SEVENTH WONDER

Progressive Metal • Sweden
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Seventh Wonder is a Swedish melodic progressive metal band, formed in 2000. Their original lineup featured singer Andi Kravljaca, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl, bassist Andreas Blomqvist, keyboardist Andreas Söderin and drummer Johnny Sandin. With this lineup, they released two demos (Seventh Wonder in 2001, Temple in the Storm in 2003) and in 2004 they signed a deal with Lion Music, which led to the release their full length debut, Become, in June of 2005. This record set the tables for their future efforts, but it featured a much rawer sound overall.

Later in 2005 the band parted ways with Andi, and replaced him with Tommy Karevik. With Tommy in the band and with a big improvement in sound production, the band released their second album, Waiting in the Wings, in 2006.

Two years later, they released a massive concept album, titled Mercy Falls, a plot driven album where each track represented
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Great EscapeGreat Escape
CD Baby 2010
$9.88
$13.99 (used)
TiaraTiara
FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL 2018
$10.28
$10.17 (used)
Waiting in the WingsWaiting in the Wings
CD Baby 2016
$16.14
$27.49 (used)
Mercy FallsMercy Falls
Lion Music 2008
$9.88
$15.33 (used)
45vinylrecord For The Good Times Part 1 & 2 (745vinylrecord For The Good Times Part 1 & 2 (7"/45 rpm)
ABET
$6.80 (used)
Welcome To Atlanta Live 2014Welcome To Atlanta Live 2014
FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL 2017
$21.09
$20.35 (used)
BecomeBecome
Lion Music Finland 2019
$13.58
$16.94 (used)
BecomeBecome
Lion Music Finland 2005
$111.66 (used)
TiaraTiara
Nexus 2018
$26.97
$26.98 (used)
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SEVENTH WONDER Discography

SEVENTH WONDER albums / top albums

SEVENTH WONDER Become album cover 3.42 | 12 ratings
Become
Progressive Metal 2005
SEVENTH WONDER Waiting in the Wings album cover 3.61 | 18 ratings
Waiting in the Wings
Progressive Metal 2006
SEVENTH WONDER Mercy Falls album cover 4.28 | 28 ratings
Mercy Falls
Progressive Metal 2008
SEVENTH WONDER The Great Escape album cover 3.97 | 25 ratings
The Great Escape
Progressive Metal 2010
SEVENTH WONDER Tiara album cover 4.42 | 5 ratings
Tiara
Progressive Metal 2018

SEVENTH WONDER EPs & splits

SEVENTH WONDER live albums

SEVENTH WONDER Welcome To Atlanta - Live 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome To Atlanta - Live 2014
Progressive Metal 2016

SEVENTH WONDER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SEVENTH WONDER Seventh Wonder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seventh Wonder
Progressive Metal 2001
SEVENTH WONDER Temple in the Storm album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Temple in the Storm
Progressive Metal 2003

SEVENTH WONDER re-issues & compilations

SEVENTH WONDER singles (0)

SEVENTH WONDER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SEVENTH WONDER Reviews

SEVENTH WONDER Tiara

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
It has been eight years since the last album from Seventh Wonder, but they are finally back with their fifth studio album with just one line-up change from ‘The Great Escape’. I am not really sure why it has taken so long for them to release this, but I presume the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of singer Tommy Karevik who also joined Kamelot with whom he has released three albums. But they are back, and in many ways it is almost as if they have never been away. This is very polished melodic rock with symphonic overtones and great vocals (yes, I know they are often classed as prog metal, but while this is a great album, prog metal it isn’t).

Tommy Karevik is recognised as being one of the best frontmen around, and here he is being given the perfect playground. Given that bass player Andreas Blomqvist, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl and drummer keyboard player Andreas “Kyrt” Söderin have all been in the band since 2000 it should be no surprise they lock in well, while drummer Stefan Norgren (ex: Lion´s Share) drives the music along with a much more powerful and dynamic approach to many in this field. This is melodic and powerful, and far heavier than would often be expected from bands on the Frontiers label. Let’s hope it isn’t quite so long until the next one.

SEVENTH WONDER Tiara

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Some things are worth waiting eight years for! Yes, it has really been that long for fans of Swedish progressive metal band Seventh Wonder. The band started off with a pretty good debut, titled Become, before bringing in vocalist Tommy Karevik in time for their excellent second release, Waiting in the Wings, and from there it had been nothing but pure magic for four years, with the band releasing the highly praised, masterful concept album Mercy Falls in 2008, followed by The Great Escape in 2010, which featured six amazing tracks and one mammoth 30 minute epic title track, which has gone on to become my all time favorite prog song. With the kind of creative peak the band had reached, it seemed it would take something from outside to slow it down, and of course, longtime fans know what would happen next: In 2012, Tommy joined Kamelot, and the rest is history. That band has since gone on to release three albums over the last six years, including The Shadow Theory earlier this year. This has left Seventh Wonder fans craving new material from the band for a long time, with the only release during this period being Welcome to Atlanta Live 2014, which contained two new tracks, both of which were very much up to par with the band’s usual work. Well, it’s been a long, slow process, but after eight years, the band is finally set to release their fifth full-length release, Tiara, and it’s another absolute masterpiece, which takes the band’s sound to a whole new level!

Despite the long gap in between releases, it feels like the band has picked up right where they left off, almost literally, as opening track “The Everones” certainly sounds very similar to a particular track from The Great Escape, which I’ll get to in a bit. As expected, the band’s unique brand of melodic, technical prog is in full force here, striking the perfect balance between being heavy in bursts, while being extremely technically proficient, as one would expect from the genre, without losing any of the band’s usual knack for writing some of the absolute best melodies in all of metal, both musically and vocally. Stylistically, this is still the same mix of prog, power metal, and symphonic metal as usual, though the power metal elements are surprisingly held back for most of the album, only to make a grand appearance in a flurry of speedy, explosive tracks right at the end. It wouldn’t be fair to say the album is a slow starter, as every track here is excellent in its own way, but it does take a bit of time to really get going, as expected. A more accurate statement would be that it’s a very backloaded album, as once you get roughly 40% of the way into the album, it goes from excellent to absolutely stunning, and never looks back. One thing I’ve always loved about Seventh Wonder is their ability to write some of the most emotional music I’ve heard from any prog band, and that’s another thing that’s fully intact here, as everything from the guitar tone at times, to the vocals to the lyrics, and even orchestral arrangements, all have a special feeling to them that really helps sell the story.

Speaking of which, Tiara is a concept album, and very much feels like a spiritual successor to Mercy Falls, in how it takes a while to set things up, before delivering a mix of explosive moments, big emotional payoffs, and some more introspective moments throughout the middle and second half. At times it reminds me a bit of Dream Theater’s The Astonishing, in that the band is willing to use more extended softer, somewhat theatrical passages than one may expect from the genre, as well as having a similar approach where one vocalist portrays different characters, but I feel the band has pulled it off in a more convincing way than the latter did both lyrically and musically. I won’t spoil the story, as it’s one of the main highlights of the album, but I will give a brief summary. The plot focuses on an alien race, called the Everones, who are unimpressed by the human race and are set to bring judgment upon them. A young girl named Tiara, the only human who can understand messages the aliens are sending is chosen to travel into space to communicate with the aliens, in an attempt to save humanity. As always, the band does a great job of exploring some dark themes, while managing to throw in an occasional lighter, more uplifting sections, all while delivering some very emotional passages. The story keeps me engaged from start to finish every time I listen to the album and is definitely one of my favorite things about it. I also love how the band constantly makes callbacks to previous songs, but with slight alterations, with one such example being a particularly epic moment during: ”Tiara’s Song”, that calls back to the previous track, “Victorious”. I always like when concept albums feel cohesive and well linked together, while still allowing room for individual highlights, and this album is a perfect example of that.

One of my most anticipated things about Tiara was getting to hear how Tommy Karevik would sound back with Seventh Wonder, after spending three albums with Kamelot, using a much more measured approach, focused largely on his lower register. I find with Seventh Wonder, he tends to be more diverse, still occasionally singing lower, but he has a lot of room to really stretch for some huge high notes, which allows him to show his full talents, as well as giving him room to really fully invest himself emotionally in the songs, as I find his deeper voice doesn’t quite resonate as well. It’s safe to say, he hasn’t skipped a beat, as he sounds absolutely perfect on this album, going for some bigger notes than ever, while still excelling on some of the quieter, more emotional passages, as usual. He’s asked to portray a young girl at times, and he pulls this off much more convincingly than James Labrie did, singing high, with subtle changes from his normal voice, but still sounding sincere and convincing the whole time, which allows to fully sell the lyrics, and get the most out of the songs. This only happens occasionally, though, and for the most part, he’s still singing like he usually does with the band, getting to be as dynamic and intense as ever, delivering both some of his most powerful vocals ever, as well as some of his most beautiful. Every album he’s done with Seventh Wonder has a been vocal tour de force, and Tiara is certainly no exception, being perhaps his absolute best yet.

It’s hard to really go into detail about the songwriting of Tiara and what makes it click without spoiling the whole experience, so I’ll keep descriptions to a minimum here, as much as I can. The album has the expected brief intro track, meant to signal the arrival of the alien race, before triggering into the first full song, “The Everones”. Right away, anyway who’s heard The Great Escape should recognize the guitar notes, as they sound nearly identical to “Wiseman”, though the keyboards have a much more sinister tone to them, which helps give the song its own feel. It’s a dark, heavy track, with some very hard-hitting riffs compared to the band’s usual, while still having some excellent vocal melodies, especially during the chorus, where Tommy really excels. There are also some pretty interesting digital effects used, to give some of the vocals a mechanical sound, though these are thankfully used in short bursts, so as to be effective, without becoming intrusive. Next is “Dream Machines”, another slower, heavier track, which has a nice groove to it. The verses are heavy, while the chorus is soft and extremely catchy, in an epic way, and it’s a great track which mostly serves to introduce the concept of the album, along with the previous track. One last setup track is “Against the Grain”, a softer track, which has some nice acoustic sections and is probably my favorite of the first three songs. It has some extended softer passages, with some beautiful vocals, as well an upbeat, very fun chorus, which foreshadows a big passage to come later on the album. It’s a very eventful song, with a lot of different passages, and it’s by far the most instrumentally adventurous track in the first half, while still having some emotional lyrics and excellent vocals from Tommy.

The first big highlight is “Victorious”, a smartly selected lead single. It’s another mid-paced track, but it has a nice rhythm to it, and it has that familiar Seventh Wonder sound to it, with fun, quick moving verses, a huge chorus, and some truly inspiring vocal melodies and lyrics. It’s a very melodic track overall, with one excellent heavy burst in the second half, as well as an incredible chorus, especially the last time through. I already mentioned that chorus being revisited in “Tiara’s Song”, the first of a three-part suite titled “Farewell”. That particular section comes towards the end of the track and is one of the most awe-inspiring moments on the entire album, but right from the beginning, it’s an epic, upbeat track with excellent keyboard melodies, slow but engaging verses, another huge chorus, and some incredible vocals from Tommy. It’s another track which manages to pack a lot in, and it’s the song where the album officially starts to take off, and become the kind of masterpiece very few bands are capable of producing. The second part, “Goodnight”, is a softer, largely piano-driven track, with more excellent vocals. While the first part is send off for a Tiara on a larger scale, this one has a much more personal feel to it, making it more emotional and heartfelt, with the chorus, in particular, is absolutely stunning, as Tommy uses his softer vocals to amazing effect. Closing out the set is “Beyond Today”, a shocking highlight, as it’s a full piano ballad, but it’s extremely effective one, as Tommy gives us a look into Tiara’s feelings, both on what she’s asked to do as well as contemplating whether she’ll ever have the future she wanted. It’s a very emotional track, where Tommy absolutely kills it on vocals, and the band takes it an extra level higher with some amazing backing vocals from his sister Jenny, who’s provided some vocals on each of their albums since Tommy joined. This album is probably the best use of her so far, particularly on “The Truth”, a very pivotal track in the plot, as well as the most epic, cinematic track on the album, with a film score, feel to it. The track is amazing the whole way through, but Jenny steals the show in the second half, with an absolutely stunning performance.

From that point on, the album goes all out, with “By the Light of the Funeral Pyres”, in particular being the closest to straight-forward power metal the band has ever come. It’s a very fast paced, hard hitting track with some excellent riffs and an extremely intense chorus where Tommy gets to show us his power metal chops. It’s a brief track, but still manages to include some excellent instrumental work, and is a definite highlight. Next is “Damnation Below”, and while it’s another fast-paced, explosive track, it’s interesting to note a very subtle shift between it and the previous track, as while it’s still intense, it doesn’t sound quite as urgent, instead allowing for more the band’s prog tendencies to come through, with some nice grooves, as well as giving more room for lighter vocal melodies, as usual. It has an excellent chorus and strikes the perfect balance between melodic, epic and intense. After a brief interlude, the band closes things out with “Exhale”, the lightest, most upbeat of the last three songs. It’s still fast paced and still has that driving power metal feel, mixed with some prog rhythms and great instrumental work, but it has by far the most uplifting chorus of the three and is another instant highlight. I especially love the triumphant sound of the orchestra at the end, as well as the incredible vocals from Tommy during the final chorus. It’s an absolutely stunning ending to an absolutely stunning album.

Some bands just always manage to rise the occasion, even with insane expectations, and Seventh Wonder is definitely one of them. I had sky-high hopes for Tiara, both because of how much I loved the band’s previous three releases, and because I was excited to finally hear Tommy Karevik fully unleashed again, but even then, I could not have in my wildest dreams expected the end result to be as glorious as it is! Suffice to say, this is a must hear for any fan of the band, as well as any fan of prog or anyone looking for a masterfully done concept album, and this is simply perfect on every level, with fantastic musicianship, great melodies, some huge emotional moments, intense power metal sections, great lyrics and one of the very best vocal performances I’ve ever heard on a prog album. Easily my album of the year, and it’s safe to say it’ll have a place in my personal top 5 favorite albums for quite some time, possibly forever!

originally written for myglobalmind.com: https://myglobalmind.com/2018/10/13/seventh-wonder-tiara-review/

SEVENTH WONDER Mercy Falls

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
What is it about progressive metal concept albums about people in comas? Queensryche kicked the trend off with Operation: Mindcrime, Ayreon did it with The Human Equation, and the same plot device shows up in Seventh Wonder's Mercy Falls. In fact, the overall premise is very similar to The Human Equation's, since both involve a protagonist who following a car crash has to undergo a range of intense reflections on their interior troubles and their relations with others, though I have to give Mercy Falls the edge with its plot; the personal revelations involved about the protagonist's family life mean there's something substantial to actually discover beyond psychological platitudes, whilst the motif of the town of Mercy Falls helps aesthetically tie things together. On top of that, Seventh Wonder set this all off against a great musical backing, reminiscent of a more tasteful Dream Theater, which really rounds out the package.

SEVENTH WONDER The Great Escape

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Seventh Wonder do the prog metal thing with plenty of Dream Theatre in the foundations and the cheese dial turned up to 11, and The Great Escape is no exception. They pretty much tick all the boxes on the checklist when it comes to pandering to prog fans, right down to including a half-hour track in the form of The Great Escape itself. It's all sunshine and smiles with these upbeat compositions, but it feels hollow and emotionally unengaging to me. Possibly it comes down to them matching the prog metal playbook a little too perfectly, to the point where it feels a little to much like they are pandering to the community's expectations rather than throwing any curveballs our way.

SEVENTH WONDER Mercy Falls

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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dtguitarfan
Yes. Five stars. I firmly believe this album is a masterpiece. Actually, I would say all of Seventh Wonder's albums but the very first, Become, are masterpieces. From the first time I heard "Waiting in the Wings" I was absolutely amazed. And I have never been disappointed by consecutive listens, nor have I been disappointed in their follow-up albums (Mercy Falls and The Great Escape - though I hope for many to come...). This band continues to be fresh, and their chops are unmatched. They are, I believe, Prog-Metal's best kept secret, and I wish they would make it big. It truly breaks my heart that they aren't making enough money on music to support themselves. As my username suggests, I am a big Dream Theater fan. But, even though Dream Theater are and have been my favorite band for many years, I'll let you in on a little secret: I think Seventh Wonder is a better band.

Mercy Falls is a concept album, the plot of which is a little mysterious. I will tell you what I know: at the beginning of the album, there is a car accident. We find out that the male in the car accident is in the hospital in a coma, and his wife and son visit him at different stages in the album. His father also comes to visit him at one point. The album goes back and forth between these visits in the real world, and some sort of dream world the man is in, called Mercy Falls, where he becomes part of the community and helps out during a storm. In the real world, they try a bone marrow transplant from the man's son, but it doesn't work. In the end, the wife says her final goodbye, and decides to turn off the mans life support. The truth is finally revealed to us, and while passing into the afterlife, the man remembers that the wife had an affair and that the man's son was not actually his (thus the reason the transplant didn't work). The last song is called the Black Parade, and I'm not sure but think it is the man's passing into the afterlife. Whatever the plot, the music takes the listener through a roller-coaster of emotions and helps to fill the plot with mystery.

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