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Seven Steps To The Green Door: The?Lie

A German progressive metal outfit now reaching their fifth album, the rather tongue twistingly named Seven Steps To The Green Door were formed round the keyboard skills of Marek Arnold (previously of the much missed Toxic Smile) and drum talents of Ulf Reinhardt. Having released The?Book - the first of a trilogy based round a book written by Thoralf Koss - back in 2011, the band now team up with lyricist George Andrade (who has previously worked with Airs, The Anabasis and PelleK) for the follow up The?Lie, which continues the story of, well, I’ll let Mr Andrade tell you...

"THE?LIE is a new rock opera/concept album that I've co-written with the magnificent Seven Steps to the Green Door, the second album of a proposed trilogy; it tells the story of a family intimately caught up in the fanatic actions of their religious leaders, their church "fathers", and the unfolding tragedy that befalls them all, while having to reconcile their faith turned religion with the repercussions of those fanatic actions committed in their God's name, and coming to terms with the divergent and symbiotic relationship of a faith's moral authority with the political realities of administrating and growing any organized religion... I think "THE?LIE" contains some of my best and most ambitious writing for music to date (I hope you'll agree), and combined with the stellar performances of the musicians and vocalist assembled for this record, I'm confident you'll be entertained, thrilled, and ultimately moved by the musical experience…"

And to Andrade’s immense credit he’s done a stellar job, the story unfolding with real dynamic tension and believability without ever adversely impinging on the experience of this album as a whole. With dramatic narration also intermingling expertly with the lyrics, this really is an immersive experience that draws you in and hits hard. Andrade has also put together a lyric book and there’s a strictly limited (only 30!) version that delves even deeper into the concept laid out.

I hadn’t previously encountered Seven Steps From The Green Door, but was a big fan of Arnold’s work with Toxic Smile. On this evidence I’ve been severely missing out by not following his movements since his previous band called it a day. With this outfit completed by Stephan Pankow on guitars and the trio of vocalists, Lars Kohler (who plays Samuel in the story), Anne Trautmann (Lover/Samuel’s girlfriend) and Jana Poche (Mother), a host of guests also litter the credits list: Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales/Camel) adding vocals for Father, Soren Flechsig (playing Noah), Amelie Hofmann (playing Crying Child) and Annemarie Schmid (just credited as vocals), while the band are fleshed out by Luke Machin (Maschine/The Tangent) on guitars, Michael Schetter, Denis Strassburg and Andreas Gemeinhardt (all adding bass), with contributions also from Steve Unruh (violin), Jason Melidonie (guitar), Susan Kammler (oboe) and Gerd Albers (acoustic guitar), which I’m sure you’ll agree is an impressive list of talent.

And it pays off massively, the intricacies interwoven on this album illustrated throughout as it is all revealed as one consecutive piece of music split into ‘songs’. “A Dream That Strayed” finds spoken sections playing off each other, while mingling with expertly layered vocals and a patient but complex musical structure, all coming together with much more ease than really should be possible. “A Price To Pray II”, however, shows that riff strewn struts are equally key here, as the frets burn and drums thrum into a controlled maelstrom that swirls round your head. However, you won’t be too surprised to learn that there are also some more obviously epic sections, with the closing trio of “The Word Made Flesh”, “Hear My Voice Tonight” and “Come To Your Father” ranging from breathy, impassioned restraint and melody bound washes to emotionally wrought vocal set pieces, via the dark, foreboding crescendo the entire middle part of this story has been building towards. The results are impressively engaging and make The?Lie into one of the most interactive and convincing conceptual pieces of prog I’ve encountered for some time. 

Track Listing
1. AΩ (Father)
2. Salvation
3. A Price to Pray (Spring)
4. A Dream That Strayed I
5. A Price to Pray (Fall)
6. A Dream That Strayed II
7. AΩ (Samuel)
8. Heaven
9. The Word Made Flesh
10. Hear My Voice Tonight
11. Come to Your Father

Added: April 5th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Seven Steps To The Green Door online
Hits: 2160
Language: english

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