STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82250-15670 LABEL: Bombworks FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Greg Sammons
After rumours amidst rumours of rumours finally here is the first Seventh Angel material in over 15 years and you know what, it's not bad at all. So often these reunion projects turn into nostalgic ramblings but instead this feels like a very mature and carefully focussed release that ably demonstrates all the members' musical history. To paraphrase bassist Mark Broomhead, due to the time gap this feels much more like album number seven rather than three; his comments refer to a huge leap in musical evolution from Seventh Angel's thrash roots. Instead this is a much darker, slower and more doom-laden effort, reflecting guitarist and vocalist Ian Arkley's own musical theme of choice for the last decade and a half. However guitarist and vocalist Si Bibby has been champing at the bit to dabble in this side of music for years and certainly the other members of the band are happy to go along with this. Seventh Angel's drummer, Tank, has by the nature of this sound perhaps his easiest ride so far! As well as that more doomy sound, there's also the first chance to see Simon's melodious voice counter-point Ian's guttural rasp. Their haunting mixed vocals along with beautiful narration in places really add to the overall sound. This is perhaps best demonstrated on "Abélard And Heloise" (narrated by Broomhead and My Silent Wake's Kate Hamilton respectively), a song that delicately builds until the frustration of their strained and controversial relationship is matched musically. Quite a contentious subject for Broomhead to suggest as a song but the result is glorious. Lyrically this is the band's most ambiguous album though Bibby is still capable of writing some beautiful spiritually rich lyrics. The final song "Oswiecim" is perhaps the most overt song lyrically and musically its concluding haunting drone matches the thought-provoking nature of what the narrator had just said. If you were expecting an album of thrash you'll be sorely disappointed, instead just sit back and take in a carefully crafted demonstration of fine British musicianship.