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THE GREAT ESCAPE

Seventh Wonder

Progressive Metal


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Seventh Wonder The Great Escape album cover
4.07 | 198 ratings | 10 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Wiseman (5:42)
2. Alley Cat (6:06)
3. The Angelmaker (8:29)
4. King of Whitewater (7:20)
5. Long Way home (4:26)
6. Move on Through (5:04)
7. The Great Escape (30:14)

Total Time 68 min

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Andreas Blomqvist / bass
- Johan Liefvendahl / guitar
- Tommy Karevik / vocals
- Andreas "Kyrt" Söderin / keyboard

Releases information

Released through Lion Music.

Thanks to richard.zado for the addition
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Buy SEVENTH WONDER The Great Escape Music


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CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$9.84
$20.68 (used)
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Indie Europe/Zoom 2011
Audio CD$24.56
$22.93 (used)
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SEVENTH WONDER The Great Escape ratings distribution


4.07
(198 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
38%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

SEVENTH WONDER The Great Escape reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I'll just go ahead and say it up front: this album is a masterpiece. While this is decidedly a more song-centered album than, say, Scenes From a Memory, there is not a single moment on this album that is less than stellar. There are definitely still touches of the power metal sound on The Great Escape, but make no mistake: this is a prog album through and through. The songwriting has improved from the already excellent Mercy Falls, a fact which is most clearly demonstrated on the 30 (yes, 30) minute closing track. However, this album is anything but one-sided, and in fact I would venture to say that The Great Escape is one of the most consistent, listenable albums I've ever heard.

"Wiseman" kicks the album off on a bang, with speed-riffing guitars and grand, cinematic synths immediately establishing an epic mood. It also soon becomes apparent that Seventh Wonder has retained from their previous album their excellent ear for melodic, sweeping, power-metal-esque vocal lines. However, it appears that this album represents another step in an even proggier direction than on their previous effort, Mercy Falls. Rhythmically complex riffs and loads of mini-solos from both guitar and synthesizer ensure that any fan of this classic style of progressive metal will find plenty to like, and forays into differing sounds such as the quieter interlude towards the end of the track prevent "Wiseman" from sounding like a standard verse-chorus power metal song. No doubt a killer opener.

One of my favorite songs from Seventh Wonder follows this up, as "Alley Cat" begins with a technical yet melodic series of riffs before another excellent vocal line kicks in. Where the song really shines, however, is the chorus. With a main hook that can only be described as "anthemic" and plenty of backing music from grand, sweeping synths and pounding guitars, this is the kind of song that makes you want to stand up and shout along with the lyrics. Per the unspoken requirements of the genre, there's a technically blistering solo in the middle of the track as well, and while that perhaps doesn't excite me as much as it might have once, it's hard not to be impressed by the playing (at least for a relative musical layman such as myself).

"The Angelmaker" begins with a very melodic, slightly melancholy guitar part. When this is augmented with synths and crashing, distorted guitars the track begins to remind one of Symphony X, a similarity that remains as the vocals enter. A little bit heavier and "crunchier" than the first two tracks, there's nonetheless a strong sense of melody throughout, with not one but several excellent melodic hooks prominently used throughout the track. Interestingly, the song shakes up the formula a bit by pairing these hooks with chugging riffs rather than cinematic sweeps, and this change-up works quite well and makes the symphonic synth sections all the more effective when they finally do appear. "The Angelmaker" fills its 8 and a half minutes admirably, never feeling excessively long despite its somewhat standard structure.

"King of Whitewater" again bucks the formula by beginning with a gorgeous solo piano part which is quickly augmented by symphonic orchestration. It's not long before this symphonic melody is overlaid with metal instrumentation, and the song begins in earnest. The vocals are as powerful as they've ever been and the hooks just continue to get better. "King of Whitewater" even features what sounds like a violin solo, lending a strong, albeit brief, folky section.

"Long Way Home" is a more restrained number, featuring a simple but effective piano/vocal duet to begin the track and a much quieter instrumentation for most of the song's duration than the loud and bombastic nature of the first four tracks. I know there are those who aren't the biggest fans of ballad-like songs such as this on progressive metal albums, and I'll admit that the cheese factor is fairly high, but I still really enjoy this song. The pacing is brilliant, ramping up towards the end by adding a degree of heaviness and throwing in some sparse but effective female vocals. Additionally, Seventh Wonder's knack for melody synergizes perfectly with the more melodic nature of this type of song, and as a result the vocals just go into overdrive, with the singer providing some of the most powerful delivery on the album.

"Move on Through" is the final short track on the album before the epic closer. Starting off with a very atmospheric bass and synth part, the track develops into a juxtaposition of slower, almost jazzy verses and a more rhythmically regimented chorus. It's a combination that works very well, and the slightly jazzier playing is a nice break from the mechanical riffs that dominate most of the rest of the album.

It's a testament to the strength of the material here that if the album ended before the closer it would still, in my estimation, be a four star effort. Clearly, though, Seventh Wonder was not content to go halfway. It almost seems unfair that we should be treated to a massive, 30 minute closing epic after the incredible first six tracks. One would almost be inclined to worry that such a closer could detract from the overall strength of the album; that it would inject unneeded filler into an otherwise very tight album.

Fortunately, those fears are unfounded. From the opening strains of acoustic guitar and the delicate vocals that accompany them, it is immediately clear that this song is not going to be anything less than a fantastic journey. This becomes even more apparent as the track's overture of sorts begins, with a variety of orchestral sounds clearly demonstrating that "Symphonic Metal" is more than just metal with strings. A huge variety of melodies and themes make appearances just in this opening 5 minutes section of the track, and by the time vocals come in again the listener is fully prepared for the tour de force that is to follow. A galloping guitar line matched with a slightly western-sounding synth line sets up a sense of adventure and grants the listener a hint of the voyage they are beginning to embark upon. The song hits its first fade-out at about the 10 minute mark, and another solo piano part picks up to begin the second distinct section of the track. Guitars and percussion are re-introduced as one of the best vocal sections on the album begins. Though the impact of the word "epic" has been somewhat diminished by drastic overuse in the last few years, I simply can't think of another way to describe this music.

It's not until about the 17 minute mark that the energy dies down again, and the third section of the track begins with an incredible acoustic guitar and piano part that meshes perfectly with the dramatic vocals it accompanies. The guitar takes a wonderfully emotive solo as well, though it's very brief and more than anything serves as a lead-in to more riffing. At about the 20 minute point the female vocals return, serving again in a very understated role but providing a perfect, subtle foil to the more bombastic, heavier main part of the track. The song moves towards its conclusion with another gorgeous piano/vocal duet before some of the themes from the "overture" are reprised. Everything finally culminates in a final, grand wash of synth before a simple acoustic guitar part closes out the track, giving the song a nice degree of symmetry.

I'm astounded every time I listen through this album because every song sounds like it should be the highlight, and on any other album it probably would be. With this album Seventh Wonder have hit upon that rare vein of inspiration that leaves not a single bad moment in the album's 68 minute run time. I mentioned in my review of Mercy Falls that Seventh Wonder is one of the few bands for whom I can sit through 70 minutes of material without ever even thinking of pressing the skip button, and that is absolutely still the case on The Great Escape. If anything, this album is even tighter. I really can't stress how good every single song is, with the closer especially standing out as one of the best progressive metal epics I've ever heard. I really believe that Seventh Wonder deserves to be thought of as a top-tier prog-metal band and I hope I can hear much more from them in the future.

5/5

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#663834) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Pop Goes the Metal 'cause the Metal goes Pop?

Yes Siree Bob, this is metal with pop flavor; smiling heavy music. Like Mind's Eye, A.C.T. or Andromeda, this album contains certified metal licks with a boy's band coating. Also, you'll find lyrics that includes heavy use of words like: 'life', 'fire', 'die' and 'forever'.

Hey, Yngwie Malmsteen called, he wants his poems back.

Enough tomfoolery. If the cheese contained in this record could solve world hunger, why giving it a spin?

The melodies are to die for. Really. The hooks are big and frequent, enough to hum it later in your car. The songs are fast and direct, leaning towards neo-classical at times. Think A.C.T. 's catchyness mixed with Andromeda's musical prowness and topped with Shadow Gallery cherries. My hat goes to the bassman who doubles the solos with the guitar a la John Myung. It's HARD to shred the bass. Really, I tried and failed. But kudos to Blomqvist who proves that it can be done many times in a single song.

It's a guilty pleasure for me, I admit. It has not the raffinement (french) of Dream Theater nor the creativity. It could raise your wife's eyebrow, thinking that Bon Jovi is going progressive. But I will not hide that they have a talent to make complex music accessible to others.

Who wouldn't want to cry the word 'Forever!!' at the top of their lungs dressed in black? I know I would.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#846005) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The almost criminally underrated Seventh Wonder ..."

The above quote by Progrussia at the main page of this site today really struck my head and makes me realize that I have not said anything at all about this band even though this The Great Escape album has been in my regular playlist. Yes, in a way I agree with his statement irrespective it's criminal or not .... The fact is that this band is really underrated. He then also wrote: " ...combine an ear for sugar sweet melodies and technical brilliance of Dream Theater, although they rarely go into extensive soloing - few of the so-called Dream Theatar clones do, nor they should if can't top the masters.". Yup! His words help me formulate how I feel abouth the music of Seventh Wonder whom I knew because of Kamelot latest album. I have to admit that this band has a technical mastery: composition-wise as well as performance-wise with his counterparts like Kamelot, Dream Theater and Symphony X.

I would have never known the band until someone, my metalhead friend, told me that the new vocalist of my favourite band Kamelot has a band named as Seventh Wonder. I was so curious about it and expecting Seventh Wonder plays similar music like Kamelot. When I finally got this album .. oh no they are different than Kamelot musically but they are as excellent as Kamelot! In fact, I'd like the vocalist sings the way he sings in Seventh Wonder and not emulating like Roy Khan when he is the lead vox for Kamelot. In fact, I am afraid the lead vocal Tommy Karevik would quit from Seventh Wonder ...oh no ... He should not do that! Seventh Wonder must stay alive , and so Kamelot!

Looking at the music, the opening track Wiseman (5:42) sounds to me like a song that goes directly to chorus when the vocal line enters the music. This is quite unique actually. It moves like a straight forward power metal music with typically nice melody. Almost the same style happens at the next track Alley Cat (6:06). The Angelmaker (8:29) is more complex than the previous two tracks especially it has excellent guitar as well as keyboard solo. I must agree that actually Seventh Wonder tends not to demonstrate long solo so that the music sounds packed with combination of sounds from all instruments. There are some heavy riffs but not as frequent as Dream Theater. Right after the ballad Long Way home (4:26) the music moves up to much more energetic Move on Through (5:04) with its powerful combination of vocal harmony (plus nice melody - of course) and excellent riffs and drumming. The keyboard plays very well at the back. Ilove the bass playing at this track. This track is positioned right before the last epic which is I believe was carefully planned by the band as musical peak to conclude the album.

The Great Escape is of course an epic with its 30:14 duration. I can assure you that the duration that is considered long by some people is not that long actually because the band has successfully crafted the composition in such a way that makes us, the listeners, stunned all the way from start to end. When it starts with acoustic guitar, it reminds me to Genesis' Horison right before Supper's Ready. But this one has vocal line on top of acoustic guitar. I really enjoy the opening part with only acoustic guitar and vocal. Tommy's voice is excellent! When the keyboard enters with some classical music, it starts to make my adrenalin rolls faster. It;s really a very nice transition piece - I imagine myself watching a movie with giant screen. It flows with guitar work and the music flows in medium tempo while the riffs work its way. Well I have to admit that Andreas Blomqvist (bass), Johan Liefvendahl (guitar) and Andreas "Kyrt" Söderin (keyboard) work their best to create wonderful music here until the vocal enters. The rest is a demonstration of power metal music with excellent keyboards as well as guitar throughout all musical segments. I enjoy the staccato riffs they insert in some segments that make the epic sounds really excellent!

Overall, this is a highly recommended album with full 4.5 stars upgradeable to five stars. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#1064845) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Seventh Wonder do the prog metal thing with plenty of Dream Theatre in the foundations and the cheese dial turned up to 11, and The Great Escape is no exception. They pretty much tick all the boxes on the checklist when it comes to pandering to prog fans, right down to including a half-hour track in the form of The Great Escape itself. It's all sunshine and smiles with these upbeat compositions, but it feels hollow and emotionally unengaging to me. Possibly it comes down to them matching the prog metal playbook a little too perfectly, to the point where it feels a little to much like they are pandering to the community's expectations rather than throwing any curveballs our way.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1173249) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 09, 2014

Latest members reviews

5 stars The almost criminally underrated Seventh Wonder combine an ear for sugar sweet melodies and technical brilliance of Dream Theater, although they rarely go into extensive soloing - few of the so-called Dream Theatar clones do, nor they should if can't top the masters. Anyway, every song here has ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064775) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I compare "The Great Escape" to "Mercy Falls", their previous album, I don't know which one is better or which one I like more. "The Great Escape" is definitely a song-oriented album with catchy choruses and impressive instrumental sections. It's SEVENTH WONDER's first album to feature a song t ... (read more)

Report this review (#981354) | Posted by SevDawg | Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The great escape from seventh wonder is a masterpiece from start to finish. Though stongly sounding like pure Power metal the album has well written songs from top to bottom.The vocal of Tommy Karevik is best i've heard. The composition of songs and the musicianship is outstanding. Though lyri ... (read more)

Report this review (#846491) | Posted by siegese7en | Monday, October 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This CD has it all. Out of over 1300 CDs I own, I think this one is the single best overall. The musicianship is absolutely top-notch (particularly bass and guitar), the vocalist is arguably the best in prog-metal today, the songwriting is nicely complex, yet has gorgeous melodies that cra ... (read more)

Report this review (#743344) | Posted by sccaldwell | Monday, April 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From start to finish, this album is extraordinary. Seventh Wonder has a way of writing a melody that could be the melody for a very ordinary pop song, and underlaying it with an incredible, exciting, ever-changing and astoundingly complex instrumental background like no other. The stars of the ban ... (read more)

Report this review (#469214) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Saturday, June 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow, my first review, and I decided to pick an album I was immensely surprised with. Having never heard of Seventh Wonder, I didn't really know what to expect when I picked this up, but having listened to it for about the eighth time, it is a serious contender for my album of the year. My ini ... (read more)

Report this review (#336586) | Posted by JS19 | Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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