After the release of their demo The Warden and 2015 single “Lost in Time”, Kayleigh MG checks out what Seven Sisters’ upcoming debut album has to offer!
Seven Sisters isn’t just a shit-hole in North London. It’s also a four-piece heavy metal band spreading fourth heavy metal in its purest form. Consisting of Steve Loftin on drums, newly recruited bassist Javi Rute (but bassist Adam Thorpe playing on this album) and guitarists Graeme Farmer and Kyle McNeill, with Kyle also providing the vocals.
Formed in 2013, Seven Sisters have been doing their rounds in the UK and European underground heavy metal scene, for quite some time. They seem to have gained themselves quite the reputation!
So, ready to indulge in their new debut album Seven Sisters, I kick back with a can of Holsten Pils and play the opening track: “Destiny’s Calling”. The mystical intro is building up slowly, with volume and intensity increasing. This is broken by the sound of a ricocheting lead guitar backed beautifully by powerful riffage and crash-galore.
The song continues with a rapid change of pace and tone, dispersing a traditional speed metal sound. With a fast and catchy riff, accompanied with a strikingly smooth and steady drum sound by Steve Loftin- it’s powerful. Vocalist Kyle McNeill is able to maintain the mythological ambience that the song started with, by providing us with his melodic, clean and NWOBHM-esque vocals. The chorus is epic and strong, with a vocal melody that will stick in your head for days. A fantastic choice for an album opener- destiny is indeed calling!
After the previous track displayed some guitar-wankery goodness, rapidity and a theme reminiscent of an epic power metal band, track 2 is seeming somewhat different. “Highways of the Night” is only 10 seconds in and I’m already tapping my foot and swinging my hips. The song has a real groovy sound broken up with more speed and muscle. It could easily be mistaken as an overlooked NWOBHM gem from the early ’80s! This classic sound is intensified by McNeill’s vocal and the full-bodied dual guitar. “Highways of the Night” has many different levels to it, with the musicianship of Seven Sisters being more apparent than ever.
As the album continues, it is proving very difficult not to mention every track, however i’ll still to my favourites. “Silk Road” again is diversely layered with heavy metal goodness. Starting with a groove perfect for a heavy metal disco, fist pumping drum fills and atmospheric, soaring leads, the song develops with dual-guitars that make your palms sweat (well, mine anyway). The song ends bringing thoughts of falling slowly into a whirlpool of mist, with vocal melodies and a guitar sound that dreams were made of- spiraling in and out of echo.
After almost an hour of diverse and heavy sounds, my can of Holsten is getting warm (not too sad about that, really) and the album is sadly coming to an end. Seven Sisters is a completely mind-blowing album through and through. As Mr McNeil informs me in lyric form in the final track ‘Cast to the Stars’: “The journey has ended”. Not completely however, as it’s apparent that Seven Sisters are still packing something in their little denim bags of magic and wonder.
Albums like this bring hope to the 2016 heavy metal scene. Being able to recapture and build on the sound of the ’80s, but with added mystery and tone evoking a range of emotions. Whether its a lesson in musicianship and guitar tone, or just a fist-in-the-air singalong you’re after- Seven Sisters can deliver!
Be sure to catch the awesome foursome at The Devonshire Arms in Camden, this Friday October 14th 2016 for the album release party.
Words: Kayleigh MG
Photography: Elyssa Winn