Seventh Seal - The sacred test 4/5

Reviewed: 10-24-08


1. Intro
2. The sacred test
3. Lucifer's cry
4. The end of the day
5. A fire of destruction
6. I'm free
7. The Seventh Seal
8. The prisoner
9. A wind from the west
10. Holy diver (bonus track)

The 2nd CD from Italyís Seventh Seal is very solid work that shows this band can pull off their basic metal approach with all the aplomb and success of a veteran.

The musicís straightforward heavy metal, and is most comparable to Iron Maiden in its structure, instrumental flights, guitar duels, and tone, but other elements bring to mind bands like Sinergy (especially the balladesque ďIím freeĒ, but also on moments of driving power) and Manowar as well. In other words, nothing overly fancy or too extreme in style, but well played, well produced, and well written.

Vocalist Chiara Luci is excellent, presenting somewhat in the style of Jutta Weinhold or Ann Boleyn, with strength, passion, and great technical control. The instrumental work is impressive, especially the notably dynamic bass of Andrea Mati, but throughout there is a tight enthusiasm for the music itself, and, as hinted above, there is plenty of the classic dual guitar interplay from Pasquale Bianco and Francesco Fanciullotti. Other than an over-emphasis on the ride cymbals, the production is strong and clear, just right for this type of music.

This CD is nothing terribly innovative, but itís also not overly derivative of any particular subgenre, and the bandís true metal style is delivered excellently on all fronts.




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