Seven Seraphim

Believe in Angels

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Believe in Angels? More like "Believe in pomp!" Seven Seraphim performs highly melodic and complex heavy metal of a sort that is often mislabeled as progressive, but really doesn't take that many chances with the classic rock & roll verse-chorus-verse structure. More adequately filed in the power metal category (if anything, that's the one), Believe in Angels offers an extremely competent, if not really original, take on this very popular style. Operatic vocals (thankfully, not the unbearably shrill kind) are king here, and heady opener "Anastasia" literally explodes with thrashy, double-kick drumming and frenetic dueling between guitar and keyboards. Song titles like "Lady Jade" and "The Discordant" betray the almost inescapable Queensr├┐che influences (Empire-era, in this case) and ensuing highlights such as "Song Blaque" and "The Hand That Feeds" sound not unlike a more keyboard-heavy version of Swedish neo-classical phenom Yngwie Malmsteen's mid-'80s work. In other words, Seven Seraphim has got this melodic, AOR, prog-power thing nailed, and it's only during the forced, overtly commercial power ballad "The Rain Keeps Falling" that any serious shortcomings are revealed. Otherwise, this is a finely executed album that sticks to well-known parameters.