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Seven Sisters – Shadow of a Fallen Star, Pt. 1

Seven Sisters
Shadow of a Fallen Star, Pt. 1
by Paul LaPlaca at 23 November 2021, 6:20 AM

SEVEN SISTERS returns with their 3rd full-length album, deftly walking a tightrope that connects prog, power, and neo-classical metal styles. Vocals are handled by KYLE MCNEIL who has hints of STEVE WALSH and JOE LYNNE TURNER in his arsenal and the neo-classical elements lean more towards MARK REALE from RIOT and his clear influence, MICHAEL SHENKER than the shred intensive style of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. Playing is rock solid across the board but no one stands out as a self-indulgent virtuoso bent on using these songs as a platform for extended soloing. The songs themselves are relatively straightforward and have an upbeat, major tonality, that gives the album its power metal elements.

“Andromeda Rising” starts things off with a light, acoustic guitar piece that has a lovely Spanish flavor, the squeaky steel strings setting up a beautiful foundation for a soaring nylon string melody. This blends into the epic, “Beyond The Black Stars” a larger-than-life rocker that will please fans of BLIND GUARDIAN, HAMMERFALL, and GAMMA RAY. “The Artifice” juxtaposes punchy, choppy, verse guitar rhythms with an open, soaring chorus and an almost pipe organ keyboard to give the track a pleasant 80’s vibe. “Whispers In The Dark” has one of the most powerful vocal hooks on the album with the memorable line, “These ancient Ghosts…” creating an undeniable earworm and harmony guitars that could easily be from a RIOT album or KING KOBRA’S debut.

The standout song of the album is the title track,  “Shadow Of A Fallen Star” which starts with a slow trot and more 80’s synths and quickly drops down to a quiet whisper. This turns into a fist-pumping anthem, literally, “Crying out!!” If this is Part 1 then I can’t wait to hear the next one. Overall, the production on the album is slightly dated but it feels very intentional that it should sound like it was from a specific time period of prog/power metal without the burden of fantasy lyrics that often feel trite. The songwriting is straightforward with just enough complexity to make it interesting but just falling short of the elaborate solo sections that would push this into the prog-sphere and SYMPHONY X territory. This is the perfect album for anyone that favors songs over soloing but with enough elevated technique and playing to keep things interesting.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Andromeda Rising
2.Beyond The Black Stars
3.The Artifice
4.Whispers In The Dark
5.Horizon’s Eye
6.Wounds Of Design
7.Shadow Of A Fallen Star
8.Truth’s Burden
Lineup:
Kyle McNeill – Guitar/Vocals
Graeme Farmer – Guitar
Gaz Martin – Bass
Sam Christou – Drum
Record Label: Dissonance Productions
     


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