Swirls of Noise
After seeing the Dutch power/symphonic metal band supporting the mighty Edenbridge last month, I finally picked up a copy of their self released debut album “When Reality Ends”, a really good first album, with a lot of spirit and energy.
Monique Joosten fronts the band, a woman with a very pretty yet powerful voice, switching between beautiful softer vocals, and a more heavy metal style with ease, she puts in a great performance throughout, especially on “Wings of Despair”. Guitarist Roy contributes really heavy guttural growls, giving the band a great “beauty and the beast” type vocal performance. The music here tends towards power metal, with some symphonic elements coming through the lush keyboards, which imbue the album with a good degree of melody, running through the album beautifully without being overbearing, going excellently with Monique’s melodic voice. The guitars are great throughout the album, with fast pounding riffs, and some bursts of melodic tremolo picking, with an almost black metal influence (though this isn’t an extreme album by any means, though the elements are there in this respect.) Some of the riffs here are really pounding and rhythmic, especially on “Like a Blazing Flame”, a fantastic live track, catchy and headbang inducing. ”Alone Again” is another great track in this regard, with some really great riffs, backed up by synths, and Monique’s voice being great, before the album moves into “Wings of Despair”, easily the best song here, the most catchy one of the bunch, with a really powerful performance from Monique, and great riffs throughout. There are also some great guitar solos throughout the album, very melodic and epic sounding, accentuating the power metal style of the band, especially the one from “Like a Blazing Flame”. There are two ballads in the album, “The Well” , building up slowly from a beginning with just vocals and keyboards, to a rather heavy track, while “Just an Ordinary Day” is completely vocals and keyboards, not quite as good, but still decent. “Bitter Taste of Victory” is almost as good as Wings of Despair, with a fantastic chorus, catchy and epic with it’s keyboard laced sound, and awesome performance from Monique. The keyboard solo in this song is great too, especially over the heavy riffage.
There are a few areas for improvement, in that there are a few pedestrian riffs, some chugging which gets a bit boring, but for the most part the guitars are really good. The bass is also barely audible throughout the album, and other than in the Choice (another excellent song) and some moments in “My Honor” it’s really low in the mix throughout, which is a shame, as it could have given an extra heavy crunch to the album. Other than this lack of bass, the performance from the band throughout the album is really tight.
Overall it’s a solid first album from Seventh Sin, and they’re going to have a good career in front of them if they keep us this quality in their music, as well as their live performance. It’s one I’ve been listening to a lot since picking up, and they have a really talented vocalist in Monique, and some great song writing, so if you like female fronted power metal then give this album a go. Highlights include: Alone Again, Wings of Despair, Bitter Taste of Victory and Like a Blazing Flame, though in truth all the songs here are good. And they deserve an added bonus for the great album artwork.
For the complete version of this review see: Swirls of Noise