Metal Nation Records
Release Date: 3 August 2015
Review by Tristan Peterson
If it is one thing I love it is concept albums. Songs, in one way or another, are stories all their own; possessing a beginning, middle and end with changes in tempo and melody to suit and the concept album is the logical step from that. With each song existing as a chapter in a greater story, the interplay of theme and tune stringing them together, making a simple album an experience all its own. This is not something new to metal, and there have been various highs and lows; from Symphony X’s excellent Paradise Lost and the abysmal Holy Wood by Marilyn Manson (yeah, I bet you forgot that it was meant to be a concept album). The point of this preamble is that you sometimes get gold, or get left cold, when bands dabble in the realm of concept works.
Seven Sins from Stormzone, the bands fifth album to date, straddles the line, leaning heavily on the good side. The whole album has a strong and rich sound to it that goes hand in hand with Stormzone’s overall carefree, spirited feel. There is a lot of energy in the tracks, bolstered by some great production, which puts the members of the band on full display; from the driving and solid drumming, to the electrifying guitar riffs and solos and a commanding presence on vocals. The album, as a whole, is a twelve track strong little gem that will be welcome d by lovers of that classic rocky heavy metal sound.
The only let down is the concept aspect of “Seven Sins”. Though the band has not put a single foot wrong in the music department. It is in the connection of one song to another that they have stumbled. One might expect that there is an epimotif at play in the tracks but it comes off as a little samey, and the lyrics do not do the story any favours either being too expositional or too vague. However, I suspect that not a great deal of symposia was put into the narrative itself. (We’re dealing with a main character named Dr. Dealer here, after all). However, taking the songs as they are, they are certainly worth listening to.
Still, while the story is a cross between Needful Things and The Pied Piper of Hamelin, the concept fits Stormzone’s milieu and consummate force exceptionally well. You can take or leave what’s going on “on stage” (so to speak) and let the music do its job; and it does that job to a great degree. With songs like Another Rainy Night and You’re Not the Same, as particular standouts, to the affair that is Seven Sins you’ll find a lot to enjoy in the album. I give it a solid recommendation.