Seventh Dimension – Black Sky

Black Sky Album Cover Art

Seventh Dimension – Black Sky
Corrupted Records
Release Date: 18/06/2021
Running Time: 48:16
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Let’s face it most bands, despite us journalists trying to pigeonhole them down by genre and geography don’t just come from one place any more. The history of our beloved musical genre is full of stories of small town heroes coming together bound by a musical vision and a dream, but as time goes by the inevitable diaspora occurs and people spread out geographically; band members come and go and the net of contributors spreads even further. In this day and age though, huge numbers of acts come together comprised of people who are not so closely co-located anymore. I can name a dozen acts off the top of my head whose members formed with many miles (or indeed countries) between them, as technology enables those barriers to become increasingly irrelevant. The COVID situation has thrown a proverbial Holy Hand Grenade of accelerant on to that process, as bands have been forced to write, rehearse, record and produce without any physical contact and the gaps in some cases widen from countries to continents. Sometimes this falls very flat and I’ve reviewed plenty of releases recently assembled like a virtual musical jigsaw in this way that miss the spark of magical chemistry and consequently feel by the numbers, with that vital something missing from the final product.

What I personally believe makes the difference, is that Seventh Dimension is a band that has already gelled musically. They’ve spent enough time together in the studio and on stage for that musical shorthand and chemistry between players to form, so that they can trigger the right responses from each other through that hard earned familiarity. Consequently the fact that this opus was taken through its life-cycle with physical barriers makes no difference to what they have pulled off. Recorded remotely mostly in Sweden with key elements coming from Japan, this is a triumph of remote delivery and a slab of Melodic Prog Metal at its finest.

Very much of the Dream Theater mode, this piece is darker in tone than its three predecessors and all the stronger for it. I get motes of ‘V: The New Methodology Suite’ era Symphony X in the tonal structures – keyboard-wise in particular and in the overall arrangements, but they are very much their own beast. It’s also head and shoulders above their previous and interminably long release “The Corrupted Lullaby”, which is a classic example of ‘just because you can produce a double CD, does not mean that you should’…

At forty-eight minutes, “Black Sky” is positively punchy by comparison and despite the fact that it’s dripping with Prog technical flourishes, doesn’t drown you in these at the expense of the song-writing and arrangements. That means that even lengthy pieces like the title track do not drag whilst clocking up a healthy eight minutes of run time. Yes, you can hear how darned technically great the playing is, but it’s not slapping you in the face with it and the song carries you with it. It’s also one of those records that has enough ambiance in it to allow this to be gently ingested in the background, drawing you in with repeated listens. If it has a weaknesses, is that it needs a few ‘everyman’ melodic hooks to hang some of the songs on – vocally, in particular, the focus is on story-telling rather than melodic catchiness, making it an album that you need to listen to over time, rather than in an accessible and catchy way. That said, it’s definitely a grower…

TRACKLISTING:
01. Premonition
02. Bad Blood
03. Kill The Fire
04. Resurgence
05. Falling
06. Black Sky: Assembly
07. Black Sky: Into The Void
08. As The Voices Fade
09. Incubus

LINE-UP:
Luca Delle Fave – Guitars
Rikard Wallström – Bass
Marcus Thorén – Drums
Erik Bauer – Keyboards
Nico Lauritsen – Vocals

LINKS:

Seventh Dimension Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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