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Eclectic Prog

3.63 | 84 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars A strongly recommended band if you trust me.

First of all, this is not an easy album. It's lengthy and requires some attention, too, but please don't be misleaded by the psychedelic opener. "Perfect Place" starts with screams and noises like a Ron Geesin's track then after a couple of minutes it becomes an acoustic ballad reminding to Porcupine Tree.

Well, this is not what you'll find in the rest of the album. A 20 minutes piece "Parallels" starts over the fading notes of the previous track with a compulsive drumming with an unusual signature backed by a dark keyboard sound, then guitar and bass add a touch of metal, maybe. A very eclectic and maybe experimental opening. I think to King Crimson for the mood. Anyway this is an epic with several different moments. It turns into symphonic, it has more rock moments and has also a lot of jazz inside. Not easy to be classified in a single genre. The section around minute 11 which is followed by vocals is dark and slow but powerful at the same time, then it returns to where it started. it's a great track good for a large range of tastes.

The following track is opened by a dull dialog with keyboards in the background. Very floydian in the sense of DSOTM or The Wall, but it's just how it starts. After a bit more than one minute, when the voices quit and the guitar starts an impressive solo on a minor organ chord, this is not Shine On You Crazy Diamond. The guitar is powerful and bluesy at the same time. "Desert Circle" is another long track of about 14 minutes in length and respect to the previous epic is not dark. It's symphonic instead. The slow regular tempo makes it slide pleasantly while the guitar is sustained by some electronics. At minute 6 it drastically changes to acoustic blues-rock, so that when bass and drums enter the scene turning into jazz is quite easy. Good jazz/fusion very well played. As I have written in my previous reviews of this band, fusion is the genre in which they are excellent. In less than 10 minutes we moved from Pink Floyd to Tommy Flanagan...and it's not finished here. There's room for a drum's solo with spacey noises which lead to a Spanish guitar. Then back to the main theme. Then a light metal part with a guitar reminding to Eddie Van Halen with dark interludes on an easy melody. The good is that the passages between sections are well arranged, but giving an identity to this track is not an easy job.

A short track now. "Bell of the Earth" is opened by bells which play a very melodic "untuned" tune with piano and keyboards. Vangelis would surely like this track.

Another long track: the over 18 minutes of "Taken" open in a restaurant, probably. A man and a woman speak and laugh over a piano melody. When they finally quit speaking what remains is a good piano solo. Two minutes of neo-prog interrupted by a deadly bell. What comes after is nothing but progressive rock. Uptime, heavy, fast, with unusual progression of chords but without losing harmony. As it happens in the best jazz let's say. This is probably the reason why this band is struggling in finding fans. They maybe put too much in their composition. This is not a band thing usually, and is not bad also here, but you have to be open-minded enough to appreciate them all. The symphonic section around minutes 7 to 9 is excellent, then the piano is left alone again to reprise what is now clearly the main theme. The bells are now "harmonics", no longer deadly. When the piano stopos, surprise! An heavy metal section that reminds me the Tuatha De Danann in their less celtic moments with the addition of a Wakemanish keyboard. and we are only at 2/3 of the total time... We can also hear a guitar playing in 32th for a while and alternate with keyboard. It rocks! Melodic singing at minute 14. You can spot a good bass work behind. A mention to the distorted voice. It's the first time that I hear a voice distortion outside of Senmuth's discography, but I really prefer the use of it made by FromUz. In the coda there's room for another uptime moment.

An average long track (11 minutes) starts with water sounds and morse signals, but what comes later is pure jazz. Great fusion here. The kind of things that caused FromUz to be put into the JR/F section on PA. My favourite track in this album.Fusion can't be described. Just listen and enjoy. Of source also this track has changes, but it never goes too far from fusion, even in the most symphonic moments in the central part of the song when the guitar cries long notes.

Spacey sounds for the closer. "Perfect love" takes a while to start, then the melody that's the main theme of the whole album is represented in a "looped" form, like it was played backwards on a tape. I don't hear satanic messages, even if some strange voices in the background could make some legends start. They seem to be the same voices of the restaurant...then a phone like often in Pink Floyd or in Marillion's Chelsea Monday. The album closes as it started, as there was a concept behind.I didn't catch it. I didn't take too much care to the lyrics, but this coming and going of spare parts gives me the impression of a concept album. A gong and it's done.

A complex but highly enjoyable album which contains too much elements, maybe and this makes it not easy to be followed, but let it grow inside you and you won't be unsatisfied.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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