September 24, 2023

If you are a fan of progressive metal then you will be able to reel off a list of names of the great and the good in the genre to which you should certainly include the mighty Swedish band Seventh Wonder.

The band was formed in 2000 and has released six stunning albums of superior progressive metal with just the right amount of melodic rock to broaden the appeal of the group. The first four albums have been rather difficult to obtain having been out of print for several years and Frontiers have now released them on CD and, for the first time, in vinyl format featuring new band written liner notes so this is the perfect opportunity to add to the readily available Tiara and Testament which came out in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

The band was initially put together by guitarist Johan Liefvendahl, bass player Andreas Blomqvist and drummer Johnny Sandin with singer Ola Halén and keyboard player Andreas Söderin coming in later although Halén didn’t stay too long and it was when Andi Kravjaca (Aeon Zen, Thaurorod) became involved that the band really began to tick and it was he that supplied vocals on the fully formed Become which was the band’s debut coming out in 2005. Seventh Wonder has been lucky in that the lineup has been very stable throughout the recording history with the team of Liefvendahl (guitar), Blomqvist (bass), Söderin (Keyboards) and Sandin (drums) featuring on all four of these reissues with Kravjaca moving on after the debut to be replaced by the imperious Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) which saw Seventh Wonder take a huge leap forward. The band specialises in hard hitting and fully developed progressive metal somewhere between Shadow Gallery, Dream Theater and Queensrÿche with superb vocals, terrific harmonies, amazing guitars, thoughtful and intelligent lyrics and plenty of melody with enough power to leave you gasping in admiration.

Each album has shown a real development as the rapport between the musicians developed and it was when Mercy Falls came out in 2008 that the groundswell of positive opinion turned into an avalanche as this concept piece, in the finest Operation Mindcrime, traditions became a real tour-de-force. This was then followed up in 2010 by the sprawling and enticing epic that was The Great Escape which just happened to be Johnny Sandlin’s last album with the band being then replaced by Stefan Norgren (ex-Lion’s Share).

These reissues are a welcome opportunity to pick up on some great rock music that has not been available for long enough and fans of old will delight in the band being back in the spotlight and any newcomers will be amazed at the scope, depth and talent of a truly amazing team of musicians with a back catalogue that any group would be proud to own. Pity that there are no bonus tracks or demos that we fans are so keen on but, in truth, it’s just nice to have the records available again and any opportunity to revel in the 30-minute epic that is The Great Escape simply must be grasped with both hands.