Reviewed: December, 2021
Released: 2021, Dissonance
Rating: 3.5 /5
Dissonance Records started five or six years ago as primarily a label that licensed and reissued Metal albums with a primary focus on England. I think they realized that you can’t completely live on past glories for ever so mixed in with excellent reissue campaigns of veteran UK bands like Venom, Raven, Diamond Head and so they have a small but strong roster of original acts as well. Seven Sisters is one of those original acts. Trudging through the trenches of modern Metal warfare for almost a decade now the band have released their third full-length studio album, SHADOWS OF A FALLEN STAR PT. 1.
The band had seemed to go for a classic old-school vibe on their first two albums. I say ‘seemed’ because unfortunately I have not heard the previous albums but looking at some info on the band I see album titles like THE CAULDRON AND THE CROSS and EP’s with Thin Lizzy covers and the like. It appears the band has modernized eras and presented a Science-Fiction themed album. The band has suffered (perhaps not the right term) line-up changes again with the core of Graeme and Kyle still intact but a new rhythm section is present. I’m not sure how much the new guys influenced the new direction.
SHADOWS OF A FALLEN STAR seems to be a concept album, as evidenced by the ‘Pt. 1’, but reading the lyrics it seems more of a thematic album, not a true concept album with distinct characters. The booklet is nice, the blue cover art is eye-catching and the production is decent with keyboards nicely in the mix.
After an effective and atmospheric opener called ‘Andromeda Rising’ with acoustic keyboards and ambient parts, we are off to the races for a speedy opener. The album goes from high point to high point; from straight up rockers like ‘Whispers In The Dark’ to more advanced style, compositions such as closer ‘Truth’s Burden’. The aforementioned keyboards are never over-done and the songs stay in the classic, traditional metal vein. The title track has a very pleasant hint of melody Hard Rock and even tiny hints of AOR. I hear some very strong elements of that fine, regal and classy British Hard Rock/Metal tradition that we can find in bands like veterans like Phenomena, Magnum and Ten but maybe a hint heavier. I’d like to see a bit more fire in the execution but the songs are well-presented and enjoyable across the board.
I’m not sure what Seven Sisters might need to do to stand out from the pack. It is not like they lack personality, but it is a huge and competitive market. This is a patient listen. SHADOWS OF A FALLEN STAR did not have an immediate visceral impact, but in retrospect that is not a bad thing. In these times of shorter attention spans it might be hard for an album like this to grab people attention. The first time round I listened to be album I as expecting more…more speed, more soaring vocals, more everything, but the next couple of times I really started to hear what they were doing. There is one more influence that I hear (I may be way off) but when I listen to the excellent title track my mind goes to that old 1976 British Rock Opera by Jeff Wayne, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. That is intended as a sincere compliment.
I welcome a band with a bit more depth and character and I really like what these guys are doing. I’m going to check out those other albums by Seven Sisters and you should too.
Kyle McNeill-Guitar, Vocals
1 Andromeda Rising
2. Beyond the Black Stars
3. The Artifice
4. Whispers in the Dark
5. Horizon’s Eye
6. Wounds of Design
7. Shadow of a Falling Star
8. Truth’s Burden