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Klasse! - 80%

Corimngul, December 29th, 2005

You see them come and go, they're demos from European power metal bands. Every single one suffers from too much double-bass, which can be intoxicating in amounts. 7 Seals' drummer could clearly use some imagination. He finds a tempo he likes, then he sticks to it. For the rest of the song.

The second error 7 Seals make is typical for bands claiming to be epic or symphonic. They make great songs but forget to fill them with something, so that long passages lack the action they need. Error three and four are committed by the vocal department. When there's nothing to gain, why switch from male to female vocals, as they do in Prophecies of Nostradamus? This is all about not really knowing each other, and that is why it turns out weak at times. Also, error four consists of those stupid, chopped-up lyrics à la Nightwish. When done right, they're ok, when done like this, it'd better be left out.

Luckily, the good points of this demo outnumber the bad ones. Lyrics are some of the best I've seen in demo SAMMANHANG. The music is rather diverse, from an excellent classical intro, the darker werewolf-song Mooncurse to the extraordinary Dawn of Winter. It's not only the best song of the demo, there's virtually nothing wrong with it. It's the kind of song that would be one of the best songs of a best of compilation.

It's beautiful and emotional, starting only with the soft vocals of Hilke Saathoff accompanied by acoustic guitars and the exact amount of keyboards to add overtones without moving the focus. Wagner's voice punctuates the lines, then drums kick in for a very tasteful, yet slow, powerful and emotional chorus, after which the song floats on into a riff tight interlude. Well, I love the song.

Prophecies of Nostradamus features both the best riffs (that intro is powerful!) as well as the most aggressive and intense male vocals. Wagner does very well; I really like his angry tone in the Latin verse. The epic compositions of this song are something to be proud of.

Conclusion: The softest and the hardest songs turn out criminally well, and should guarantee one of the best albums of the year whenever the band gets signed (and they ought to be soon!). The other songs, more traditional European power metal sounding don't make me as happy. They have a fair share of good material, but the problem is that the band doesn't really use their stuff. Interludes recycling the same riff, weak vocals where force is needed, constant double-bass... Even though these complaints, the songs are of good demo standard and the demo is the best to come into my hands for quite some time. I look forward to a longer release.