Seven Thorns - Symphony Of Shadows

Seven Thorns - Symphony Of Shadows

(CD, Mighty Music, 2018)

I wasn't all that surprised that I liked the new SEVEN THORNS album, “Symphony Of Shadows”, the Danes’ fourth release since the start in 1998. They impressed me with their performance at ‘Copenhell Festival’ in 2017 but I haven't reacted on their earlier records the same way as this one.

One of the main reasons for that is that Björn Asking has taken hold of the microphone. I really like his voice and he's a great performer, both live and on record. Previous vocalist Gustav Blide might have a cleaner and more, for the genre traditional voice, but this what does it interesting now. Opening “Evil Within” sets the standard right away; the dark and moody track sticks and I really like the different passages and changes in pace and dynamics. Also, “Black Fortresses” goes under the same label. Then comes what made “Symphony Of Shadows” stick and the reason to leave it on the repeat; “Ethereal (I'm Still Possessed)” and the chorus that really hooked me in. It's hard to say why; it has a nerve that I find really appealing and Björn's rather rough voice sets the right mood for the song. Another favorite is “Beneath The Crescent Moon” which follows. I normally don't like that 7-string, extremely low kind of riffing neither female symphonic vocals. But as a whole, with this dark track, it works perfectly. Again, it was the chorus that lured me in and this is what I think is cool with SEVEN THORNS, their ability to produce very catchy melodies without being predictable or cheesy (as Power Metal can be on occasion) and keep it heavy.

When compared to the rest, I think both “Castaway” and “Last Goodbye” feel a little plain towards the first half of the record. They are still good songs but out of the nine on “Symphony Of Shadows” those two are the ones that doesn't tickle my nerves in any special way. Then it's back to the high standard again with “Virtual Supremacy”. I just love the shift in the drum rhythm and the pace in the middle of the chorus. At first, it almost felt like a mistake but it surely made me react and remember the song. Things like this make a record hold spin after spin and SEVEN THORNS sure have a lot of them. Also, the title track is a true masterpiece and wraps up “Symphony Of Shadows” in a very good way. The epic nature of the track, mellow verses and pompous chorus work really well together. Again there's a fine, without being too obvious, melody to top it off, also the different moods and expressions create a cool dramatic sound. It all sounds fantastic.

If those two tracks in the middle of the record would have had struck as hard as the rest this would have been a perfect album for me. It has it all; a lot of details to discover which means it gets better for each spin. Musically it is flawless, perfection without being boring and Björn's roughness creates vibrancy and gives life to the music. And by all means, it is a good album straight through. It's not necessary to skip tracks so it sure is very close to perfect.





01. Evil Within
02. Black Fortress
03. Ethereal (I'm Still Possessed)
04. Beneath A Crescent Moon
05. Castaway
06. Last Goodbye
07. Virtual Supremacy
08. Shadows' Prelude
09. Symphony Of Shadows


Björn Asking - Vocals
Gabriel Tuxen - Guitar
Mads Mølbæk - Bass
Asger W. Nielsen - Keyboards
Lars Borup - Drums