London’s Seven7 take this week’s title of Album Of The Week with their virtually flawless 3rd album, The Follower.
On the odd occasion an album so damn good and so ridiculously accomplished smacks you round the chops and reinforces your belief in the power of Modern Metal; The Follower is one such album and it’s a Progressive Metal monster of Cthulhu-sized proportions. Originally released at the tail-end of last year, The Follower is to be reissued for the North American market and recently fell on our doorstep for review; we’re incredibly glad it did.
The musical brainchild of acclaimed guitarist and ostinato riff-machine Nicolas Meier, Seven7 draw influence from a diverse array of genres incorporating Progressive Rock and Metal, Jazz, Groove Metal, Classical, Middle-Eastern Folk and even Nu-Metal to create an album that hits all the right Metal buttons while also endlessly surprising with its sheer breadth of ideas and the enviable talent this band has in abundance.
While each track shines, the highlights are undoubtedly “Fall” and the simply astounding “Euthanasia”. The two tracks couldn’t be further apart but perfectly showcase the enormous range of this tenacious band. “Fall” plays like the nu-metal song Dream Theater never wrote and that’s certainly not meant in a derogatory sense. The down-tuned riffs, colossal grooves, vocal patterns and lyrical content often recall the pained diatribes of Korn and Disturbed but don’t let that comparison deflect from the sheer Progressive majesty at work here. Middle-Eastern tinged riffs and the exquisite orchestral flourishes of guesting violinist Sally Jo spar with the kind of crushing Metal and soaring choruses that Dream Theater excel at when they really let themselves off the leash.
In comparison, Seven7’s ambitious, grandiose reworking of Carl Orff’s classical masterpiece “O Fortuna” practically defines the purpose of Progressive Metal. This sublimely controlled appropriation of a movement already definable as ‘heavy’ is a work of art. Completely immersive and gut-wrenchingly effective, the fusion of Heavy Metal and Classical music is a tried and tested formula but Seven7 have upped the ante and the accomplished vocals of Dave Brown, a mix of Meshuggah’s Jens Kidman’s vicious bark and the grunge-inflected tones of Alice In Chain’s Layne Staley, add depth and drama to an already decadent excursion into truly Progressive Metal.
Virtually flawless, The Follower demands nothing but the highest of praise. 9/10