"Seven Thorns - Return to the Past
Melodic Metal Band „Seven Thorns“ from Denmark was formed back in 1998. The band is influenced in the line of Gamma Ray, Helloween and more. After several years of line-up changes and in changing the bands logo, Seven Thorns published their first real full time album „Return to the Past“ in 2010 over Nightmare Records. This record label stands for high quality releases. We will find out if this release continues with that.
„Liberty“ starts with Gamma Ray-like guitar lines. But the vocals of Erik Blomqvist are not as high as in the band from Hamburg. A speedful song with good harmonies and a nice refrain. A classical guitar solo in the middle, well played. The song owns all the typical trademarks that Melodic Powermetal Bands need. The sound is near to Stratovarius which means not the worst reference in rock.
A real symphonic keyboard beginning in „End of the Road“. The song is even a little faster than the opener, but is breathing the same vibes. Pumping drums, great guitar licks. Some classical inputs and some „Hoo-hooo“-choirs do the rest. This leans the song a real hymn character. Not bad !
Same in „Through the Mirror“. Cause of the guitar work there could be found some arrangements that even Yngwie Malmsteen couldn't have been done better. The vocal performance is a bit higher than before. More in Gamma Ray-style. Based on harmonies and classical guitar lines the bands sound is really near to the melodic metal heroes from germany or scandinavia.
Cool guitar riff opens „Freedom Call“, before the meanwhile well known vocals appear. This song has a little darker base. If I say dark, it means not that almost happy feeling. More in Helloween to The Dark Ride times. A smasher, full of melodic harmonies, fast and furious coming to the point. Finished with higher screams of Erik. A complete art of noise in melodic metal. Great !
Is there an airplane starting? - I think so...“Countdown“ is on the way. And it is on the same road like Gamma Ray in earlier years. Speedful, heading forward to count it down. Twin guitar leads versus single guitar solos. Erik tries to put more aggression in his voice, but he is too much in clear vocals so that doesn't work at all. Gallopping drums til the count is done with a scream.
With „Forest Majesty“ we find an older track from an EP of Seven Thorns. Renewed for that album. Flutes in the beginning. Happy vocal lines and nice refrain bring this song to be worth as a single. A song that everyone can sing with and for that I think a great song for live performances.
„Spread your wings“ starts with a hard guitar riff. I can hear some Falconer elements in this song. Again more dark than happy. And this is also taken from the older EP new arranged. Straight forward with Helloween touch. The guitarists know definetely how to play. It has to be told that all the musicians do a great job on this album. Their experience in playing music can be heard.
The „Hooo-hooo“-choirs are back in „Fires and storms“. The vocals remember a little to Michael Kiske at Keepers-times. This song could have been part of Helloweens Keeper of the Seven Keys albums. It shows directly again where the bands influences come from. Speedful, melodic, great guitar parts and happy feelings. Very powerful coming to the end.
The title track round up this album. „Return to the Past“ again unites all the elements in the sound of Seven Thorns. Some backing keyboards support the straight guitar lines. A fast song with power drumming and vocals again near to Falconer. Interrupted from some acoustic guitars in the middle a classical guitar solo starts to bring the album to the end. The amazing refrain allows to say that the last song is also the best song of „Return to the Past“. Great finish !!
With this album Seven Thorns can play in the first league of Melodic Powermetal bands. All musicians know well how to play an the vocals of Erik lean the songs a warm but heavy touch. The only thing that is missing is a little bit of originality. If the band can work out more their own style we will hear and see them in alliance with the big ones of this genre.
review by Kerbinator
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