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Seventh Wonder – The Testament Award winner

Seventh Wonder
The Testament
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 June 2022, 2:26 PM

SEVENTH WONDER formed in Sweden at the turn of the century. I am somewhat surprised that their label didn’t include an EPK with the tracks and cover. But, that is neither here nor there…it would just be nice as a reviewer. So far, the band has released five full-length albums. “The Testament” is their sixth, and contains nine tracks.

“Warrior” opens the album. A heavy riff opens the album with crystal clear production. Keyboards come in along with meaty bass notes in support. One thing is for sure, SEVENTH WONDER will embrace the use of keyboards, why not? Tommy’s voice is as clean as ever, and the melody shines through with both a guitar and keyboard solo. “The Light” rumbles out of the gate with another weighted riff, and the keys bring the melody in their front pocket. The big punch comes in the chorus, with layered vocals. Following the second chorus, the light clouds just a bit while the band runs through some key changes and more ambient tones. The bass work here is fantastic.

“I Carry the Blame” opens with hushed and ethereal tones, like you are just waking up from a pleasant dream. Here, the band shows more of their collective muscle when it comes to musicianship. This mid-tempo number breathes with full doses of melody. The guitar solo drips with tones of anguish but also resolve. “Reflections” begins with charming piano notes before the riff comes roaring in with keys in support. Dark and brooding sound follow, as the instrumental song struggles to stay in the light. “The Red River” also opens with piano notes as the grey clouds begin to part. The vocals are especially expressive here, as Tommy employs a variety of techniques in his delivery. “Invincible” is a shorter song that begins with a whirl of lead guitar and bass notes working in unison, with backing keyboards. Bassist Andreas puts on a clinic here on his how one should play the bass.

“Mindkiller” begins with heavier tones and some obvious mastery of their instruments. Guitar and bass dance together in a samba of sorts, without missing beat between them. Take your pick here who steals the show…there are several contenders. “Under a Clear Blue Sky” is the long song on the album, beginning with clean and somewhat sad guitar tones over a bed of dancing bass notes. A distorted guitar riff enters, thick and restless. The vocal harmonies soar high above the peaks in the clouds. The ambient passage that follows that wondrous keyboard solo really puts a stamp on the sound. “Elegy” closes the album. It’s a charming and sweet closing song, with noble vocals and minimal instrumentation.

Overall, this was another big winner for SEVENTH WONDER. At this rate, they are quickly becoming one of those special bands that, even after 20 years of writing and recording, are still making fresh music in the Progressive Metal industry. I daresay that “The Testament” is perhaps their most concise work as of lately. The musicianship is impeccable once again, but they are moving away from these magnum opuses and embracing a shorter way to still get their message across. Bravo!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Warriors
2. The Light
3. I Carry the Blame
4. Reflections
5. The Red River
6. Invincible
7. Mindkiller
8. Under a Clear Blue Sky
9. Elegy
Lineup:
Andreas Blomqvist – Bass
Johan Liefvendahl – Guitars
Andreas Söderin – Keyboards
Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Stefan Norgren – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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