March 31, 2023

Seventh Crystal hails from Sweden and is yet another in a seemingly never-ending list of perfect, super slick melodic hard rock bands with Wonderland very much picking up where Delerium, the band’s debut release, left off in 2021. As I have said previously, it seems incredible that a country with just over 10m inhabitants can produce so many fine artists over just about every genre imaginable with the superior US influenced melodic rock bands being every bit as good as those American giants from those halcyon days of the 1980s.

It’s great to see that Seventh Crystal’s line-up remains unchanged as the team that produced Delerium were such a cohesive unit and it was obvious that there was a real chemistry between them which shone though in the music. They have taken this rapport and built on it over the couple of years in between the two releases allowing them to grow and develop their sound so what you now have is virtually perfect melodic rock. I know that some fans consider the whole genre to be too smooth and silky for their liking and you pay your money and take your choice but if you are into the mature musings of bands like Toto, Journey, and Foreigner as well as fellow Swedish acts like H.E.A.T., One Desire, Treat, Palace and even the standard reference point in Europe then Seventh Crystal is a band just awaiting your discovery.

The group began life as a project put together by the superior vocalist Kristian Fyhr (Perpetual Etude, Ginevra) as a solo project and he soon brought in a talented team of musicians in Emil Dornerus on guitar, Olof Gadd (Osukaru) on bass, Johan Älvsång (Pinstripe Conspiracy, Lamashtu) on keyboards and Anton Roos on drums and percussion. Together, they put out an exceptionally mature debut which set the standard very high with their particular brand of AOR built upon the exceptional voice of Fyhr which is both powerful and soul infused. If anything, Wonderland is a little heavier than its predecessor and some of this can be put down to the addition of a second guitarist in Gustav Linde and his combination with Dornerus has given the music a real cutting edge with so many sublime solos but all still within the melodic framework that they deliver so well. As should be expected, there are several anthemic ballads with Fyhr showing the full extent of his range complete with a slow, burning passion that wrings out every bit of emotion contained in the songs.

If epic stadium rock is your music of choice then you simply must give this album a listen as the band has built on the very solid AOR platform of Delerium and added a real sense of power and majesty making Wonderland as good a modern AOR album as you are likely to hear.

Wonderland

  1. Wonderland (4:22)
  2. Higher Ground (3:48)
  3. Hollow (4:10)
  4. Million Times (3:48)
  5. My Own Way (3:39)
  6. Imperfection (3:57)
  7. In The Mirror (3:56)
  8. Next Generation (4:07)
  9. Someday (3:29)
  10. Rodeo (3:15)

Wonderland is out now to stream or buy on Frontiers Records