Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls
Lion Music
Progressive Metal
15 songs (73:57)
Release year: 2008
Seventh Wonder, Lion Music
Reviewed by Thomas

The swedish progressive metal heroes, Seventh Wonder have built a solid reputation within the Scandinavian metal scene. Their debut was well recieved, and their follow-up got even better reviews. During their touring in 2007, they started making material for their third record, the concept album Mercy Falls. Mercy Falls carries on with the progressive and insanely melodic style, and with this Seventh Wonder have spawned their most complex record to date.

These guys draw inspiration from all over the scene. Think the complexities of Zero Hour meets the slightly aggressive style of Symphony X, meets the Scenes-era Dream Theater, mixed up with the happy melodies from A.C.T, and a touch of 80's metal/hard rock. The list goes on and on, but I think you get the picture by now. Instrumental and vocal-wise this is top notch. After several close listens, the bass and the guitar stick out as the driving force behind this, firmly beckoned by the remarkably strong vocals. The interaction between the bass and guitar is some of the best I've heard in a good while. The bass does everything the guitar does, and the other way around in a Petrucci/Myung way. There's also thrown in a good deal of exciting bass-solos here which is a rather fun detail when executed as technically perfect as this. While the string duo takes care of the complex riffs and rhythms, the insanely catchy vocals of Tommy Karveik provides the incredible melodies. His vocals are very similar to Jorn Lande's, just slightly less guttural, much much clearer, and in my humble opinion much steadier in the lower stages. Your attention will not slip for one single moment, as he adds an excellent groove and single-handedly makes this easier to get into. The only complaint I have regarding the instruments, is the simple and sometimes annoying keyboards. They could've been a little lower in the mix, and sort of ruins the intro on Unbreakable. On the other hand, we get plenty of thrilling solo battles with the guitar to make up for it.

This is a concept album, and the two first songs remind me very much of the two openers from Dream Theater's Scenes From a Memory. The opener A New Beginning sets the scene with an accident and a doctor/relative conversation that reminds me very much of Regression. It slips into the overture There and Back before the first real "song" Welcome To Mercy Falls, kicks in. In short, and since I haven't quite "got" the story myself, Mercy Falls discusses a fatal family tragedy and the fate of the small town Mercy Falls. The father and husband falls into a coma after the mentioned accident and some, if not most of the lyrics are told from his point of view. The lyrics vary from good to excellent and are both emotive and relatively direct. They do, along with the music, fit the story nicely.

There's not really much negative to say about this. If I had to pick something, it would probably be that the album is too long for my liking, and that it does show some signs of inconsitensy on some of the songs. However, this is nothing big. The songs here are packed with quality, energy and emotions. Even the ballad/interlude Tears For A Father is worth several listens, mostly due to Karevik's stunning vocal performance. Prog fan or not, you surely won't be bored with this one. One of the most surprising releases this year for my part. Highly recommended.

Myspace
Killing Songs :
Welcome to Mercy Falls, Tears For a Father, A Day Away, Paradise, Fall In Line, Break The Silence, Hide and Seek, Destiny Calls
Thomas quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Seventh Wonder that we have reviewed:
Seventh Wonder - The Great Escape reviewed by Thomas and quoted 88 / 100
Seventh Wonder - Waiting In the Wings reviewed by Thomas and quoted 79 / 100
Seventh Wonder - Become reviewed by Ian and quoted 81 / 100
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