Review by Gary Spiller for MPM
In Norse mythology there are those that are destined for Valhalla and those for Fólkvangr; their paths cross at times. Those crossings of significance are, no doubt, recollected on stormy nights aside a roaring log fire with a flagon of ale to hand.
There’s no indication of my heading towards a Scandinavian hall or field but there’s much of note in the recollection of my crossing of paths with London-based metallers Seven Sisters.
It’s over five years since I bore witness to a barnstorming set of fine revatalised NWOBHM infused rock generated by a dynamic and industrious young quartet at 2016s Giants of Rock festival.
Their impression has lasted to the day but sadly our fates never entwined again; well that is until this gem of a release dropped into my inbox recently.
Memories evoked and the fires rekindled I delved into realms of Seven Sisters third album; their first since 2018s ‘The Cauldron and The Cross’. I’m more than pleasantly surprised with what I discover herein.
The instrumental ‘Andromeda Rising’ sets the tone neatly with the founding pair of Kyle McNeill (guitar / vocals) and Graeme Farmer (guitar) dovetailing perfectly from the acoustic intro through to the transition to full-powered assault when the twin electric six-strings kick in along with recently recruited rhythm section of Gaz Martin (bass) and Sam Christou (drums).
There are touches of Jimmy Page before neatly rolling right into wondrous ‘Beyond The Black Stars’. Frenetically paced the track melds, delightfully, symphonic elements of thrash with those melodic intricacies beloved of Yngwie Malmsteen. The bar has been set high.
‘The Artifice’ possesses a Celtic-edged blade with Kyle’s vocals seemingly taking degrees of inspiration from Midge Ure and Gary Moore. Atop rich twin guitars and a precise military-like beat the listener is transported to wind-swept moorlands where above the eagle soars effortlessly.
The twin guitars of McNeill and Farmer duel as one, swordsmen with their shining metal blades catching the sun, within the anthemic ‘Whispers In The Dark’. The album continues to flow assuredly as certain as the mountain stream that knows its destiny awaits at the ocean’s edge.
‘Horizon’s Eye’, weighing in at a shade under seven minutes, takes the punch of Helloween alloyed with prog metal touches of Maiden with the mastery of Malmsteen alongside; the quintessential sorcery that underpins this signature epic.
A crown which is worn proudly until the intensly delivered ballad ‘Wounds Of Design’ forcefully swipes the head apparel for its own. There’s no doubt that this quartet can control shades of both dark and light; Seven Sisters stand grand and tall as their namesake cliffs where the South Downs roll into the Channel.
Sublime title track ‘Shadow Of A Fallen Star’ channels the feel of traditional metal whilst exploring a fresh direction before phasing into prog-metal album-closer ‘Truth’s Burden’ that ensures, via rolling and pitching afloat on a storm-lashed ocean, this fine long-player ends in the same high-quality vein that is exploited throughout.
The 40 minutes or so contained within ‘Shadow Of A Fallen Star Pt. 1’ is testament to the collective ability of these four London metallers and to their steadfast determination to produce a sound to call their own whilst paying respectful homage to those who have inspired.
This is a fine balance and one Seven Sisters are well-positioned at the fulcrum of. A worthy release that is highly recommended.
- Andromeda Rising
- Beyond The Black Stars
- The Artifice
- Whispers In The Dark
- Horizon’s Eye
- Wounds Of Design
- Shadow Of A Fallen Star
- Truth’s Burden
Seven Sisters are:
Kyle McNeill – Guitar/Vocals
Graeme Farmer – Guitar
Gaz Martin – Bass
Sam Christou – Drum
Seven Sisters Socials: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sevensisters..