Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Full Length Review: THEM Manor Of The Se7en Gables (SPV/Steamhammer) by Dave Wolff

Manor Of The Se7en Gables
Place of origin: USA, Germany
Genre: Heavy metal
Produced by Dave Otero
Mixed and mastered by Dave Otero at flatlineaudio.com
Drums and bass recorded by Tarik Solangi at Frequency Recordings, White Plains, New York, USA
Vocals recorded by Tarik Solangi and Rich Fabrizio at Frequency Recordings, White Plains, New York, USA
Keyboards recorded by Richie Seibel at In Passing Studios, Bitzfeld, Germany
Guitars recorded by Markus Ullrich at Kozmik Studios, Gundelsheim, Germany
Guitars recorded by Markus Johansson at Cobra Island Studio, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Cover artwork by Mario Lopez
Release date: October 26, 2018
Available on vinyl format, CD format, Bandcamp and Spotify
Them have come a long, long way since they were a King Diamond tribute band. Picking up where Sweet Hollow (2016) conceptually left off, Manor Of The Se7en Gables easily surpasses that album, kicking their resourceful expertise into overdrive while pushing their ‘metal attitude’ more vehemently than ever. If you thought the band were seasoned musicians who had long since mastered their craft before, wait until you hear this. It defines metal in its purest form while utterly engrossing the listener. The last time I reviewed Them I said few bands from Long Island (the birthplace of vocalist KK Fossor) could reach what they accomplished on Sweet Hollow. As a metal opera illustrating the continuing adventures of Klaus Konig Fossor, Manor Of The Se7en Gables is a must have if you appreciate classic metal, prog metal, classical metal urban legends, ghost stories and theatrical lyrics. As before, it was released to coincide with the Halloween season, when the veil between worlds is swept aside. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Everything here is much more energetic, ardent and zealous. There is hardly a flaw in any of the cuts the band prepared for comprisal, and the stamina of the material multiplies with each track. The presentation of the story is more appealing and dramatic. KK Fossor has been transcending his King Diamond influence and is coming into his own here. The dual guitar attack by Markus Ullrich and Markus Johansson is simply impeccable, the drums of Angel Cotte precise and just relentless. Mike LePond who recorded all the bass parts anchors the band vigorously; it remains to be seen whether Alexander Palma can emulate the forcefulness LePond commands and he surely has big shoes to fill when the band perform live. It is also apparent things are left open for the story to continue on the next full length; its KD-esque ending seems to imply a few ideas. Now that Steamhammer has taken the responsibility of promoting Them, their fan base should increase exponentially and it won’t be long before they earn the respect they deserve for their commitment and hard work. -Dave Wolff

KK Fossor: Vocals
Markus Ullrich: Guitars
Markus Johansson: Guitars
Richie Seibel: Keyboards
Alexander Palma: Bass
Angel Cotte: Drums
All bass written and performed by Mike Lepond
Backing Vocals by Paul Sabu

Track list:
1. Residuum
2. Circuitous
3. Refuge In The Manor
4. Witchfinder
5. A Cullery Maid (Interlude 1)
6. Ravna
7. As The Sage Burns
8. The Secret Stairs
9. Peine Forte Et Dure (Interlude 2)
10. Maleficium
11. Seven Gables To Ash
12. Punishment By Fire

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