Seven Angels - Faceless Man
A few years ago I reviewed Seven Angels' sophomore album and was quite harsh. I enjoyed the music, but the vocals didn't set well with me at all and I made it very clear that I thought they sucked. Well, now the band is at it again and as I popped this CD in the stereo for the first time, I was hoping and praying it wasn't a repeat of the last album.
Hmmm...now while the first song finds the band doing an decent job musically, the female lead vocals are still a little shaky. Better, but nothing impressive. There are some hardcore-ish male vocals thrown in at the end, but this song doesn't do much for me. However, the second track, "Beyond the Dark Side of the Moon", is where the band finally starts to gel as a whole. So far, this is easily the best vocal job that Debora Serri has done behind the mic and she continues it for the most part throughout the rest of the CD. While she could still use a little more passion in her delivery, she sounds more confident here, more focused, and more in control. She even varies her vocal style to fit each part of the song, including some addition of some slightly operatic vocals mixed with some softer vocals that remind me of the lady from the folk acoustic band, Caedmon's Call. And even the guys in the band kick it up a notch with some blazing melodic power metal full of great solos and beefy riffs. The band also exhibits some speed, thrash, and progressive tendencies from time to time as the disc goes on. Production-wise, they've dialed in a great sound as well as the guitars sound powerful and the drums are solid and crisp. The band reminds me musically of a mix of Seventh Avenue, Sonata Arctica, and Helloween while not sounding like a clone of any of them. They even throw in some male vocals on the song "Unseen Truth" that sound very similar to Herbie Longhans of Seventh Avenue. Not to mention some growled vocals in the song "Walking Over All the Seas".
Another thing I enjoy about this band beside the quality musicianship and the improved vocals is their willingness to allow the songs to breathe and to have their own personality. Instead of whipping out a catchy chorus, storming through a couple verses, and tossing in a crazy guitar solo, they take their time and explore the possibilities within each song. Each track stands on it's own and doesn't consume itself with a bunch of lame, re-hashed ideas. Now this isn't some super creative or groundbreaking band, but they are a band that has spent a great deal of time agonizing over the details and intricacies in each song to do whatever they can to make each song something special.
While this band isn't quite ready to take over the world yet, I must say that they've really impressed me with this third album. Debora Serri is not the next Christina Scabbia or Tarja Turunen, but she has stepped up to the plate on this album and shown that she isn't about to hang it up based on one critics opinion of their last album. Combine that attitude with the impressive band behind her, solid songwriting, great artwork and packaging, and even a top-notch website, and you have a band that is striving towards higher things and not just settling for the status quo.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Bombworks Records
Total Songs: 9
Total Time: 53:16
Tracklisting: 1. A Handful of Sand, 2. Beyond the Dark Side of the Moon, 3. Nothing Besides Dust, 4. Walking Over All the Seas, 5. Faceless Man, 6. Unseen Truth, 7. Daydream, 8. Nobody Wants to Live Alone, 9. From Now to Eternity.
Best Songs: Tracks 2, 4, 6, & 9.
Band Lineup: Debora Serri - Vocals, Karim Serri - Guitars, Regis Lafayette - Guitars, Gustavo Martins - Bass, Eliézer Leite - Drums.
Band Website: http://www.sevenangels.com.br