Artist: Seventh Wonder 
   Title: The Great Escape
   Label: Lion Music
 

One of the most anticipated releases on the Prog Metal calendar was Seventh Wonders 'The Great Escape', an album that promises to take the band to the next level.  With outstanding live performances at the prestigious festivals Sweden Rocks and Prog Power USA, the band had built up quite a reputation for taking the genre to new heights.  This was never more felt than with the bands 2008 release ‘Mercury Fall’, but then in late 2010 the Swedes would surpass even this release with their new opus ‘The Great Escape’, which boasts the 30 minute title track which exceeded even the bands expectations and took the word epic and gave it a whole new meaning.

So on to the album itself.  Well this takes over where 'Mercury Falls' left off, again we hear the swirling melody rich musicianship that have become the trademark Seventh Wonder sound, as Andrea Blomqvist powers through with some gigantic bass lines while Johan Leifvendahl delivers some quite stunning guitar work, with Andreas Soderin providing the timeless keyboards, all the while Johnny Sandin anchors the band with a powerhouse drum sound, although the icing on the cake has to be the vocals prowess of Tommy Karevik, whose voice was simply made for this style of music.

The album opens up with ‘Wiseman’ and instantly you're hit with this powerhouse Prog Metal sound, a titanic overture that engulfs the listener from the off.  A gargantuan mix of heady bass and drums all interwoven with soaring keyboards and spellbinding guitar riffs, and that’s before Karevik comes in with a real towering vocal.  Welcome to track one!

The album continues to show why the band are at the top of the genre with ‘Alley Cat’, again Blomqvist and Sandin deliver the powerhouse back beat for the rest of the band to build upon, and build they do!  Especially Leifvendahl who throws out some of the best Prog licks you’ll ever hear, and Karevik does what he does best and pumps out one of the best vocals the genre has heard in ages.

The tempo is brought down a touch for the film score metal of ‘The Angelmaker’, this is where Andreas Söderin comes into his own on the keyboards and Blomqvist adds a thumping bass line.  The pair take this along the Prog road with such grace that you as a listener are swept along for the ride of your life.

The shortest track on the album coming in at just under four and a half minutes is the haunting almost Melodic Rock vibe of ‘Long Way Home’.  A gentle reprise that shows the band can take it down a notch or two when needed.

Just before the titanic title track arrives we are treated to another Prog Metal gem in ‘Move On Through’, then it's time for the title track ‘The Great Escape’, a track that is based on the epic space saga Aniara, written in 1956 by Swedish Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson.  The band even obtained written permission from the author’s daughter who holds the copyright to use phrases from the original book, after hearing a few of the bands songs and liking them.

So on to the track itself, well I’ve never known 30 minutes take you on such a magic carpet ride of emotions.  Right from the gentle acoustic beginnings as they fade in the orchestrations and the majestic film score tones take over, then it full on Prog Metal guitar that takes you to the next level.  Rush were a band that took epic to new levels with the likes of '2112' and I think Seventh Wonder are the new Rush of the Prog Metal genre.  Anyone who can keep you hooked for 30 minutes definitely have that something very special and Seventh Wonder are a band that have set the bar high for the rest of the genre to follow, which I think might be a tall order for many, such is the quality of this release.

 Tracklisting:

1. Wiseman
2. Alley Cat
3. The Angelmaker
4. King Of Whitewater
5. Long Way Home
6. Move On Through
7. The Great Escape

                  

 

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