Seven Seas - Imagination 4/5

Reviewed: 5-22-09





Tracklist:

1. Prism
2. Feel
3. Calling
4. United
5. Sweet rose
6. Seasons
7. Roadless
8. Kaze wataru kizuna


Seven Seas is a Japanese melodic power metal band that was formed in 2004. They released their debut 'Dreams' in 2006, and both their 2nd CD 'Confusion' and 3rd CD 'Parallel worlds' were released in 2007. This 4th CD 'Imagination' was released in late-2008, so they completed 4 CDs in a span of just over 2 years. The catch is, all of their CDs are about 30 minutes in length, which (especially considering Japanese CDs are extremely expensive) is totally unacceptable in today's metal world. Being the sucker that I am, I've purchased all of them, but I have a hard time telling anyone else to do the same.

Thankfully, I enjoy all of their CDs. The first 3 are all very good (and are rated 3.5/5), but 'Imagination' is definitely my favorite. Offering up lots of speed, plenty of melody, and sweet guitar work (sometimes neo-classical style) with screaming guitar solos, it's a CD that would impress many power metal fans. There are no keys, which may be a good or a bad thing (depending on who you ask), but I personally like it this way, as the 2 guitarists (EITA and Yousuke "Prince YO") are truly exceptional. There are a few short/slow instrumentals - the intro "Prism" and track 7 "Roadless", but the remainder of the CD is full of speed and excitement.

In addition, vocalist Keiichi "Marshal K" is probably my favorite vocalist from Japan. He has a clear voice that's typical of power metal, but even though he's fairly high-pitched, he's never wailing out of control like some of his countymen. By the way, 'Imagination' is a Japanese-language CD (the tracklist is translated), but I've found that most of the time I can't even tell if a Japanese vocalist is singing in English or his/her native tongue. I surely pay too much attention to melody as opposed to lyrics, but the fact is that Japanese vocalists have a way of making it hard to understand what they're singing (at least with my experience).

For those looking for band comparisons, you can think of Concerto Moon, Versailles, Double Dealer, Ark Storm, Azrael, Black Masquerade, Prophesia, Atomic Tornado, Galneryus, X Japan and so on. It's my opinion that Seven Seas is one of the better bands in this group, so if you're into any of these other bands and have yet to discover Seven Seas, now may be the best time, though I must emphasize the problem with the short length of their CDs. In fact, 'Imagination' is their shortest, clocking in at just over 25 minutes!

Sadly, Seven Seas split-up early in 2009, so while I like 'Imagination' a lot and I feel it's their best CD, unfortunately I can't look forward to their future as one. Hopefully some of the members will find a home in another band or perhaps start a new band, as there is certainly a high amount of talent from the first guy to the last (both musically and vocally). So my journey through the Seven Seas has come to an end, but maybe because of this review, some of you will head off on the same journey.



CLINT




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