscape as pillars of the label in years to come.


Track Listing
1. Star Of David
2. Taint The Sky
3. Waiting In The Wings
4. Banish The Wicked
5. Not An Angel
6. Devil's Inc
7. Walking Tall
8. Edge Of My Blade
9. Pieces

Added: September 26th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo   www.seaoftranquility.org
Score:
Related Link: Seventh Wonder Website

 

 

Seventh Wonder – Waiting in the Wings
 



2006 Lion Music

Keeping the true form of Progressive Metal in focus

Like Magnitude 9, Ice Age, and Mind’s Eye, these guys have the spirit of true technical metal glory; no need for overzealous symphonic arrangements, mind-boggling concepts, and over the top improvisations, Seventh Wonder keep their focus on two major things, power and penmanship (songwriting), two things that have been making a much welcome return in the progressive metal world, redefining the edgy metal sub-genre with it’s original ‘definite’ sound.

Returning with Waiting in the Wings, the band also brings forth a new lead vocalist, Tommy Karevik. With that in place; the solos with guitars, keys, and even bass keep the record on its interesting pace, especially with cuts such as “Taint the Sky,” the quick tempo “Not an Angel,” the emotional AOR-laden “Pieces,” and the dark title track.

Mastered and Mixed By the legendary Tommy Hansen, Waiting in the Wings has a ‘punchy’ sound to it, adding to the crankage factor to be heard upon the ears. The record is a performance to be marked with high melodic gusto and balls-to-the-wall majestic metal making for the perfect fodder for the ears of precision emphasized headbanging grandeur.

Added: September 17th 2006
Reviewer: Tommy Hash   www.ytsejam.com
Score:
Related Link: Seventh Wonder Link

 

SEVENTH WONDER ‘WAITING IN THE WINGS’ (LION MUSIC/BERTUS)

 

It seems like the past few years we had a lot of sensational Melodic Progressive Metal releases, such as PAGAN’S MIND, STRIDE, MIND’S EYE, TOMORROW’S EVE and many more. The latest addition is definitely the 2nd CD of the Swedish band SEVENTH WONDER. Most important change with regards to their debut is the entrance of a new lead singer called TOMMY KAREVIK, who sings quite excellent and together with the help of TOMMY HANSEN (HELLOWEEN/TNT) and DANIEL FLORES (MIND’S EYE) mastering and engineering the CD, SEVENTH WONDER has released a sensational Melodic Progressive Metalalbum as good as for example THRESHOLD, VANDENPLAS or any of the mentioned acts. This is how high quality music should sound. 8 long tracks with superb melodies is the result and all of them are sensational! Absolute highlights are “Star of David”, “Not an angel” (SUPERB MASTERPIECE, incredible chorus!), Devil’s inc” and “The edge of my blade”, but actually any song is memorable here. One of the highlights in Progmetal this year for sure, this new SEVENTH WONDER release!

 

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)

Strutter Magazine, Netherlands

 

 

 

 

Waiting in the Wings

Artist: Seventh Wonder
Genre: Metal
Publisher: Lion Music
Released: August 24, 2006
 
Simply a Stunning Sophomore Effort
A Review by Kevin Buffington www.toxicuniverse.com
09/12/2006

 

I got bored extremely quickly with the same old music. I'm constantly rotating CDs in and out of my car and home changers, usually listening to an album once and then not revisiting it for months. My favorite albums may get two plays before they are bumped out for something else. When I say that in the past month I've listened to Seventh Wonder's new album Waiting in the Wings probably 30-40 times, it means something significant.

Seventh Wonder is a Swedish band that most in America probably haven't heard of. Musically, they would be classified as progressive metal, but they have a broad-based sound that's got a fairly classic metal feel to it. In 2005 they released their debut album Become to generally positive press but not a lot of fanfare. Seventh Wonder had actually replaced their lead vocalist prior to the release of Become, so Waiting in the Wings is the first album to feature the band's proper lineup.

Somewhere around the house I've got a copy of Become, but to be honest I wasn't all that impressed. It's not a terrible album, but it just didn't do anything for me. In particular, the vocals were somewhat weak and didn't really fit the music. My, what a difference one year can make.

In the short time between albums, Seventh Wonder has evolved into something amazing. Recruiting new vocalist Tommy Karevik was the best move the band could have made. Karevik's voice is a thing of beauty. Accuse me of hyperbole all you want, but I'd put him up on par with legends such as Dickinson and Halford. He's got great range, strong delivery and an incredibly musical voice. His vocals lines are always interesting and often feature cool doubling and background harmonies which add to every song.

Fortunately, it's not just the addition of Karevik that has improved the band; the rest of the members have gotten even better as well. A track like "Waiting in the Wings" is the kind of song you expect from a mature band like Dream Theater or Symphony X, not a band just starting out. At a little over nine minutes long, this song is a shining example of how to construct a progressive metal masterpiece. The guitar riffs and themes are here in abundance, the lyrics have actual thought behind them and the chorus has the kind of vocal line you'll be singing days later. This is probably the most progressive song on the album featuring a long keyboard solo and an interesting guitar solo and several time and meter changes. Despite all that, it never delves into the excesses that hamper most progressive metal bands.

That's a talent the band seems to have really found with this album. It's definitely progressive metal, but your old school metal friends may not even notice. Guitarist Johan Liefvendahl comes up with some crushing riffs and keyboardist Andreas Soderin plays less than you'd expect. Everything the band does serves to complement the song instead of shining the spotlight on their own abilities. The whole becomes something greater than the sum of its parts, elevating a song like "Devil's Inc." from what could be filler to something... well, heavenly. Here again, the band benefits immensely from the addition of Karevik. The vocal line from the bridge to the song's finale gives me goosebumps.

From the guitar- and drum-driven "Walking Tall," the epic "Star of David" and the propulsive "Edge of My Blade," it's all impressive. There isn't a bad song on the album, just great songs and even more great songs. It's September already and so far this is my pick for album of the year, and is easily one of the best metal albums I've heard in the past 10 years. At the moment Waiting in the Wings isn't available in the US, but if there was ever any album worth paying import prices for, this is it.

While writing this review, I found out the review copy that Lion Music shipped me only has eight songs instead of the nine that are on the official release. On the strength of what I've heard here, I'm going to purchase a proper copy. Seventh Wonder certainly deserves my hard-earned cash for this gem. Do whatever you can to track down this album. You will not be disappointed.
 

 

Seventh Wonder

01. Star of David
02. Taint the Sky
03. Waiting in the Wings
04. Banish the Wicked
05. Not an Angel
06. Devil's Inc
07. Walking Tall
08. The Edge of my Blade
Seventh Wonder is the creation of Bass player Andreas Blomqvist, Guitarist Johan Liefvendahl and Drummer Johnny Sandin. These three had been together in a previous power metal outfit called Mankind, until that band fell apart in 2000. As Seventh Wonder they released their debut album Become in June 2005. The band themselves describes their music as: a mix of powerful choruses and strong melodic lines of the eighties, combined with the heavy and intricate progressive metal of modern days. And that’s just what it is. Imagine Journey, Symphony X and Dream Theater composing songs together. The idea is so good that I wonder why no one else ever thought of it. For those among you that are skeptic, I can tell you, it works remarkable well. The album opens with the incredible clear voice of Tommy Karevik. And what a vocal talent this guy is! However, his vocals are backed up by really strong leads from keyboards and guitar throughout the album. It is especially those progressive and heavy passages that lend this album its unique character. It all makes this a very divers album changing from heavy, progressive to very melodic. I can only say that I am completely blown away by it. This has to be one of the strongest albums I have heard this year. At the time of writing it is still growing on me. Those who are into prog-metal, AOR or just damn good music should give this album a thorough examination. An essential buy!

 

  Rating: 95 /100

 

SEVENTH WONDER - WAITING IN THE WINGS (LION MUSIC)

Recorded by Daniel Flores of Mind's Eye. Mixed and mastered by legendary Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT, Jorn Lande). Artwork by Carl-André Beckston [MonoWasp]. Plus the music of Seventh Wonder taken to new hights by new frontman. Tommy Karevik on lead vocals.

Swedish extremely melodic progsters blow you completely away with their second killer. Seventh Wonder has got a cool breeze of Scandinavian vibes over the sound this time and I can hear such acts like Glory guarding with their hard rock soul over them. Imagine that and some better moments with Dream Theater. Not bad! Not bad at all. This band has the perfect mix of melodies and complex ingredients to be a band among the once you will like and remember. Seventh Wonder has also grown since the debut, not just soundvise, but also with a new super vocalist Tommy Karevik. He is another proof of how many great singers their are in Scandinavia right now. So folks, open up your hearts and let Seventh Wonder in. “Waiting In The Wings” is another highlight and hopefully just the beginning of a new era.

84/100

Johnny Forslund  www.aordreamzones.com

 

Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings (Lion Music) By: Joe Florez www.live4metal.com
I reviewed this band’s debut album “Become” just over a year ago. While I thought it was decent progressive metal, there was potential to be even better the next time around. A certain something was missing from the band and CD that prevented me from going WOW! I finally found out what it was. It was the first vocalist, Andi who was ok, but didn’t make the band shine like he does now. Tommy Karevik came from Vindictiv, but that doesn’t matter because he helps improve this band ten fold. “Star Of David” is progressive, complete with semi technical drum work and easy going riffs that don’t get out of control, but it’s the voice that’s the star here. Tom is in complete control of his voice. It’s deep, but
not over bearing. His pacing moves well with the composition. There are atmospheric vibes inserted and odd time signature changes that interfere every now and then, which I don’t like because it happens to disturb the good groove that they guys have going on. Johan’s six string work stands out just right when the spotlight shines on him. It’s jam packed with power, but never becomes obnoxious. This is the perfect way to open the show, but would this continue? The title track really goes to town, as it’s very intricate during the intro, but then things ease up just a bit as Tom sings his heart out with sincerity. Great harmony vocals are inserted during the chorus, which shows that SW aren’t a paint by numbers prog band. They have feelings and emotions as they paint the pallet various colors, all of which shine to the max. The solo here sounds like it could have been an instrumental on its own. Talk about dazzling musicianship, everyone on board here gives it 110% and never lose your interest. As if things couldn’t get any better, the stakes are raised with “Not An Angel.” There are several twists and turns and yet it has the capacity to be friendly to the average listener and catchy as hell. Home runs are basically created on each song. A lot of it has to do with the singing, which is simply fantastic. The composing and performance has been upgraded in just a year’s time. I knew that the potential factor was there and they prove it here.
In a scene overrun with 2nd and 3rd rate bands vying for the top spot and getting noticed out of obscurity, Seventh Wonder exploits their skills wonderfully and demonstrate why they deserve a shot. Fans of the genre and musicians should get a hold of this. Well worth the time.
www.seventhwonder.nu | www.lionmusic.com

SEVENTH WONDER - Waiting in the Wings
 
>

01. Star of David
02. Taint the Sky
03. Waiting in the Wings
04. Banish the Wicked
05. Not an Angel
06. Devil's Inc
07. Walking Tall
08. The Edge of my Blade

Running time: 51.28 min.
 
Release date: August 24th, 2006

Label: Lion Music

Distribution: Lion Music

Written by: Maria Prohazka www.antenna.nu

The Swedish progressive metal band Seventh Wonder is out with their second full length album, Waiting in the Wings. The band is the new rising star on the sky of Swedish metal, but the band actually has a couple of years on the back, as the members joined forces in the beginning of the millennium. Their first full length album, Become, from 2005 was a convincing progressive metal album – and this, their second album, is even more so.

This album is indeed a pleasant surprise. The songs are very melodic and 'catchy' in a good way – without being corny. And they're all intelligently composed. To my way of thinking I must admit that the band lacks a bit of the playfulness in changes of meter bands like Symphony X or Dream Theater. Sometimes I can't help but wondering whether these guys have been listening a bit too much to Symphony X's Odyssey and Dream Theater's Images and Words – because the harmonic and melodic progressions and patterns are at times very close to sounding exactly like some of the material from these albums.

Their sound on the album is crystal clear and well produced indeed – sometimes perhaps event too clear and clean cut. But it is a pleasure to listen to music like this. Also it's to the band's advantage that they can write great songs without making the mistake so many progressive acts make – to simply play beyond their powers. This is not the case with Seventh Wonder – but then again they are really great musicians. And the tracks are complete and whole musical experiences – where everything just forms a synthesis. This is truly a GREAT album. If you like progressive metal, this is an album you simply must have! I cannot emphasize it enough.
 

 

Feature Recording Waiting in the Wings
   by:   Seventh Wonder

Year:  2006
RECORDING INFORMATION
    Lion Music (LMC185)
    Produced by: Seventh Wonder.
    Mixed and mastered by: Tommy Hansen.
    Engineered by: Daniel Flores and Seventh Wonder.
    Recorded in Sound vs. Science studio February/March 2006
    Artwork by: Carl-André Beckston [MonoWasp]
 
COMMENTS & REVIEWS
MJBrady Published on: 26 Aug 2006
After being more than moderately impressed with the debut cd Become - released in 2005, I was surprised to see a new cd from the band this soon afterwards. Yet as may be the case for some bands, rushing into the studio and hammering out some songs can be a recipe for catastrophe, not the case for Seventh Wonder here, I assure you. In fact, this time around the band goes the extra mile to release a stellar cd, with more than a few marked improvements over the debut. There are various reasons I believe that this cd has more staying power, as well as an initial impact on me as a listener.

First, they have a new singer, and a great one, in Tommy Karevik, who replaces Andi Kravljaca, who actually did a nice job on Become, yet I must say, Karevik is a noticable improvement in sheer emotional delivery. The band also seems to have taken it upon themselves to deliver their musical ambitions in a far more progressive manner, allowing each member to shine their talents in most every song. Other reasons are that they lined up a crack production team in the likes of Tommy Hansen and Daniel Flores, two of the most respected and talented ears doing productions and engineering these days, both these guys have the key to the magic dust that gets sprinkled on some of these excellent sounding studio efforts.

Seventh Wonder has put everything together on this cd, sound, voices, and instrumentation, and lastly, music that is memorable and magical at the same time. I cannot help but to allude to the great debut by Circus Maximus or even Venturia for comparisons when concerning this cd, it's that good, and having enjoyed the Become cd, I felt that they still were a few refinements away from getting into that top tier of the more convincing progressive metal bands, but rather than improving one thing at a time, they took every aspect in need of upgrading and have completed their identity with a polished and mature cd.

Progressive metal fans are a demanding bunch, having so many highly skilled bands setting the bar of excellence so high, newer bands need to understand that to make a name, or any impression on this fanbase requires that they have the individual musical skills, songwriting talent, and a great voice to front them. Seventh Wonder has accomplished this, both technical and melodic, it's progmetal personified in it's most accepted form, I can't recommend this cd enough to those of you that have been captivated by the best progmetal has to offer. Count this cd as one of them.
 
TRACKS CREDITS (click to view performer credits) PROGGNOSIS SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY
(click to view Release Page)
  1. Star Of David (5:13)
  2. Taint The Sky (6:24)
  3. Waiting In The Wings (9:18)
  4. Banish The Wicked (5:36)
  5. Not An Angel (6:44)
  6. Devil’s Inc. (7:14)
  7. Walking Tall (4:20)
  8. The Edge Of My Blade (6:32)
  9. Pieces (4:27)
Andreas Blomqvist
bass

Johan Liefvendahl
guitar

Tommy Karevik
vocals

Andreas Söderin “Kyrt”
keyboard

Johnny Sandin
drums
This release has been reviewed
2005
Feature Recording  
Become
This release has been reviewed
2006
Feature Recording  
Waiting in the Wings

ProgGnosis www.silverdb.com


 
Tracklist
1. Star Of David
2. Taint The Sky
3. Waiting In The Wings
4. Banish The Wicked
5. Not An Angel
6. Devil’s Inc.
7. Walking Tall
8. The Edge Of My Blade
9. Pieces
 
Line-up
Tommy Karevik (v)
Johan Liefvendahl (g)
Andreas Blomqvist (b)
Johnny Sandin (d)
Andread Söderin (k)
 
Review added
August 23, 2006
 
Back
SEVENTH WONDER
Waiting In The Wings
© 2006 Lion Music  (LMC185)

progressive metal
studio album
8 tracks - TT 51:28
release date: August 24, 2006
http://www.seventhwonder.nu
 

 
I remember calling this Swedish progmetal band a great acquisition to the Lion Music label and now that I’ve been listening to their second album over and over again, I can only confirm my initial enthusiasm.
Compared with their debut album (released in June of last year), Seventh Wonder have improved immensely. Not all of the songs on “Become” could convince me yet, but what we’ve got here on “Waiting In The Wings” is of a constantly high quality. Honestly, I couldn’t spot a weak track now and that is really an asset for this fine young band. Even more important is the entrance of vocalist Tommy Karevik (ex-Vindictiv). Although he already got credits as lead vocalist on the debut album, it was actually his predecessor Andi Kravljaca who sang all the songs. The band parted ways with Andi shortly after the recording of “Become” and added Tommy before its release. Over the years many singers have come and gone in Seventh Wonder, but I really hope they can keep Tommy Karevik, who has a strong voice and a lot of feel for melody. That man suits the band like a glove, so they better tie him up … keeping him from running away. And to round off this positive review, I’d like to draw your attention to the sound of the new recording. The nine songs (ranging in time from 4:20 to 9:18) were co-engineered by the band and Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) and mixed/mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT). Among my personal favourites for the moment are “Taint The Sky” (featuring some sparkling keyboard lines), “Banish The Wicked” (hear the immense quality of Tommy’s voice) and “Devil’s Inc.” (the title says it all). No ballads on this platter, but who will miss them when the overall quality is that good?
As far as I’m concerned, it seems like a golden future is lying ahead of these guys. Congrats to Lion Music for bringing us another great release. Absolutely recommended! (CL)
RockReport www.rockreport.be

 

Seventh Wonder - Waiting In The Wings

Lion Music (LMC 185)

Rating - 9.5/10

Review Don Gibbs www.hardrockhouse.com


“Seventh Wonder” is a Swedish group and initially formed in 2000 by Andreas (bass), Johan (guitar) and Johnny (drums), rising like a phoenix from the ashes of their previous group “Mankind”.  They were joined by “Kyrt” (keys) after he attended a rehearsal session with a mutual friend, liked what he heard, and decided that he would be back.  They currently have Tommy Karevik on vocals, but have had a plethora of vocalist over the years, so many so that I won’t go into details here.  (If you really need to know then have a look at their bio on www.seventhwonder.nu

In their formative period their musical tendencies moved over to the heavier side of rock and also started turning more towards the progressive side of metal, drawing the band towards the sound that they produce now which has been classed as heavy Progressive Metal. 

Now, don’t go tarring “Seventh Wonder” with the same brush that all you Rock purist use when you hear the word “Progressive” and “Metal” in the same breath, this group seem to transcend the genres and have produced a purer, slightly more melodic and hugely (nay - immensely) listenable album.  The album has huge melodies, awesome solo’s, soaring orchestration, outstanding guitar work, rhythm to die for and a keyboard player that I am sure has a genetic defect in the fact that he must have more than 2 hands to play the way he does.   Any group can add in some “fiddly” bits, change the time signatures a few times and stick themselves in the Prog genre, but it takes true masters of their art to do it and reach such high standard as you will hear on “Waiting in the Wings”.   

“Seventh Wonder” have really enjoyed themselves in making this album and it shows in the sounds that come forth from the speakers.  They have produced an album for everyone in the rock and prog scene with tracks that are long, short, heavy, soft, fast and slow and have laid down tracks are not too complex and very, very accessible. These guys truly have some high class musical skills that in my eyes (and ears) put them on a pedestal slightly higher than contemporaries such as Royal Hunt and Masterplan. 

I do hope that the release of this album will break “Seventh Wonder” to the masses because they deserve it, and I also think the masses deserve it as well.  Do yourself a favour, get hold of this album, you will not be disappointed.  These guys deserve to go far and have my backing all the way.  Fantastic. (Now, where is their back catalogue?????)

Waiting In The Wings is released via Lion Music on August 24th 2006

Let us know your views on 'Waiting In The Wings'  

Track List

Star Of David
Taint The Sky
Waiting In The Wings
Banish The Wicked
Not An Angel
Devil’s Inc.
Walking Tall
The Edge Of My Blade
Pieces

Line Up

Andreas Blomqvist – Bass
Johan Liefvendahl – Guitar
Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin – Keyboard
Johnny Sandin - Drums 

Seventh Wonder
Waiting in the Wings Lion Music

by Matthew Hoffman   www.hardrockhaven.net
Staff Writer

Comments: Seventh Wonder was formed in 2000 by bass player Andreas Blomqvist, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl and drummer Johnny Sandin. Later in the year, keyboard player Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin joined the crew and their sound was cemented further. They have had several vocalists over the years but seem to have found the right man in Tommy Karevik in mid-2005 just before their debut CD release Become.

Karevik leads the way on Seventh Wonder’s new release Waiting in the Wings. The songs on the new album are slanted towards the progressive side of metal and are all mostly six and seven minute long. The first song illustrates the style perfectly. Pure high pitched vocals from Karevik, excellent bass work from Blomqvist, nice guitar play from Liefvendahl, dueling keyboards from Soderin and Sandin’s drums leading the way. The reason for the description is that this band is so well balanced each and every member must be mentioned.

Much of the music seems to enter the symphonic or epic metal categories at times as well. The CD was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, T.N.T) and engineered by Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) and has excellent production quality. Some of the highlights of these excellent musicians are Blomqvist‘s excellent bass work especially on “Taint the Sky,” and the title track “Waiting in The Wings”, Liefvendahl’s very diversified guitar work throughout including nice solos on the title track and the classical sounding piece on “Banish the Wicked” and the keyboard job done by Soderin especially on the title track and “Not an Angel.”

The best part of this record though is it is full of well-crafted songs and has something for everyone. It is a virtual buffet of musical choices. Guitar heads will like the axe play but fans of bass, drums, pure vocals and keyboards have plenty to love here too. The best song is “Devils, Inc.” as pretty piano is played behind spectacular vocals from Karevik then the progressive metal comes back including a couple sweet ass solos from Liefvendahl. The band explored all parts of the musical frontier they each wanted to on this CD and we are all the benefactors.

This is simply as well diversified and talented a band you will ever here. Pick up a copy of this beautiful album immediately and use it for driving relaxing or background music at pretty much any party.

Band members:
Andreas Blomqvist – bass
Johan Liefvendahl – guitar
Tommy Karevik – vocals
Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin – keyboard
Johnny Sandin - drums

Track listing:
01. Star Of David (5:13)
02. Taint The Sky (6:24)
03. Waiting In The Wings (9:18)
04. Banish The Wicked (5:36)
05. Not An Angel (6:44)
06. Devil’s Inc. (7:14)
07. Walking Tall (4:20)
08. The Edge Of My Blade (6:32)
09. Pieces (4:27)


HRH Rating: 8.1/10

 

 

 

SEVENTH WONDER ‘Waiting In The Wings’ Lion Music (2006) www.lionmusic.com

 

   Follow-up to the band’s 2005 debut ‘Become’ and the band now have a new vocalist join, Tommy Karevik. The music is well played progressive metal with some very good keys/guitar interplay most notably on the epic title track, which clocks in at over nine minutes. ‘Taint the Sky’ has some great vocals and again the guitar solos are a pleasure to listen to – guitarist Johan Liefvendahl manages to play tight solos without the need for speed or showy solos (Dragonforce take note!). With Tommy Hansen at the mixing desk you know it is a safe pair of hands and the new vocalist does get many chances to shine. Occasionally they miss the mark and personally I would have had ‘Taint the Sky open the album as the opening track ‘Star Of David’ is a bit too prog metal by numbers.

   An enjoyable album, with the band firmly emphasising melody throughout the songs and a band who you feel have still yet to record their classic album but until then this album is more than worthy of a listen.

 

****

Jason Ritchie
 

Reviews Editor
www.getreadytorock.com
 

Seventh Wonder: Become

As reviewers, we sometimes build up a huge backlog of CDs for review. All of them warrant our full attention, and by definition most of them will be somewhat average. But occasionally there's a real gem hiding in the pile and it is the unexpected discovery of these that makes our job such a pleasure. And Seventh Wonder is one of those jewels.

It's probably accurate to call this 'progressive power metal'. All of the progressive elements are there, yet you'll also hear power metal's upbeat atmosphere, the multi-part choruses and the European influences. Become is the debut full studio album for the young Swedish quintet, and to hear the remarkably mature performances on this CD you'd swear they'd been around for decades. Every band member's delivery is masterful, but special mention goes to guitarist Johan Liefvendahl whose technical but very melodic arpeggios and solos recall a younger Luca Turilli.

"What I've Become" is probably the best track on the CD, more overtly progressive than the rest with solid songwriting and complex structures, interesting meters and huge changes in tempo, and it is an emotional rollercoaster. At nearly 9 minutes it plays like a mini epic and represents the band's smooth, competently progressive capabilities. Some versions of the CD have 9 tracks, with the final (bonus) piece as an acoustic reprise of the first song, played in the format of an appealing power ballad. Programming your system to play these two songs back-to-back yields a rewarding listen, and they are a good showcase for the band's songwriting prowess.

There's nothing new here. You've heard it all before from the elder statesmen of the genre - like Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, Symphony X, Sieges Even and Royal Hunt. But Seventh Wonder has taken these influences, modernized them and stamped their own personality on them - and the result is a tremendously capable, extremely melodic body of work that will have you coming back for more.

Leaving the best for last - special mention goes to frontman Andi Kravljaca. His delivery isn't as powerful as the best in the genre, but he has wonderful range, an easy, warm tone, and he effortlessly injects rich emotion into each song. Kravljaca's singing is at the heart of this record's success, yet sadly he is no longer with the band. His replacement will have huge boots to fill and it will be interesting to see how Seventh Wonder's music changes as a result. Regardless of the future, though, Become is a definite contender for the top-20-of-2005 list.

Now to dig into the rest of that backlog of review CDs - perhaps there'll be another gem hiding in there!

 

Track Listing:
1 Day by Day (3:54)
2 Like Him (5:30)
3 The Damned (4:32)
4 Temple In The Storm (6:17)
5 Blinding My Eyes (3:50)
6 The Secret (4;15)
7 What I've Become (8:41)
8 In The Blink Of An Eye (7:37)
9 Bonus Track (6:24)

Added: November 17th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday   www.seaoftranquility.org
Score:
Related Link: Seventh Wonder's Web Site  


 

 

SEVENTH WONDER - Become

After the Swedish Power Metal band Mankind fell apart, drummer Johnny Sandin, bass player Andreas Blomqvist and guitarist Johan Liefvendahl started Seventh Wonder. The guys soon began to write their own songs and to form their own style and sound. The band really began to take shape when keyboard player Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin and vocalist Andi K joined the band. The demo Temple In The Storm led the band to their first record deal with Lion Music. After the recording sessions of the debut Become in late 2004, the band confronted vocalist Andi about certain things and one thing led to another and then the split was inevitable. This was of course a set back for the band, just when they were about to start promoting their album Become. A replacement had to be found quickly. Tommy tried out once and the band was thrilled by his performance! To be absolutely sure, the band set up a recording session to get Tommy to record three Seventh Wonder songs. After this the band got together, listened to his performance and the new singer for Seventh Wonder was found.

It`s always tough to choose among all the releases for album of the month. This time I fell down on the Swedish band Seventh Wonder and their debut Become. This young, new band has with their debut made a deep impression on me with their 80`s inspired Progressive Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. I think many of you will say that this is just another copy of bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot, Vanden Plas and Queensryche. But there is something special with the Seventh Wonder `s style, and I think it stands out of the ordinary and sounds special in today's rock world! With much focus on good melodies mixed together with progressive elements and a lot of influences of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock they has managed to create their own style. Already with the opener Day By Day they show great talents in songwriting, instrumentation and sound. The song has great power in the verses, a strong chorus and an instrumental part where we hear nice instrumental details from each member. Like Him is a much more diverse song than the first with different tempos and parts, it took me a few listenings to get to know this song, but the more I hear it the better it gets! The guitar solo in it by Johan and the keyboards played by Andreas is just superb listening! Vocalist Andi K, who sings on this album, is a really great singer, but of different reasons he had to leave the band and has been replaced with Tommy Karevik. Vocally Andi K reminds me of a mix between Göran Edman, Michael Eriksen in Circus Maximus and Jonas Heidgert in Dragonland. I think you hear a bit of every mentioned name in the third song The Damned. A fast song that reminds me of Yngwie Malmsteen, with lots of guitars and a great catchy chorus. Temple In The Storm is an advanced song at the start and needs some rounds in the player before it get stuck in your head. The verses are more melodic and the chorus is just beautiful! All the songs are filled with great instrumental details and I`m thrilled all the way throughout the album by the great skills from each member, but the guitarplaying from Johan is something very special! Blinding My Eyes is with no doubt the fastest track on the disc, very rememberable chorus and the progressive part in the middle take the song to a high level. The Secret Slower is also a bit of a test musically with different parts, tempos and a really cool rhythm. The titletrack What I’ve Become is one of my favorite songs, it`s very emotional at the beginning with fine guitarplaying. The song takes us through lot of different parts and it perfectly sums up all the styles from Seventh Wonder. The instrumentation from each member in this song is also breathtaking with a cool bass solo, great guitarsolo, cool keyboards and drumming of the finest mark. In The Blink Of An Eye opens very progressive, but changes when the vocals enters the song and becomes more emotional, I really got hooked on the fine melodylines in this song. The last song is an acoustic version of the first song Day By Day, and this song is just beautiful with the nice singing by Andi K and great pianoplaying by Andreas. A really good release from Seventh Wonder who I think will set traces of releases this year, so check it out now!!
http://www.seventhwonder.nu/
http://www.lionmusic.com/

Seventh Wonder are:

Tommy Karevik / vocals
Johan Liefvendahl / guitars
Andreas Söderin / keyboards
Andreas Blomqvist / bass
Johnny Sandin / drums

Melodic Hard Rock Today, Arne Asbolmo

SEVENTH WONDER - Become
Lion Music

by: SCOTT JESLIS

Email: scott@metalexpress.no

Lion MusicThe debut album, Become, from newcomers Seventh Wonder is an impressive first step in what hopefully becomes a long career. Their music is best categorized as Melodic, Progressive Metal full of power-drumming without all the extreme guitar histrionics. The music is presented confidentially and forcefully with more of a focus on melody versus overpowering and overbearing displays of self-indulgence.

On opener, "Day By Day," the band is propelled by Kravljaca’s soaring vocals, Sandin’s drumming (especially his impressive footwork) and Söderin’s ever-present keyboards, which get equal consideration throughout in the mix. When appropriate, Liefvendahl gets his chops in on lead guitar, with a "longer than short" solo, but still within reason. Throw in a couple of well-placed time changes, and you have the recipe for a very enjoyable track. No resting here, though, as "Like Him" follows with some nice tandem guitar and keyboard phrases, all on top of some nice fingering by bassist Blomqvist. This track also contains one of the catchier choruses, backed by some nicely-placed false harmonics on the guitar. Being part of the band’s demo release, "Temple In The Storm" was included for obvious reasons. Other than having a nice, soothing chorus, it seems out of place here, as it doesn’t have the same impact as some of the surrounding material. Luckily, they get back on track with the up-tempo "Blinding My Eyes," with its catchy, multi-tracked chorus, and its nicely-done, classical-sounding, instrumental bridge. It would be a mistake not to mention the odd, nearly eight-minute track, "In The Blink Of An Eye," which begins with a somewhat Progressive musical opening. If you ride out the slow start of this track (for about three minutes) you’ll be rewarded with another nice, melodic chorus.

Sadly, bassist Andreas Blomqvist told Metal Express that after recording this album, singer Andi Kravljaca was asked to leave the band and was subsequently replaced by Tommy Karevik. Previously, Karevik had recorded with the Metal band Vindictiv. Only time, and another Seventh Wonder release, will tell if Mr. Karevik is a worthy replacement. The pressure will be on the new line-up to deliver a second album with even greater "wonders," without having one of this line-up’s greatest strengths.

Sometimes one is blessed to have the good fortune to witness something in its infancy that has a lot of future potential. With their debut album, Become, as an impressive debut release, Progressive Metal fans should all invest in this band's future and buy this album ... then sit back and watch all the great things to come from Seventh Wonder.

Line-Up:
Johan Liefvendahl: Guitar
Andi Kravljaca: Vocals
Andreas Blomqvist: Bass
Johnny Sandin: Drums
Andrea Söderin: Keyboards


Report Card:
Vocals: A-
Guitars: B-
Bass: B+
Drums: A
Keyboards: B
Recording Quality: B
Lyrics: B
Originality: B
Overall Rating: B+

Release Date: June 2005

To find out more about Seventh Wonder, visit the label’s site at www.LionMusic.com or Seventh Wonder’s home page at www.SeventhWonder.nu.

www.metalexpressradio.com

 

 

 

SEVENTH WONDER: “Become”

seventhwonder-become125.jpg

Another excellent Swedish Progressive Metal band was born in December of 2000. Seventh Wonder rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the band that was Mankind, they began their journey, their quest that would lead them to today.
 

Approximately five years later Andi Kravljaca (vocals), Johan Liefvendahl (guitars), Andreas Blomqvist (bass), Johnny Sandin (drums) and Andreas Soderin (keyboards) would master their first full studio album and “Become”, was released in June 2005.

“Become” is nine powerfully progressive songs with a metal and hard rock vibe to them. Tracks like “Day By Day” and “The Damned” with intensive sounding guitars sweeping keyboards and clearly huge sounding vocals. Songs like “Temple Of The Storm” and “In The Blink of An Eye” will easily become fan favorites, heavy on the guitar riffs, cool vocal harmonies and big percussion beats. “Blinding My Eyes” with its powerfully aggressive opening flaming guitar licks and thunderous drums is a fast paced metal piece. The final track “I Will Remember” opens with melodic sounding vocals and continues to flow with harmonies and soar into a chorus of orchestrations and peaceful instrumental hooks.

All nine tracks in this Lion Music release from Seventh Wonder are well written, produced and mixed making “Become” a CD that is sure to give fans a taste of greater things to come. With this release the band’s future path is clearly marked with a clear way to success.
 

Reviewed by Kathy www.strikeupthebands.net 

 


 
Tracklist
1. Day By Day
2. Like Him
3. The Damned
4. Temple In The Storm
5. Blinding My Eyes
6. The Secret
7. What I’ve Become
8. In The Blink Of An Eye
 
Line-up
Tommy Karevik (v)
Johan Liefvendahl (g)
Andreas Söderin (k)
Andreas Blomqvist (b)
Johnny Sandin (d)
 
Review added
June 29, 2005
SEVENTH WONDER
Become
© 2005 Lion Music  (LMC 132)

progressive metal
studio album
9 tracks - TT 51:03
release date: June 22, 2005
http://www.seventhwonder.nu
progressive rock/metal

 
Arisen from the ashes of the band Mankind, this Swedish band was formed by Johnny Sandin, Adreas Blomqvist and Johan Liefvendahl in the fall of 2000. In December 2000, an unknown by the name of Andreas Söderin (k) came to one of the rehearsals and became so interested that he would come back for more. Söderin added a new dimension to the music the other three had written and soon he became the permanent keyboard player. At the beginning of the summer of 2001 enough material was written to record a first demo. Vocalist Roman Karpovich was hired to sing on that initial 4-track demo, which was released in December 2001. Good press reviews followed and that opened doors to play live. After a couple of (small) shows they were invited to open for Pain in July 2002. The need for a permanent vocalist started to grow from then on and after the summer the search for a competent vocalist would begin. Seventh Wonder finally found the man they sought when 21-year old Andi Kravljaca entered the rehearsal studio and seemed to know just about any song the band could play. With him on board a second 4-track demo, called “Temple In The Storm” was recorded and released. Brilliant reviews from all over the world followed and many copies of this second demo were sent out to a wide variety of record labels. Negotiations with three of them followed, but it was Lion Music who came with the best options. Mid-November 2004 Seventh Wonder entered the Sheepvalley Studios and within a month the debut album “Become” was recorded. So far so good, but tensions between the newest band member and the others (while the recordings took place) led to Andi’s dismissal. Once again the band was faced with the challenge of finding a competent vocalist. With a record deal in the pocket, this wouldn’t be much of a problem and in February of this year Tommy Karevik was added.
Listening to the end result, I can only say that Lion Music has indeed signed a band with great potential. Not all of their songs could convince me yet, but the more I listen to the album, the more I get excited. I’m sure a golden future is lying around the corner for these guys. Especially the last two tracks show what lies within their possibilities and if they can come up with more tracks like these two ones, I’m pretty sure the follow-up of this debut album will be a killer. A fine start for these guys and a great acquisition to the Lion Music roster! (CL)
www.rockreport.be

 

BAND >> CD >> LABEL >> NOTE>>
SEVENTH WONDER BECOME LION MUSIC (2005) 80%
Swedish progressive metallers Seventh Wonder are back with a brand new album. If you need one reason to check out that band, it would be because of the playing. The arrangements on those songs are more than well done, the guitar work is outstanding and the execution is perfect! Those musicians are so talented! If you're looking for huge melodies and big solos that may be a good choice. Or course you got to like the genre. The complexity of progressive, the intensity of metal and the rock vibe! That's what Seventh Wonder is all about. Having said that, I have to say that I don't really like the vocals. A bit to high pitch to sing of those intense songs but it's my opinion. I know it won't please to everyone but fans of progressive and power metal should like it. I could talk about it for hours but the main point is that those musicians are real professionals that definitly knows how to play and this isn't only music for musicians, they include plenty of strong melodies that will stick to your head!
www.thedarkesthours.com Patrick