Ever had a juicy cheeseburger in front of you that you were just dying to eat until you realized it was drenched with the nastiest condiment on earth - mayonnaise? Well, it may be some people's dream, but not mine. I make that bad analogy to describe how I feel about Seven Angel's new album The Second Floor. I love power metal and the band plays some pretty decent stuff here, sometimes reminding me musically of bands like Eterna, Rhapsody, or even Elvenking. (The comparisons are only slight influences and by no means do they sound like those bands as a whole). At times they sound only like an average band, but at other times they show the talent and flair that would get the typical power metal fan all excited. In other words, the consistency is somewhat lacking, but the band has great potential musically. There are some great riffs here along with some interesting solos. They even use some flutes and violins to their advantage, along with some nice keyboard playing.
However, the mayonnaise here is the vocalist. I have nothing against female vocalists. I love Nightwish (in fact, Seven Angels opened for Nightwish once), and I can enjoy an occasional listen to Evanescence. But the vocals here are downright horrid! This lady is way out of her range. She might have a nice voice for another style of music, but she needs to give it up when it comes to metal. The big majority of the time I'm cringing and wishing they would go to a long jam session or something and give her a break. The album starts off with a pretty cool intro and the opening song sounded really promising...that is until the vocals started. The rest of the album can only really be enjoyed if you focus really hard on the music and try to block out the singing. Trust me, it's harder than it sounds. The production and packaging are very nice here, but again, the goodness in that is overshadowed by the vocals. I can see some people getting into this band. I hear they are getting great reviews in Brazil where they are from. However, this American doesn't really understand the hype.
Get a new vocalist, be it male or female, and this band could go places. Otherwise, I'll skip the burger and settle for the foot long coney. (Review by Matt)