Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
Swedish progressive metal band Seventh Wonder is about to release their newest offering “The Testament” and these musical geniuses have gone above and beyond yet again, creating an absolute progressive masterpiece that is sure to top the charts!
Seventh Wonder’s “The Testament”, the sixth studio album and a follow up to their 2018 release “Tiara”, sees the band in a whole new light. Having just come off of their time in the states on a tour supporting “Tiara”, the band started the writing progress for this latest work just as Covid started up. With Sweden having taken a different approach to Covid, the band wasn’t really affected by Covid all that much, and used the time allotted to them to really dive deep into themselves. The result is a work that sees many human emotions come to life in a masterful, skillful, and rather intricate way.
Seventh Wonder is always known for their intricate and skillful delivery of their music. Filled with time signature changes, amazing guitar/bass riffs, amazing layers and keys, and heart-pounding drums, to even some moments of softness and delicacy, this album delivers what promises to be a chart-topping masterpiece, filled with many different emotions along the way.
With the powerful vocals of Tommy Karevik, and the heavy yet intrinsically smooth musicality of the rest of the band,Seventh Wonder consistently sets the bar in progressive metal higher and higher, and this latest work easily raises the standards yet again. Seventh Wonder blends the elements of their music so incredibly well. Their effortless delivery and smooth transition between time signatures makes it impossible not to come back for more!
In an interview with Andreas Blomqvist, the co-founder and bass player said that this album is “written with songs that stand out on their own and speak for themselves.”
This album is an epic, yet emotional rollercoaster. Each song represents one human emotion. Anger, fear, hope, joy and despair are just some of the emotions flooded throughout “The Testament”. Everything from the keys, synth, drums, guitars and bass couldn’t be more perfect and well balanced.
The title itself represents the testament that we leave behind when we leave this earth.
The album kicks off with “Warriors”, a deeply optimistic song about desire. Filled with heavy, chugging guitars, beautiful strings that creep their way in seconds after the intro begins, heart pounding drums, bass and synth, this track is sure to usher in a new era of Seventh Wonder. While this is a more standard track for Seventh Wonder, it’s power right out of the gate is enough to excite even those who aren’t fans! We hear “Welcome my friends, every ending is just the beginning. A brand-new dawn, new faith has spawned, I am the message from the other side. Before I die, I need to feel that I’m alive. Up from the dark I will arise. Igniting the spark in my eyes”
“The Light”, the second single from this new masterpiece is a fun, up-beat song which kind of reminds me of the very first song I’d ever heard by Seventh Wonder, “Alley Cat”! Everything about this song, from the melody, the instrumentals and lyrics just ooze pure joy, which is perfect because that is the main emotion being illustrated here. The video for this song was directed by Owe Lingvall! During our interview, Blomqvist states that the original idea for this video was to have a much more elaborate story including an amusement park, but they decided to scrap it. While it may come across as minimalistic to some, for me it’s not. It perfectly hits the tones of this song and captures so much light and joy.
While it’s one of my absolute favorites on the album, one of the harder songs to listen to is “I Carry the Blame”! A song about despair, this song perfectly encapsulates how we all carry around blame, and when that blame is deep enough, it puts us into a pit of despair. This song is easily relatable for sure.
Opening with synth and guitar, this mid-tempo song is written and arranged beautifully well! The strings over Tommy’s vocals adds just another layer to the already beautiful soundscape.
While about despair, this song, for me, demonstrates the chance we have to leave despair behind us. While we’re hurt from it, we’re never broken. In the bridge and last chorus we hear “I’m stronger than I was before, hurt but never broken. Rising to get off the floor. There’s something more. I’m stronger than I was before, hurt but never broken. Forgiveness is an open door. There is something more. With a prayer, in despair, I am calling out your name. Hurt but never broken. In the cold, in the rain, I am healing all the same. Leaving the blame.”
“Reflections” finds Tommy with a vocal break during this 5:36 instrumental hit! Opening with a :42 second keys only section, this song quickly rides the current and builds dramatically once the guitar, bass and drums come in! With underlying synth tones, this song is easy to get lost in time with! Creating a progressive opus, this track sees changing time throughout. There are lots of pinch harmonics as well, which just add so much more to the soundscape. The symbiosis between the instruments is breathtaking!
Another favorite track for me opens with keys and strings and is a beast! “The Red River” hits hard! Another relatable song with a beautiful intro. After the intro, a wave crashes in and shatters any thoughts that this was going to be a softer song. This song has it all! In your face guitar riffs with pinch harmonics again peppered throughout, deep bass, synth and heart pounding drums. This song is about the emotion anger and what we tend to do with it. The chorus hears “I rip myself open in anger. I will let my demons show. For something within me has broken, it’s screaming and yearning to grow. For as long as my heart bleeds a river, I will let the red river flow. A harrowing crack in the surface, exposing the rage and the beast that dwells below”
“Invincible” is a song about love, and is aptly named. Love can leave you feeling invincible! This song has a really catchy melody and easily gets stuck in your head! “I’m falling right from the start. There’s room for only you and I. No others will keep us apart. You and I, invincible! Through the pain, to the love and the beauty.”
For some deep, personal reasons, another favorite from this masterpiece would have to be “Mindkiller”! This is another rather heavy track with in your face guitar, bass, synth and heart pounding drums. The bass lines are absolutely killer throughout the album, but I really like this one a lot! The guitars have this amazing instrumental with sweeping chromatic arpeggios that lead into an amazing solo by Liefvendahl! (Not the first amazing solo on the album, mind you!) The main emotion of this song is fear and is about how fear can destroy our minds if we allow it to. “When that feeling’s closing in and panic’s creeping up on you. Into the river of the broken, fight or flight, you’re paralyzed. To kill that beast inside your mind, and rise above the circumstance. Don’t walk away, be someone, never let your ghost control you. Into a mind set on fire, we’re lost in a maze. Facing the memories that’ll work to conspire and set us ablaze. Fear is the master, to lead us astray. So push darkness away.”
Working in healthcare, during the main peak of Covid in NY in April of 2020, I worked in the ICU for about seven weeks, plus another two weeks on another Covid unit. Having then contracted the virus myself several months later in November of 2020, I was sick for 14 days with my oxygen dropping to 89%. Those 14 days were probably the worst of my life. The fear that set in during those times brought the darkest and most difficult year of my life, in which I would live this song’s meaning out, really learning to not let my fears control me.
As we near the end of this testament, “Under a Clear Blue Sky” illustrates that there is hope! This song opens with some amazing lighter guitar and bass textures, with heavy drums and guitars kicking in just over a minute into the song. Tommy’s vocals in this song are lighter, but still powerful. I love his smooth and very subtle use of falsetto in the versus too! With lines such as “Deep within you cleanse the demons left to die.” and “There is not a thing you can’t do. Boldly embrace the world. As the pages turn let light surround you and watch your life unfurl.”, it’s clear that we are being called to lose the demons of our past and to await the hope that comes with the turning of a new page! Hope is seen as the bringer of light.
The closing track, “Elegy” sees a slightly different vocal approach. This beautiful song about sadness is certainly the softest song on the album by far. To say it’s the softest song on the album doesn’t take anything away from it, rather, quite the opposite. The raw emotion pouring out from this song is so palpable. The strings with light acoustic guitar picking/strumming throughout really adds to the amazing soundscape that is made on this track. Karevik’s vocals are lighter than usual as well, but are so powerful. As the song draws to an end, the choir-like vocals are a beautiful addition and draws the album to a close.
Lines like “The boy grows up and he writes one more song. The most heartfelt song that he’s ever sung and it sets him free to let his biggest hero die young.” and “A final tear goes up in flames. All the sadness had him learning. He doesn’t have to fight the shame. A final tear goes up in flames.” offer a glimpse into the sadness that we all face at any given point in this journey called life.
Final thoughts – “The Testament” offers an honest and real look into the human condition, and is truly a testament to this journey we call life. Everything from the writing, arranging, instrumentals and vocals are so well done. Seventh Wonder deserves to be more widely recognized, and this album is primed to push them out into the open even more than ever before. The entire band has really gone above and beyond creating, what I think, is probably their best work and best sound to date!
“The Testament”is out June 10th via Frontiers Music Srl, be sure not to miss it!