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Epic Homage to Classic Power Metal. - 75%

MetalRecusants, June 24th, 2011

Metal heads across the globe agree that power metal originated in the late 80’s with the band from Germany called Helloween. Combining high speed tempos with galloping guitars and soaring vocals, this style became one of the most popular subgenres of heavy metal. Seven Thorns is a Danish power metal band following in those harmonic roots.

The group was originally founded in 1998 by drummer Lars Borup but their early career was mired by lineup changes and lawsuits. Now, with a solid lineup in place, the band has released Return to the Past. This album can be considered the band’s debut since the 2007 album “Glow of Dawn” was released under the name 7Thorns.

“Return to the Past” can best be described by its title because it pays epic homage to classic power metal bands like Helloween, Iced Earth or Sonata Arctica. The album is packed with the speedy guitar work of Gabriel Tuxen and Christian Stroger, whose solos are so fast and clean it sounds like they are picking the notes out of thin air. An additional guest solo from Olaf Lenk of the band At Vance adds spice to the track “Liberty”. The grandiose keyboards are played by Asger W. Nielsen who is assisted on some tracks by guest artist Mikkel Henderson of the groups Fate and Evil Masquerade. Vocalist Erik “EZ” Blomkvist tightens the music by singing with a force that invokes power as much as it does respect. Not to be forgotten are the timely drums provided by Borup which seem to cement the songs together, not often heard in this style of music. The overall production quality of the music is surprisingly good, enriching the listener with clear tempo changes, epic sounding keyboards and legible vocals.

The lyrical content deals with classical power metal themes such as the camaraderie of battle or the concept of life after death. The songs are mostly short and the verse-chorus-verse structure keeps the listener involved. The song “Spread Your Wings” is a great example with lyrics so catchy the song is sure to become a concert favorite. Other stand out tracks include “Through the mirror”, “Countdown”, “Freedom Call” and “Liberty”, a song which the band shot a music video for (view below).

Seven Thorns: Return to the Past is nothing you haven’t heard before. The music is an entertaining distraction for those who don’t take their metal too seriously. The surprising guitar work gives the album some repeatability, all and all a solid effort.

(originally written for www.metalrecusants.wordpress.com)