Two years ago, my fellow TMO Brother Charles McLachlan predicted that “SEVENTH WONDER…will definitely go on to great things.” The man must be psychic, because his estimate couldn’t have been more accurate. With “Waiting In The Wings”, the second full-length album from the Swedish Prog Metallers, SEVENTH WONDER have indeed produced something truly fantastic.
On “Waiting In The Wings”, the often at-odds theories of Melodic Metal and Progressive Metal are bridged with a polish I’ve yet to hear from any other band attempting the same (VENTURIA, CLOUDSCAPE). The verses are deliciously Proggy, with guitarist Johan Liefvendahl often collaborating with bassist Andreas Blomqvist on a light-speed harmony riff. The one around the six-minute mark on the title track is particularly interesting. I mean, Liefvendahl and Blomqvist can really play the hell out of their instruments, something that’s obviously a necessity in the musically challenging world of Prog.
The choruses are a whole different ballgame, although in a good way. They’re distinctly catchy and incredibly melodic, thanks to powerhouse vocalist Tommy Karevik, whose soaring voice really makes the choruses his own personal talent showcase. Karevik holds nothing back on the choruses, utilizing his full (and impressive) range to bring the song to full realization. What’s more, each chorus is noticeably different from the last; there isn’t any recycled material here whatsoever. When you listen to the multi-layered vocal harmonies of songs like “Devil’s Inc.”, “Not An Angel”, or “The Edge Of My Blade”, you really can’t help but think “Wow, this is pretty much icing on the cake”.
I tried my hardest to find a single flaw, just one little chink in the armour of this album, yet all my efforts were for naught. “Waiting In The Wings” is nothing but pure nirvana for Progressive Metal fans and I firmly believe it is worthy of a perfect score. If you’re a fan of Prog or Melodic Metal, or hell, even Power Metal (Karevik sounds a bit like Piet Sielck at times), do not hesitate to pick up this album. It’s well worth every cent. (Online October 6, 2006)