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Seven Steps To The Green Door


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Seven Steps To The Green Door The ? Lie album cover
3.80 | 110 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A? - I (2:56)
2. Salvation (3:18)
3. A Price To Pray - I (2:51)
4. A Dream That Strayed - I (4:35)
5. A Price To Pray - II (5:10)
6. A Dream That Strayed - II (3:00)
7. A? - II (2:53)
8. Heaven (1:30)
9. The Word Made Flesh (7:05)
10. Hear My Voice Tonight (9:57)
11. Come To Your Father (10:07)

Total time: 53:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Jana Pöche / vocals (Mother)
- Lars Köhler / vocals (Samuel)
- Anne Trautmann / vocals (Lover / Samuel's Girlfriend)
- Stephan Pankow / electric guitars
- Marek Arnold / piano, organ, keyboards, soprano & alto saxophones, clarinet, seaboard, venova, producer
- Ulf Reinhardt / drums

- Sören Flechsig / vocals (Noah)
- Annemarie Schmid / vocal
- Amelie Hofmann / vocal (Crying Child)
- Peter Jones / vocals (Father)
- Andreas "Eddy" Gemeinhardt / electric & acoustic guitars, bass
- Luke Machin / lead electric guitars
- Gerd Albers / acoustic guitar
- Jason Melidonie / guitar solo
- Steve Unruh / violin solo
- Susan Kammler / oboe
- Michael Schetter / bass
- Denis Strassburg / bass

Releases information

Second part of their concept trilogy "THE ? BOOK"

CD Progressive Promotion Records (2019, Germany)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR The ? Lie ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is the second album of a trilogy after "THE?BOOK". The story of this concept is about religious fanatism experience through a family. The concept is from of George Andrade who wrote a lyric book out of Thoraff Koss story. The band invited plenty of musicians from the Prog Rock world to play this new opera. The album is 1 song divided into 11 parts with some narration but not too much at the beginning and at the end to close the story. There is a good variety of mood and atmosphere throughout this album with a lot of space left to some male and female vocals, some vocalize at times. In the first part, we recognize a bit of a Haken influence, and others a bit of Ayreon, but that's about it. The band have their own style and make good use of the sax throughout the album, with piano and keys. There is also an exotic violin part and some heavier guitar parts. The atmosphere and the pace change quite often with some quieter passages The most complex passage is in the part "A Price to Prey II" who display many rhythm changes. "Heaven" show some vocals in unison to bring the song to an emotional peak. The music continues to deliver some beautiful vocals harmonies male/female. There are some creative passages that will surprise throughout this album, it could come out from a heavy sax part, a short bass break or some original keyboards melodies. In the end, we can hear some darker atmosphere with some furious passages with the guitar ending with some long female vocalize and intense instrumental ending! This is a nice follow-up to The "Fetish" album and also the first part of the trilogy "THE?BOOK"
Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars This album marks a starting point, I mean the thriving collaboration of US writer/lyricist George Andrade and the band's driving forces Ulf Reinhardt as well as allrounder Marek Arnold. 'THE?LIE' hereby is the second part of a trilogy exactly, which saw the lift-off in 2011 with the critically acclaimed production 'The?Book'. Andrade already had substantial impact on a couple of albums in the past, as there is 'AIRS - A Rock Opera', together with German guitarist Steve Brockmann, or 'Back From Being Gone', released in 2011 with US band The Anabasis. There are some more, but those are familiar to me at least.

According to such a reputation, and alongside with some first-hand relations, it does not really sound uncommon anymore that they eventually came together at one time or another. 'Samuel ... come to your Father!' - content-wise, lyrically seen, the album is dealing with religious extremism. Tells the story of a family around that protagonist, who are caught up in rather fanatic actions. In order to transport the lyrics in a confident way some exceptional vocalists are present. First and foremost Lars Köhler (Samuel), Jana Pöche (Mother) and the masterful Peter Jones of Red Bazar and Tiger Moth Tales fame, representing Samuel's father.

Don't blame me for a restricted description, just don't want to reveal too much. Anyway - 'what makes you think that you've got a choice?' - the story runs while Father empathically wished to see him following his footsteps. Albeit Samuel is falling in love with Evangeline (The Lover), including pregnancy finally. He will be accused for betraying god then ... quarrel, tragic, the dramaturgy takes its course. It must be a very ambitious experience. Is it a benefit to work on that with a singer who is sightless? Well, can't slip into their shoes, can't really imagine what it needs to implement cinematic circumstances for the attentive listener. To express particular emotions and mood according to the flow. Besides the more narrative portions to precisely join notes and words to something enjoyable in that manner.

I would say, with good reason, the special symbiosis of story and music is dedicated to the English-driven natives amongst us, most of all. You might be able to fully capture this. Furthermore, technically seen, the SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR musicians are offering an epic achievement which shows emotive and virtuoso facility overall, blends art rock and prog metal in a remarkable manner, including violin and diverse wind instruments. Exemplary, the haunting A Dream That Strayed - I comes with sensitive guitar, great vocals and excellently appointed piano lines. Goosebumps! Overall 'THE?LIE' represents a profound workout with about 50 minutes playing time. 4.5 PA stars so far. Preferably should be taken in one go. Now it's your turn.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Back with their fifth studio album, SSTTGD have finally presented us with the follow-up in the concept which was started in their third, 'The?Book'. It is quite clearly stated that the story is to be continued but given there has been eight years between the first two parts don't expect it any time soon. Although this is a band album, in many ways it feels more like a Clive Nolan offering in that they have brought in many other musicians and singers to play certain parts. Peter Jones (Camel, Tiger Moth Tales, Red Bazar) here has a speaking part, and provides complete authority as Father. Interestingly, there is a statement in the digipak asking listeners to go to the website and read the story first, before playing the album itself. The story itself is by Thoralf Koss, while George Andrade then produced both lyrics and narration based on that, neither of whom are in the band. The music was composed by the founders of SSTTGD, Marek Arnold and Ulf Reinhardt.

If that isn't enough, my version of the CD comes with an A5 lyric book which also contains a working of the story. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of effort and money put into releases by bands who are unlikely to see a return, yet large music corporations do as little as possible so they can maximise the profit, even if it puts musicians on the breadline. As one expects from any of Marek's musical adventures there is plenty of piano as well as keyboards, while his saxophone always makes valuable contributions ' by now he must be one of the most well-known sax players in progdom, not an area where that instrument is often featured, yet here he makes it seem an integral part of the whole.

Given the complexity of the storyline, which revolves around a family led by a religious fanatic, it is not surprising that the music is also full of twists and turns. There is a section of 'A Dream That Strayed' which is pop funk, but it's okay, it doesn't stay that way for too long. At times it crunches, and at others is incredibly symphonic, with sometimes spoken word being the centre of attention, at others it is one of the singers, or it can be an extended musical passage. Harmonies abound, and a sweeping production makes this sound huge. There are just a few times where the words are deemed to be more important than the music, which does cause a slight jar when they don't really fit together, but when the band is on a roll such as on 'A Price To Pray II' then all is forgiven. Overall this is quite an undertaking from the guys, and I look forward to the conclusion of the story with great interest.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German band SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR was formed 15 years ago, and came to some prominence rather quickly due to a music competition and their debut album "The Puzzle" back in 2006. Since then a further four studio albums have appeared by the band. "The ? Lie" dates back to the spring of 2019, and was released by German label Progressive Promotion Records.

Religious fanaticism is an important subject, and the fallout from that is something of a core theme on this rock opera. A certain interest in this topic will probably be needed to get the most out of this production, as the concept does dominate this album through and through, with only the final few compositions providing room for longer instrumental sections. But if this is something that tickles your fancy, and a band that mainly alternates between various aspects of neo-progressive rock and harder edged progressive rock sounds like a good thing, this is an album that merits a check. Die hard fans of concept albums are well advised to revisit this band's earlier album "The ? Book" first though, to explore the initial part of this concept cycle.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very nicely constructed rock opera with some great guest performances. Reminiscent of the grand productions of Arjen Lucassen with the sound of UNITOPIA or SYLVAN. Great sound production and, what's more, I can understand every word of every singer/narrator.

1. "A? - I" (2:56) Noah's father setting the scene. (4/5)

2. "Salvation" (3:18) simple yet enticing song construct with some pretty awesome vocals from Peter Jones. (9.25/10)

3. "A Price To Pray - I" (2:51) the band finally gets to launch into full sound--a full 90 seconds of instrumental display. It's heavy yet psychedelic. The voice of Noah are strong and metallic. (8.5/10)

4. "A Dream That Strayed - I" (4:35) opens like a JEFF BECK/COLIN TENCH bluesy guitar show piece with piano and delicate drum and synth play in accompaniment. In the second minute vocals enter from male (Lars Köhler playing the role of Samuel, I believe) as piano, syncopated drums, fretless bass and synth chords support. A lecture from Father ensues in which Samuel is told that his "disrespectful" girlfriend must go. Simple yet sensitive, pretty, and powerful. Excellent vehicle for storytelling. (10/10)

5. "A Price To Pray - II" (5:10) Samuel is commanded to recite passages from the Bible as the music speeds along beneath, throughout. The weave is a kind of whole-band study of discipline and timing as stops, power weaves, incidental instrumentals, and vocals flit in and out of the flow. Cool violin solo at the 3:00 mark followed by a solid metal (Eddie Van Halen-like) electric guitar soloing intermixed with some angry vocals. (8.75/10)

6. "A Dream That Strayed - II" (3:00) dated synth chords and bass pulses support vocals from Anne Trautman and Lars Köhler in the roles of Samuel's girlfriend and Samuel, respectively. (Samuel is saying goodbye in fulfillment of his father's command.) Ends with a dreamy patch of synth/keys sounding like something out of Interstellar before bleeding into the next song. (9/10)

7. "A? - II" (2:53) continues the music from the previous song as Samuel laments and his Father commends him. Nice guitar solo in the second half doubles up on the emotional distress that Samuel is going through. (5/5)

8. "Heaven" (1:30) takes the themes of the previous song and turns it into an organ-supported choral piece of supportive advice: "Don't walk away" and "heaven is inside you." Nice! (5/5)

9. "The Word Made Flesh" (7:05) Samuel's girlfriend is pregnant! Beautiful vocals from Samuel's girlfriend (Anne Trautmann) and a second female performing vocalise in the background (also Anne? Jana Pöche? Annemarie Schmid?) It gets heavy in the fifth minute as men enter and try to exert their power. Argument between Father and Mother is powerful--ending in some kind of violence (I think). Really beautiful song, great music and, again, great vocal performances from the women. (14/15)

10. "Hear My Voice Tonight" (9:57) opens with a piercingly high, beautiful female voice, soon joined by a male, and then another. Three voices woven together very nicely. One man takes the leave saying how he "was saved by loving once before." A true stage-crafted song, with multiple voices participating as well as several musical themes weaving in and out of the mix, this makes me wonder if the band has aspirations to perform this as a musical stage play. They'd have to expand it but that would give them time to develop the characters a little better. I think it would work wonderfully. A somber piano-based motif takes over at the 5:30 mark, oboe soloing beautifully over the top. 75 seconds later a chunky-bass-heavy theme takes over within which the vocal ensemble reappear to assert themselves (though I'm not sure what has been accomplished.) Things soften and slow for the jazzy final minute as sax and electric guitars take us into the album's final song. (17.5/20)

11. "Come To Your Father" (10:07) starts off very heavy--almost URIAH HEEP-like but heavier--with some quite strong rasp-metal vocals from Noah (Lars Köhler). Jana Pöche's vocals representing the mother are quite strong, not unlike prog metal diva Simone Simons or Anneke van Giersbergen, as are "twin" Anne Trautmann's. The music then settles at 2:30 into a beautiful SYLVAN-esque section over which the story of dysfunctional parenting is displayed in a raw Posthumous Silence-kind of way. Beautiful vocalise in this section from someone (Annemarie Schmid?). The seventh minute sees a thickening of sound with a great chord sequence that slowly builds over the next five minutes as the instruments work toward the final climax. Well done! Great balance of instruments and great sound production. (19/20)

Total time: 53:22

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music--carrying a powerful story with powerful, well constructed music just the way progressive rock music was meant to do.

Great storytelling, great musical construct, great performances from all vocalists. My favorite part of the entire album were the two prolonged sections of female vocalise. Who was that singer?

Definitely an album that I will enjoy for many years.

Latest members reviews

5 stars SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR is a group I met in 2008 with "Step in my world 2" surfing on a singular fusion related productions Mr Bungle it is true! The following "The Book" was more seduced me by incorporating a mixture of phrasing, trumpet, jazz, death metal, clarinet, rap staccato words in ... (read more)

Report this review (#2310396) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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