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Seven Steps To The Green Door - Fetish CD (album) cover

FETISH

Seven Steps To The Green Door

 

Neo-Prog

3.95 | 242 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars The fourth album from SSTTGD didn't come out until 2015, and by now there had been some changes in the line-up. Andreas had left to be replaced by Martin Schnella, who on the album was providing both guitar and bassist, with Heiko Rehm now only forming part of the live band. This is another concept album, which is about the features of the human psyche with all of its relation to lust, addiction and consuming of media. Marek also wrote some lyrics with Guy Manning (who undertakes the same role with Cyril, one of Marek's bands), while Melanie Mau is one of the eight additional singers. Melanie records with Martin outside of SSTTGD, and two of the song lyrics were written by Melanie, Marek and Martin. Ulf and Marek wrote all the music, apart from three songs where Martin is listed as a co-writer so he was already have a major impact on the band. It is also the first album where Ronny Gruber wasn't involved at all, but there are certainly enough singers!

Of the four albums so far, to my ears this is the strongest as they have stretched the diversity, yet somehow made everything commercially accessible and enjoyable while never compromising any musical ideals. There are times when there are multiple vocal harmonies, yet Marek is still the person holding it all together with his beautiful piano. Martin has easily stepped into the role vacated by Andreas, and although his soloing in particular is quite different, it feels measured and totally in keeping with everything that is going on musically. There is a confidence and feeling of assuredness that was somewhat missing from the previous album, and the feeling that here is a band that just can't do any wrong. The layered vocals on songs such as "Still Searching" are immaculate, with wonderful choral elements, and the diversity throughout this album makes it a crossover (in its very truest sense) progressive rock album that is truly essential.

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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