With a distinct sound that shamelessly melds progressive rock, neoclassical metal and AOR, America's Seven Seraphim disguises itself as a classy European band on its equally classy debut, Believe in Angels. When this quartet hits its stride, as it does on upbeat ditties like "Song Blaque," "Dance in the Red," and "The Hand That Feeds," Seven Seraphim's brand of smart and savvy rock becomes tough to categorize — although Scarlet Records has no problem comparing its budding young band to Symphony X, Royal Hunt, Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Queen and Toto.
Singer Greg Hupp's distinct voice doesn't really have a metal tinge to it, which is probably why Seven Seraphim have opted for the musical direction it has. Nevertheless, virtuoso guitarist Andrew Szucs does plenty of shredding — but not enough riffing. The result is a decent change-of-pace album that's nevertheless a bit too sanitized.
Believe in Angels sometimes comes off like an experiment, as some of these pieces work extremely well, while others sound a bit awkward. And at 38 minutes, the album could either have been longer with a couple more solid songs or scaled back to an EP with the removal of mediocre and tedious tracks like "Anastasia," "Lady Jade" and four (!) brief and pointless instrumentals.