Seventh Wonder – Tiara

SeventhWonder-TiaraI’m a bit of a late comer to Seventh Wonder. I was introduced to them via Mercy Falls, and sadly missed that performance the year they played it at ProgPower Usa. I really liked that album, even though I found the dialog portions extremely cheesy. But few bands get that right anyway. So here we have their first studio album since 2010 and I can say it is well worth the wait. Still present are the fantastic guitar work and solos, riffs galore, and lots of melody and harmony.
At present, they are still made up of Andreas Blomqvist on bass, Johan Liefvendahl on guitar, Andreas Söderin on keys, Stefan Norgren on drums (first time on album since he joined after The Great Escape was recorded (or so I read), and Tommy Karevik (who is still pulling double duty in Kamelot) on vocals. So you have a group of guys who, at this point, should be very comfortable together and it shows.
Digging into the album, we are greeted with a symphonic intro in Arrival, a short piece that leads into The Everones. A nice, ripping prog metal treat with some great harmonies, as is their style. And some lyrics via a synthesized voice, I think, every so often. I say “I think” as I can’t really make out what it is saying. This and some of the main vocals are a bit low in the mix, which is loud. It appears we have another loud album here, folks (More on that later). This is one of the singles released for this album. Linked below for you to hear.
Dream Machines is another rocking track with great harmonies. And Against the Grain gives us some nice acoustic guitar that I wish stayed around longer. Some impressive playing right there. Less than a minute and the full band is back.  Then we hit a moment of just keys and vocals with a strong “What About Me?” (Moving Pictures) mixed with Meatloaf feel, and yeah, it is still loud. Then the full band comes back with the harmonies. Really loving this track. 
With Victorious we are back to straight ahead prog metal. I can see this being a great sing along song in concert. That chorus just screams for audience participation. The single is out for this one too. Check it out below as well.
The Farewell Suite
Tiaras Song – One of the first singles released for the album (also linked below), it provided a good taste of what was to come. The song didn’t much grab me until the more theatrical section toward the end gave it a little extra something.
Goodnight – We get a ballad-like song here with a lot of emotion and a nice proggy instrumental section… and a bar singalong. Yep. You read it right. Part of the story, it seems.
Beyond Today – Closing out the suite is a more ballady ballad. Beautiful orchestration.
The Truth has a nice bass and guitar only lead in before some deep drumming ensues. We are still in a ballad like territory here. And another one that I feel the band might make into a big concert singalong, given the large choir of voices singing on the chorus. Again, some great orchestration at play.
By the Light of the Funeral Pyres bring the power/prog metal back into focus. Decent enough song.
Things slow back down just a tad for Damnation Below. Still a rocking track, though. I point all this out as I want to show there is some variety here. There is an instrumental section with some samples of spoken word, but I’ll be damned if I can make out what most of it is saying. Everything is just so loud (almost there).
Procession is the shortest track on the album, giving us a funeral feel, as expected. And is followed by the longest track, Exhale, which is a good power/prog metal track with a great instrumental section that lets all the participants showcase themselves. This is a good song, but hasn’t fully grabbed me yet. I’ve played it on repeat a lot. I’ll will continue to hammer on it. We’ll see.
The album closes with Tiara’s Song – Acoustic as a bonus track on some editions (though I haven’t found which ones yet). It is what it says. I like it.  Nice to hear it in this setting.
Regarding the loudness… Maybe I have sensitive ears. Don’t know. When I first listened to this, I had to take a break about half way through to give my ears a rest. It was almost as bad as Rush’s Vapor Trails (first edition) was. As I took a break, I went and opened the files in Audacity and about half the album is almost brick walled. Not all the tracks. Some flirt with it and a couple don’t come too near. We are hoping the actual release won’t be like this.
As it is, the album itself is around a 9/10 but the production on it with the mix being a little off, to me anyway, and it losing to the loudness war, I am forced to make this a 7/10.
Oh well…

Rating: 7/10


1. Arrival 1:30
2. The Everones 6:13
3. Dream Machines 5:38
4. Against the Grain 6:58
5. Victorious 04:55 Show lyrics
6. Farewell (Part 1: Tiara’s Song) 7:16
7. Farewell (Part 2: Goodnight) 7:10
8. Farewell (Part 3: Beyond Today) 5:06
9. The Truth 4:17
10. By the Light of the Funeral Pyres 3:54
11. Damnation Below 6:44
12. Procession 0:45
13. Exhale 9:30
14. Tiara’s Song (Acoustic Bonus Track) 5:24

Label: Frontiers Records

Release Date: 12 October 2018



The Everones:
Farewell (Part 1: Tiara’s Song)
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