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SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Seven Steps To The Green Door biography
Founded in 2006, German band SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR is a project band headed by Marek Arnold (keyboards, sax); for some better known as a member of German progressive metal act Toxic Smile. Joined by Andreas Gemeinhardt (guitars), Ulf Reinhardt (drums, percussion), Heiko Rehm (bass), Lars Koehler (vocals), Ronny Gruber (vocals) and Anne Trautmann (vocals) this seven members strong outfit set about to make progressive music - with a distinct focus on the word progressive.

With a blend of a multitude of stylistic expressions and utilizing the possibillities given by having three vocalists in the band; their first album The Puzzle from 2006 got a lot of recognition; the highlights being awarded two prizes in the 2006 edition of the German Rock and Pop Awards; in the progressive and experimental categories respectively.

Come 2008 and Seven Steps To The Green Door gets signed by US label Progrock Records, who subsequently release their second album Step In 2 My World; a production that sees this outfit being arguably even more experimental than on their debut album, incorporating stylistic expressions in genres ranging from death metal to rap and jazz encapsulated in a mainstream-oriented overall sound.

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SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR discography


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SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 11 ratings
The Puzzle
2006
4.05 | 46 ratings
Step In 2 My World
2008
3.88 | 53 ratings
The book
2011

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SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The book by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 53 ratings

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The book
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars For their 3rd album, eclectic Germans from Seven Steps to the Green Door did a concept album inspired by the biblical story of salvation. An admirable concept admirably realized - not in a dumb, Neal Morse-ian kind of way. However, that idea by definition precludes the playfulness displayed on their previous album. The stylistic mix has been mostly reduced to lightly metal guitars (including pretty cool solos) with some nice synths and soulful vocals. Jazz, funk, the saxes and the flutes make briefer appearances. No rapping, but there is a growling. Hey, I am never the one for repeating themselves, and this record shows how a masterful arranger the band leader Marek Arnold is. Production is VERY clean. But the problem, there is little here that would be as inherently catchy or memorable as their last album. My favorite fragment is the heavy prog-meets-disco appearing gradually at the middle of The Healing Wonder. There are other good songs too, but they mostly follow the metal-disco-soul-christian ballad formula.

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 Step In 2 My World by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 46 ratings

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Step In 2 My World
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Another hidden melodic gem from Germany. That country has recently replaced Sweden as a place for pleasant discoveries. But what an unwieldy name (its a religious reference). Almost as unwieldy as Someone in Missouri Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Anyway, a truly eclectic band this. Combining elements of lush pop, heavy guitars, folk, jazz, various classic prog impersonations and even funky rap (!). And it's not segments of various styles plastered together. It's fluid songs with different ways of arranging things. Another recent trend in prog circles on display here is the multiple vocalists approach (two male, one female). For other examples of blending non-rock popular styles and punchy guitars see Swedish band A.C.T or Austrians Circle of Illusion. Although to be truthful, those bands seem more original Seven Steps, which maybe for the rapping parts don't really bring new to the tale. Also, beware, that their next album, 2011's The Book, is a different, less eclectic and playful beast.

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 The book by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 53 ratings

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The book
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars Sometimes being a lover of lyrics can really be a downer. I can't help myself, though. I really cannot absorb an album unless I also absorb the lyrical content, and that lyrical content can even ruin an album for me. I'm sorry to say that Seven Steps to the Green Door's "The Book" is one such album, though I still love the music.

Seven Steps to the Green Door is a German group full of talented musicians and eclectic ideas. The band is classified as neo-prog here, but they shift from style to style seamlessly, so I don't think any genre would be able to keep them. Yes, we get neo-prog, but we also get metal, alternative, and wonderful ballads. The band utilizes an incredible drummer to keep the music intense, but also a diverse range of guitar work, from riffing to finger work. The band overall has a personality and funkiness that is so attractive and absorbing. It's quite impressive. In fact, I'd call this music daring, and they experiment and explore freely.

One of the best parts of the music is the presence of Marek Arnold and his array of keys and sax. Seriously, anything this guys plays on is pure gold. From his jazzy sax to his ethereal keys atmospheres to his incredible solos and leads, Marek really carries the melody on this album. The incredible interplay between proggy keys and metal is especially enjoyable for me.

Like I said, though, the lyrical content is a bit of a letdown for me. Now, this band is daring, as I said. The concept is ambitious and well-written, and very complex, too. It involves a man being locked in a room with six doors. He simply needs to escape the room, and he relies solely on his faith in God to do so. Long story short, he realizes through his experiences behind those doors that he needs to trust himself to escape the room, and, when he discovers this, he finds a seventh door (a green one, obviously) that leads him to his lover and to true divinity (love). I've heard all this nonsense before in a myriad of other forms, and it irks me to no end with its shallowness that masquerades as depth and truth. Reality is far more complicated than just trusting yourself for everything and leaving thousands of years of ancient wisdom behind you. It's foolish and arrogant, to be honest.

Okay, I'm done. This is an excellent album musically, and I will listen to it often for years to come. However, I felt I must mention my issues with the lyrics, and I hope that it has at least inspired you to give the album and lyrics a try, too.

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 The Puzzle by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 11 ratings

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The Puzzle
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars A more recent project of Toxic Smile's keyboardist/sax player Marek Arnold, Seven Steps to the Green Door won the first prize in two different categories at the German Rock and Pop Awards with their unique blend of styles.The band features an expanded line-up with three vocalists ( Anne Trautmann, Ronny Grubber and Lars Koehler) with also bassist Heiko Rehm, drummer Ulf Reinhardt and guitarist Andreas "Eddy" Gemeinghard.Their debut from 2006, entitled ''The Puzzle'', was recorded in three different cases and was released independently.

If there is a band that should be labeled as Crossover Prog, this German act is definitely the one.With their special mix of melodic Heavy Prog, Progressive Metal, Fusion and Pop Rock and the presence of three different voices in the same album, Seven Steps to the Green Door can only be put in the same line with groups such as A.C.T. and PROFUSION.Impressive, still accesible musicianship all the way with powerful DREAM THEATER-like synthesizers, dynamic guitar moves, pounding rhythmic parts, excellent solos along with a certain touch of virtuosity produce a very rich and multi-colored musical content of high level.But these are offered to the listener with catchy choruses, plenty of melodic lines and even some softer ballad-like moments.A couple of these well-crafted compositions even contain some Rap-like vocal lines, that surprisingly work extremely well.In the opening tracks Marek Arnold delivers also some nice sax passages, yet they are offered more as an addition to the rest of the album's melodic lines.The closing track though is fully Jazz-oriented with a more improvised performance on clarinet, supported by a smooth but great rhythm section and a set of various piano/keyboard themes, another welcome suprise in the list of the excellent tracks.

Superb debut to say the least.A very tight and sufficiently compatible mix of different Prog-related styles create an album filled with charming, melodic and adventurous compositions.Highly recommended.

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 The book by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 53 ratings

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The book
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR is a German act that was formed in 2006, with the sophomore production appearing two years later, both albums harvesting their fair share of plaudits one might add. "The ? Book" from 2011 is their third full-length production, and the first of their albums to be released by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

While perhaps not as mesmerizing as their previous album to my ears, " The ? Book" is an intriguing conceptual production, covering multiple stylistic expressions and exploring a religious theme in a rather innovative manner. Adventurous but accessible is a description that defines this disc for me, and as far as recommendations go I'd hazard a guess that most people who enjoy acts like Magic Pie should find themselves intrigued by this album.

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 Step In 2 My World by SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 46 ratings

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Step In 2 My World
Seven Steps To The Green Door Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This sophomore release by German outfit Seven Steps to the Green Door is an odd one, very well made, well performed, but still an odd one.

In the 10 tracks on the CD, 12 if you have the US version with bonus tracks, the band steers it's listener through an erratic - or perhaps rather eclectic - menu of all sorts from the world of music.

The compositions themselves have a high degree of variation, the first bonus track the most stellar example with segments exploring funk, laidback jazz and prog metal in one and the same song, but most other tracks have style variations with a minimum of two different styles explored.

Lighter neo-progressive touches and heavy progressive rock leaning towards prog metal at times are the most dominant features, closely followed by jazz and fusion. Spirited and energetic in general, and even the hip hop or nu-metal inspired vocal segments come across rather well.

The mix and production are high class, but seems to be directed at a mainstream audience though. The guitars are tuned down, contrasts are dampened rather than highlighted; and for such an adventurous creation the overall sound is very slick. Perhaps too slick to cater for a progressive audience; while the music may be too weird for a more mainstream oriented public. Personally I found this to be a great record; but can understand those who doesn't manage to get enthralled by this one.

Still - a highly worth investigating tag for this production from me.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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