Seven7's eagerly awaited new album Under Eye is scheduled to be released on the MGP Records label on 1st August. However, advance copies are available from the label's web site and MP3 downloads from the band.
Apart from old regulars Dave Brown on vocals, Nick Meier on electric and acoustic guitars as well as oud and baglama, Under Eye also features the amazing drummer Pete Riley.
On Under Eye, Seven7 take their unique brand of metal with a twist a whole lot further. In addition to Brown's well above average, often dark, lyrics and the tribal rhythms, Meier here blends Middle Eastern scales and rhythms (brought across from his Meier Group jazz band) with the heavy grooves and riffs of metal more extensively than previously. Combined with McSporran's rich (unusual in metal) fretless bass lines, this is a heady mix that proves highly compelling. Especially when you throw in the great virtuosity and musicianship of this band.
Metal evolved as a reaction to prog rock, yet never managed to quite shake off its connections to the latter - one need only think back to 'symphonic metal.' Seven7 continue to maintain a certain connection, stylistically, to prog rock here and there, and this is another of the factors that make this band - and this album - so fascinating and original. This is contemporary metal at its most innovative and simultaneously melodic. This is also reflected in the highly original, innovative and spontaneous soloing. Guitar ace Meier is of course a seasoned and highly skilled improviser with deep roots in jazz, and so you'll never hear him resorting to a mere fixed set of well-practiced riffs.
Seven7's style is unique in contemporary metal, and with Under Eye they have once again come up with an album that is not only equally as distinctive but genuinely riveting. They manage to bring something entirely fresh and refreshing to the 'genre.'
The lyrics are reproduced in full in the CD's excellent booklet, illustrated, like the superb cover, with artwork taken from paintings by Nicolas Meier's wife, the highly gifted artist Songül Yilmaz-Meier. The reproduction is remarkable in itself, excellently preserving the texture of both the hard board base and the brush work.
Not only wholly cohesive and coherent, Under Eye is also more than just compelling. This is modern metal at its most entrancing, heavy best. Everything about this album is way above average. This is metal that is simply amazing.
Seven7's Under Eye has to be a must have for any metal fan, and indeed should be essential in any good metal collection. It should also find a place in any good modern guitar or general rock collection.
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