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Seventh Wonder: The Testament

The Testament is the 6th studio album by progressive metal/melodic prog Swedish band Seventh Wonder. The lineup for this album consists of Andreas Blomqvist on bass, Johan Liefvendahl on guitars, Andreas Södering on keyboards, Tommy Karevik on vocals, and Stefan Norgren on drums. Clocking slightly over 53 minutes of total length, The Testament falls 4 songs and almost 20 minutes short than its predecessor Tiara (2018).

On my first listen I was a little skeptical due to the “too” immediate hooks, the album is basically a hook valley, so my first thought was that it would be an easy listen, there were not enough musical layers to be peeled and be able to grab and understand the essence of it, how wrong I was! I’ve listened the whole thing back-to-back in the last 24-30 hours at least 10-12 times, that’s how much I’m enjoying it and I discover something new with every new listen. Every instrument is fundamental here, the keyboards are amazing, catchy, and melodic, both modern and retro oriented when needed, outstanding guitar work accompanying those keyboards with the pristine riffs and the metal soloing, the drums are also exceptionally executed as expected on a progressive metal output but without overwhelming with the double bass drums or their speed… however is the immense bass playing and the heartfelt and theatrical vocals the definitive highlights for me… chapeau!

All songs are really good, even the mellow and soft ballad-like closer song “Elegy” and is unquestionably a group of songs that grow even more with every listen, specially the second half of the album, but with that being said I do have a couple of favorites that I would like to bring to the reader’s (listener’s) attention, and those songs are “The Light”, with that fast and furious startup and hypnotic synths, the instrumental “Reflections”, the incredibly melodic and catchy “The Red River”, the powerful “Mindkiller” and my favorite of all the incredible “Under a Clear Blue Sky”. I hear some Dream Theater (as in any progressive metal band born after 95-96) but also some Shadow Gallery and Threshold. This is a very solid album that I’m sure will be high in every top progressive metal album lists at the end of the year.


Track Listing:
  1. Warriors (4:43)
  2. The Light (6:19)
  3. I Carry the Blame (6:07)
  4. Reflections (5:36)
  5. The Red River (6:13)
  6. Invincible (3:39)
  7. Mindkiller (5:58)
  8. Under a Clear Blue Sky (8:46)
  9. Elegy (5:52)

Added: July 25th 2022
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 789
Language: english

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Seventh Wonder: The Testament
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-07-25 19:23:15
My Score:

In recent times we’ve had to wait for quite a while for a new opus to arrive from progressive metal outfit Seventh Wonder, with eight years passing between their The Great Escape album in 2010 and its follow up, Tiara. Another four years have been and gone since then but thankfully now we are being offered up The Testament, and while hardly brimming with surprises, this new outing is absolutely worth the wait. For it would appear that the quintet of Andreas Blomqvist (bass), Johan Liefvendahl (guitar), Andreas "Kyrt" Söderin (keyboards), Stefan Norgren (drums) and of course Tommy Karevik (vocals), who is now also the singer in Kamelot, are seemingly unable to disappoint.

As eluded to, The Testament doesn’t really stray from the path this band have been treading for the best part of two decades now, with solid, melodic, progressive metal being pin-pricked with some incredible musicianship, while never allowing that aspect to drive the songs. “Reflections”, for example, being catchy, hook laden fare that leaves enough room for a jaw-dropping fret workout and keyboard flurries that leave you gloriously flummoxed. “The Red River” pushes those same buttons, but in a more forceful manner, Karevik jostling eagerly with Liefvendahl and Söderin for supremacy, but in the end, we get a scintillating dead heat between all three. Delivered with swathes of light and shade, the balance that’s walked between progressive prowess, power metal majesty and something much more accessible, is very clever indeed, “Warriors” and “Under A Clear Blue Sky” making it easy to understand both why Seventh Wonder are seen as the natural heirs to the Dream Theater/Symphony X crown (if ever either relinquish it of course) and why melodic rock specialists Frontiers are the label behind this release.

The aforementioned “Invincible” is maybe one of the best examples of the latter point, its chorus, which surges out amongst a barrage of instrumental interplay, hitting like a melodic rock masterclass. Add in the beautiful string led closer “Elegy”, which also reveals a slightly folky edge, and there really is something for everyone here. In truth, for some, that might be a problem, because they may feel the melodic side is too much for a true prog-metaller to digest, but when the results right across the scale are this good, then surely everyone wins? Well, I think so anyway, The Testament once more proving that Seventh Wonder are right at the head of the melodic Prog-Power-Metal pack.



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