Released: 2012, Saol Music
After a relatively short break, the up and coming Progressive-Power(?) metal band Crow 7 is back with their third album. This is my first experience with the band and I’m really liking what I’m hearing. SYMPHONY OF SOULS is a monster record running a shade under 80 minutes with 15 songs and every minute is worth it.
The band has dropped the female vocalist and allegedly adopted a slightly heavier sound this time around are writing some longer songs as well. I know comparing a band to another band is a bore but Crow 7 really remind of the UK band Ten. The smooth, expressive vocals of Corbin Eved are very reminiscent in tone and delivery to those of Gary Hughes of Ten with shades of Jorne Lande That’s a major plus and I think if more Metal fans heard Corbin sing he could work his way up the ranks of Metal vocalists. There are a few growled vocals as heard on ‘Shiva’s Sigh’ and ‘Ocean Of Fire’ (and quite a few others) and to my ears they seem out of place even if they are used sparingly. The songs never get too heavy, or too fast, in fact you might even say this album, overall is quite mellow compared to some bands, but the strength lies in melodies and harmonies. The guitars buzz along quite politely and there are quite a few nice solos. There are little effects spread across the songs such as some spoken word spots blended in and quirky keyboard splashes as well as the main keyboards swashes that are omnipresent. Many of the songs start very atmospherically, with hints of acoustic piano, some keyboards, and strong vocal lines from Corbin, before picking up the pace, giving the impression of intensity and pace, despite the songs not being all that fast. Crow 7 use counter-point and juxtapostion very well to their advantage, much like Savatage used to, creating very listenable songs. An excellent example of this is the second last song ‘The Final Ride’ which opens very beautifully, almost ballad–like, with a subdued vocal line and acoustic piano, but eventually increases in tempo to become one of the fastest, heaviest on the album with the use of some double-kick drums.
Crow 7 are an elegant, classy melodic Metal band with strong songs, excellent musicianship and SYMPHONY OF SOULS is one of the better albums in this style I have heard this year. I’m very impressed with this German quartet and if you haven’t checked them out, this would be a good place to start.