Ah, the sweet sound of tradition.
It is rare in this day and age to find a Metal band truly pushing the boundaries of the style of music they play. Most will just find what works for them and churn out whatever they feel is satisfactory. There are many whose terms of satisfaction come nowhere close to mine, and these artists produced the works that I will score horribly. And then there are artists whose terms are in line with mine or exceed my own expectations. The latter (that is those of the utmost quality) are the artists in my Top Ten; these are the artists that garner the eights, nines, and tens. These are the artists that offer a new breath of life into Metaldom and give me another reason to keep listening. The former are those who will put out quality music but never push it to the limit that it could have (or should have) gone to. These are the artists than receive the sixes and sevens from yours truly. These artists are never disappointing, but they rarely ever surprise, they merely churn out passable albums that are as inoffensive as they are shallow. THE SEVENTH is one of these bands and while I cannot tell if they will keep to the same formula (as this is their sole album, outside of an EP of the same caliber) I can tell you that they took what they knew and made a solid (yet predictable and lacking in identity) album that will only satiate the hunger of Melodic Death Metal fans briefly.
So what does THE SEVENTH do wrong? Not all that much really. The instruments, especially the machine gun assault of the drums (provided by LENG TCH’E drummer Tony Van den Eynde) are all played with precision and skill. Sometimes there can be an interesting riff heard here and there (“Creator Of A Desert Land”, or “Dominion”) and the vocals are loud and the layering effects are extremely well done. However it is the packaging that ruins the album. Everything seems vacuum packed and freshly made to satisfy the simplest of tastes. The vocals, while neat sounding are lacking any real power or bite behind them. The guitars and drums, while played well are too safe and the use of breakdowns and mosh sections is all too familiar and seemingly packaged to cater to those simple tastes I had mentioned.
But as for the songs there really aren’t any bad songs, it’s just that with a complete lack of great songs, none of them are terribly memorable. Each song passes and the next starts with very little change in formula or interest from this listener. So aside from sounding like a reject DRAGONFORCE title, “Cursed Earth Wasteland” is a perfectly competent album that will no doubt be to the liking of some of you out there, but as far as this reviewer is concerned it’s just another album to sit in my collection.
(Online January 2, 2008)