'The Reign Of The 7th Sector'
Release date: 27th April 2015
Roger Berzerk Fauske
Finnish symphonic technical death Metal band Whorion release their debut full length album, 'The Reign Of The 7th Sector' at the end of this month through Inverse Records. Although this is their first full length release they did have an EP out, 'Fall Of Atlas' last January. No doubt you will be wanting a bit of background on the band so nice person that I am...
The band formed in 2009 and after lineup changes, they set about composing and mastering new styles until the band came to be what it is today - Metal that will crack bones, whilst the powerful symphonics suck the listener in.
The album itself was mixed and mastered with Anssi Kippo from Astia Studio (Ensiferum, Norther, Children Of Bodom etc.) and vocalist/guitarist Ep Mäkinen had this to say about the upcoming release:
"We continued where we left on Atlas release and worked our sound forward. '...7th Sector' has more deadlier guitar work, higher tempos, bigger orchestra arrangement and vocals are pushed out with more power. I wanted to create Goliath compared to Atlas without losing identity. Theme of the lyrics grow and leads the listener in the middle of universal destruction, ground zero. Story builds up and continues all the way to the end."
Powerful words so time to let the music do the talking.
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'Flesh Of Gods' is first up and the promised bone crunching hits immediately, tumultuous drums throughout battering the air around it. Dark menacing backdrop, aggressive vocals full of intention, guitars driving, military like, before bringing some great rising patterns to the party. The orchestral touches are perfectly done, accentuating, embossing the heavier side, putting an accent on it all.
As an opener it more than does its job, with its mix of the darker and the inspiring, musically and emotionally.
So to 'When The Moon Bled', an intriguing prospect in itself. Quickening guitars, more thunderous drums and inciteful vocals with more than your run of the mill melodic content give the track its backbone. Synths again adding to the effect before it gets heavier, darker and a leading contender for chaos theory.
It never gets out of hand though and there is so much coming at you from all sides it has the desired effect. There is more clever orchestration, working as a break between the layers before it bludgeons its way to conclusion.
'Awakening' is a short track, one that could have been put as the intro to the next one but it works very well on its own. It is full of atmosphere, the orchestration really coming into its own as it is just that with intermittent drum crashes that complement the mood and give it that edge.
'Blood Of The Weak' is the aforementioned next track and has very anthemic beginning, perfectly following on from the instrumental offering previously. Some quickening guitar patterns fill the void as the vocals and rhythm again lead the foray into the darker areas of the mind – the drums this time embedding themselves even deeper into your cranium like features. More superbly composed orchestral input in the mid-section not just accentuating the darkness but adding to it.
The guitars especially on this one bring an order to everything, controlling the tempo, acting as a guide to what is coming. Great track, musical, enthralling and threatening.
'Forbidden Light' thunders in, the intro though is a lot longer on this and builds brilliantly, causing all manner of limb movement and head shaking, voluntary or otherwise before the guitars build it up even more until the vocals hit. The interplay between the vocal melody and the guitars throughout is nothing short of brilliant, taking so many twists and turns that Jormungandr would be impressed.
The whole track is one that you would file in the epic folder. Shifting between tempo building and crunching riffs, the guitars take this by storm, although again the synth effects are right on the money before it ends almost as quickly as it started – in a word, stunning.
That one is not going to be the easiest track to follow but 'Gates Of Time' has a damn good go with an entirely different musical delivery. This one is pure synth and orchestration for the majority of it and ambience flowing through it, deliberate, haunting piano on the top – single echoing keys used to great effect. The whole feel is intrepidation, rumbling in the background entering the fray, the sort that gets you in the diaphragm.
It goes back down to the haunting, single key effect before it builds, the mood changing to a more hopeful, military like rhythm. In a different way, another epic – a totally different feel, purely instrumental but with as much to say and as many emotions to convey.
'Immaculate' takes things back to the heavier side, drums leading the way again, vocals bringing all their might to proceedings, rhythmic plundering mixing very finely with some widdlery on the six string devices, the synths once more perfectly acting as a foil, filling gaps, accentuating the positive of which once again there is so much. This has a lot more to it than most though, again it is multi layered even while keeping rhythmically stable and steady tempo.
As it heads to its rumbustious end, the orchestral effect is again there as its own entity as well as a buffer before it all kicks off in glorious unison – but even in this section there are so many facets to it. In your face bludgeoning, melodic patterns, infectious guitar mini solos and the often mentioned synths.
So to 'Arrival Of Coloss' and unfortunately also the last one on the album. As they say, all good things come to an end but this is a stirring way to bring about the end. The beginnings (the first minute or so) have more superb synth and orchestration building the backdrop, laying down the markers in your mind as they quicken before drums and guitars put their mark on things.
A full two minutes into the track, the vocals hit, and the joining of that with some quite superb drumming, not as thunderous as on most the album, is a study in contrast perfection. The whole track moves along inexorably with all the intent of a juggernaut with the brakes disabled (there's a thought). Every musician on this one is at the top of the game, all delivering stirring individual performance but the unity is iron clad. Another great piece of writing and playing.
So that is that and if you haven't worked it out by now, it is a very impressive piece of work. Sometimes when confronted by an album that knocks your socks off, it is fairly easy to pinpoint what it actually is that takes the album out of the ordinary league and into the upper echelons but with these guys everything is doing that and that is what is so damn impressive.
The Nordic countries are no strangers to symphonic Metal of course, but Whorion succeed so well because the symphonic is joined so well with the more traditional Metal aspects of their music – there is never a feeling of it being forced onto the sound, rather that it fits like a hand in a glove.
Yet another winner from Finland and there really is so much going on musically up there, we are in danger of being left in the dark ages as far as Metal is concerned.
Simply put, get this album. That's all.