Seven Spires - Solveig,
Over the years, the Berklee College of Music has built a reputation as training some great musicians, so when four graduates decide to form a band together it is perhaps not surprising that they are going to create something very special indeed and that is the case with Seven Spires. They found themselves sharing the stage with bands such as Arch Enemy, Amaranthe and Apocalyptica – among many others – in their first three years of existence, and one can hear how bands such as these have influenced their own material. It would be easy to classify them as yet another symphonic metal band, but to be honest they are switching and moving through genres, often within the same song. They are as much at home in melancholic power metal, melodic death metal or black metal as they are in symphonic or melodic. This is over the top intense material, and own wonders just how the quartet manage to pull this off live, but they do.
Adrienne Cowan leads the band with an iron will and a golden voice. She employs a combination of her classical training and self-taught extreme vocal techniques to ensure that she can always deliver in concert everything she performs in the studio, so there is less strict operatic singing than one may expect, but given that she can go from sounding like Angela Gossow to Anneke van Giersbergen to Floor Jansen in the same line, she ought to be forgiven. ‘Solveig’ is a concept album, telling the story of a lost soul and his journey through a demon’s sunless neo-Victorian underworld. Despite small glimmers of hope, it is a grim tale with a heavy focus on escapism, death and decadence.
This is awesome, and the more I have played it the more I have discovered within the layers, and consequently the more I have loved it. More Savatage than Nightwish, this is one heck of a debut album.