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Album Review : Seven Spires – A Fortress Called Home

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Review by Lydia Evans for MPM

American symphonic metal band Seven Spires will release their fourth studio album, A Fortress Called Home, on 21st June via Frontiers Music.

Pre-Order HERE

The album follows their 2021 release Gods of Debauchery. Seven Spires hails from Boston with members Adrienne Cowan (vocals), Jack Kosto (guitar), and Peter de Reyna (bass). The band formed in 2013 at Berklee College of Music.

A Fortress Called Home promises to “take their signature blend of symphonic power and extreme metal to new heights, dragging the listener to the deepest abysses in the process” (Frontiers Music). Guitarist Jack Kosto also mixed, mastered, and produced the album.

The band is excited and proud of the release, with every member speaking about their work. Bassist Peter de Reyna says, “This album will build you up and tear you down in true Seven Spires fashion. I couldn’t be prouder of the life that’s been created in this, our fourth record. Revel in the anguish, bask in the glory, and we will see you on the other side.

Frontwoman Adrienne Cowan says, “I visited the void twice while writing this album. I don’t know which begat the other. It’s ugly. I love it and I hate it, and I think it’s our best work yet.

Guitarist Jack Kosto says, “If our previous albums have intended to take you on an emotional journey of our design, this album forces you to confront the one of your own making.

Good luck and enjoy!” The album opens with title track A Fortress Called Home – it comes in at just under two minutes. With a cinematic quality, it sounds almost akin to the Game Of Thrones theme song. It’s a commanding introduction that sets a precedent for the power that lies ahead.

Songs Upon Wine-Stained Tongues immerses the listener into the music with chanting background vocals against record speed guitar and fast drums. Adrienne has a high-powered voice that juxtaposes the symphonic metal sound – it’s unique.

Three minutes into the seven minute track, we have piano and softer vocals, slowly building again with
precise drum work. A song of this length should take you on a journey, and this one definitely does.

Third track and single Almosttown shows off Adrienne’s softer vocals and strong bass work by Peter de Reyna. Both Adrienne and Jack spoke about this song in particular, with Adrienne saying, “It’s a song about questioning yourself, your choices, the road behind and ahead, and the lonely bed you habitually make and lie in. It’s yearning for the impossible; the elusive, the intangible.

We knew pretty early on that this would be a perfect first single, as it’s a really fun and somewhat gentle introduction into the subject matter of this album. It’s got all of the fun stuff: riffs, hooks, musical chops, and a gorgeous castle we were lucky enough to film the music video in!” Jack adds.

I find Almosttown a great choice for a first single as well. The chorus is catchy and like Jack says, it’s a gentle taste of what this album will bring – but it’s a great song on its own.

Impossible Tower has a heavy riff to back up the impressive vocals – there’s a sinister feel about this one. The longer tracks allow for many different sections of music, so it can be quite diverse within one song.

Love’s Souvenir begins with groovy bass and toned down vocals with a generally spooky feel to it. The orchestral sections really bring the symphonic side together. Love’s Souvenir shows off the band’s range of what they can accomplish as the song slowly builds.

By the three minute mark, it has exploded into powerful vocals and precise drums. The slow building of the first few minutes gives it that much power when it explodes into full metal and a powerful guitar solo.

Architect Of Creation is another track with cinematic quality – it’s interesting and satisfying to listen to. The next two tracks show a gentler side of the music, with Portrait Of Us showing off softer vocals and themes of love. Emerald Necklace is my personal favourite – it’s ballad-like and romantic in its own symphonic metal way.

The instrumentals against the background chanting are particularly moving. Where Sorrows Bear My Name is darker with a heavier riff and screaming vocals.

No Place For Us is solid with impressive guitar and bass work. Seven Spires has a strong sound that
they stick to, and No Place For Us makes a great example of this. House Of Lies shows off Adrienne’s impressive vocals with belting notes that gave me chills.

Final track The Old Hurt Of Being Left Behind has a catchy, upbeat riff against dark instrumentals. This one is particularly melodic with the guitar solo work. As the song slowly dies down, the listener can appreciate the bass work and vocals – it’s a great ending.

Seven Spires will be performing a headline set at Mile High Power Fest in Denver, Colorado, this August. In December, they will start their first headlining Japanese tour with Lords of the Trident. A Fortress Called Home is an album that will leave you thinking – it’s worth checking out

From the album “A Fortress Called Home”. Pre-order here: https://orcd.co/afortresscalledhome

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