Seven Dark Eyes - …Across Oneiric Lands – 4/5
Labelled as gothic metal on metal archives, likely due to the fact they have a female fronting them, and a keyboard player. The truth is there is little gothic influence in them, sounding more akin to what would happen if the Edenbridge vocalist formed a Euro-Power Metal band. But despite the excellent and gratuitous use of keyboards, the guitars retain a hard edge, so as to never let it feel too soft and flowery.
Most of the band do nothing wrong, but nothing special either. The drums provide a very basic beat, and along with the bass are largely hidden in the mix, which is just as well, as they add little to the end result. The guitarist gets limited opportunity to solo, though when he does he doesn’t disappoint, but more often than not has a far more important job to do in this band. He provides the main body of the song, whether that is the hard hitting crashes displayed in ‘Lost Souls,’ the acoustic atmospheric section in ‘senses,’ or simply the melody, he is integral in filling out the sound, and allows the keyboards and vocals to add interesting layers.
The vocals come out softly, with little use of vibrato and a heavily distinct Italian accent which she makes no attempt to hide. This serves to create a slightly unique tone to her voice, which whilst wont give her a place amongst the best, often failing to truly power through the rest of the sound present, has great diversity, and at times performs to perfection (e.g. the chorus for both ‘Futile’ and ‘Red Moon’). But all this would barely make this band above average if not for the keyboard work. Performing dual function, creating both an atmosphere, at many times working alone, and with more solo’s than the guitarist, upbeat neo-classical riffs in places he lends something truly excellent wherever he goes.
Whilst there is perhaps little incredibly unique about this band, this is another one that should certainly be better known that it currently is. This is not your standard affair power metal band, with atmospheric and emotional tracks, harder hitting bombastic tones and neo-classical shredding all working effectively to produce an album diverse and interesting. Particularly recommended for those who enjoy female vocals, this is one Italian band that any fan of the softer side of power metal could do well to look into.
Highlights: Lost Souls, Futile, Red Moon.
By T Bawden