The debut album from Seventh Storm is out this week: Maledictus.
Mike Gaspar is well-known as the drummer for the gothic metal band from Portugal, Moonspell. He recently went out on his own and formed this new band, Seventh Storm, with Rez (vocals), Ben Stockwell (guitar), Josh Riot (guitar), and Butch Cid (bass). The focus of this new project is melodic and epic metal, with a clear orientation toward the sea.
Starting at the beginning, “Pirate’s Curse” sounds the way you think it might from the title – there are sea shanty warbles mixed in at opportune moments to enhance the melodic metal approach. Likewise, guitar riffs are paired with keys to produce a full sound, and the entire construction lives in support of the vocals, which come across with vigor and a slight roughness. The pace is steady and not overwrought, and it accelerates and slows as needed for the narrative. There is a lyrical lead guitar break in the second half that is a welcome payoff for the metal-minded among us.
“Saudade” comes next in its first form – in English with powered instruments. There is also a version in Portuguese, and two acoustic takes, one in each language, at the end of the set. The song is very theatrical, laced and infused with drama at key moments. The construction is narrative-heavy, and so the emphasized lyrics become particularly important. I am already getting the feeling I should be seeing this live, and that the music is part of a drama where a visual element would be a valuable enhancement.
“Sarpanit” is a transition piece, then the band is on to “Gods of Babylon,” which is my favorite song on the album because of its fantastic guitar riffs and perplexing percussion. The lead break also stands out. As the record continues, more adventures are had and the musical explorations continue in clever and inventive paths. There is no doubt in my mind that fans of melodic and epic metal will find this album exceptional, as will fans of Moonspell.
Maledictus is out through Atomic Fire Records on August 12th, and you can find it just about anywhere. Explore the YouTube channel at the link below and look over the format options at the label’s website.
Band photo by Diogo Branco.
Atomic Fire Records, https://www.atomicfire-records.com/products
© Wayne Edwards