|Musical Style: Power Metal||Produced By: Herbie Langhans|
|Record Label: Massacre||Country Of Origin: Germany|
|Year Released: 2004||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 12||Rating: 85%|
|Running Time: 62:44|
On its fifth full length effort Eternals, Germany's Seventh Avenue continues in the same upbeat double bass driven power metal direction of its very fine 2002 release Between The Worlds. What stands out most about Eternals, however, is the progress made my the band in terms of its songwriting, the album being very consistent from front to back in showcasing compositions with noteworthy melodies and catchy choruses that refuse to leave your head. Moreover, not only is there not a single filler track here, but a legitimate case can be made that Eternals features the most cohesive group of songs Seventh Avenue has put together since the excellent melodic metal of its 1996 release Tale Of Tales.
In addition to contributing his trademark raspy mid-octave ranged lead vocal style, Herbie Langhans furnishes a plethora of skillfully done melodic flavored lead guitar work. Bassist Markus Beck and drummer Mike Pfluger form a rhythm section characterized by muscular bass lines and an abundance of tight sounding double bass. Flo Gottsleben rounds out the mix on rhythm guitar.
A crisp and clean sounding production job allows all the instrumentation to evenly stand out above the mix. A plethora of crunchy rhythm guitar underscored a fluid mix of lead guitar, while just the right amount of punchy bass guitar strikes a balance with a good powerful drum sound.
"Battle Of Destiny" is a brief (1:13) instrumental album opener beginning to sweeping keyboards that segue to the sound of a medieval battle underscored by orchestration.
The albums thrash influenced title track kicks in to an aggressively delivered riff that pushes it to a chorus carried in a strong manner by double bass. A combination of rhythm and lead guitar impels the song through a minute long instrumental passage. As its title implies, "Eternals" touches upon man's eternal destiny:
God will sit on His throne
Heaven and earth and all the creatures
Pass away on that day
All are leaving now their graves, the unjust besides the fair
Now it is time for the court and all will be judged
At the end of days
These eternals are etched
Deep into the bones of this never ending world
"Future Tale" stands out with its huge infectious melody line. The song embarks to a slowly moving guitar line that transitions to a crunchy rhythm guitar buttressed by double bass, the two leading the way to a background vocal driven chorus with a catchy refuse to go away hook. Langhans nails thirty seconds of sharp sounding lead guitar work.
Beginning to a drum solo, "Raging Fire" moves forward at a mid-tempo clip to a choppy guitar riff until it picks up in pace for a very fine hook filled chorus. Langhans is once again right on target with a nice extended lead guitar break. "Raging Fire" continues with the albums theme of "eternal" matters:
You laughed at your redeemer
And the devil laughed at you
But you are not slaved to sin
The decision is on you
And in the last judgment
You will be known by your deeds
Conveyed through its verse portions by a double bass driven riff, “Juggler Of Words” slows upon reaching a resounding chorus delivered in heavy handed fashion. A combination of rhythm guitar harmony and stylish lead guitar work presides over a minute and a half long instrumental passage. "Juggler Of Words" is an acronym for Satan:
And the juggler of words has been defeated
The key is just a wooden cross
With its commercial flavored melody line, "Remission" ranks among the albums strongest tracks. Immediately opening to an abundance of fast paced energy, the song tapers off in a hard hitting fashion for its verse portions before gaining momentum for an infectious chorus bolstered by vocal harmonies. "Remission" talks about the finished work of Christ upon the cross:
The One without sin
Shed His blood on the cross
For the remission of sins
No sin is too strong
No wall is too high
The power of the cross shines from the sky
Gradually fading in until vocal harmonies exclaim "Shout it out!", “Infinite King” is driven by an upfront mix of rhythm guitar to an energetic chorus that comes across worshipful in feel:
Shout it out
He is the King
Peace and justice He will bring
Tongues of fire
For His name
Several seconds of rhythm guitar harmony opens an instrumental passage featuring a fiery guitar solo.
The instrumental "Storm III" is carried its extent by an abundance of tight sounding rhythm guitar harmony underscored by intense double bass, Langhans adding to the upbeat atmosphere with his melodic based lead guitar work.
After a quietly played guitar line takes the semi-ballad "Hunger For Life" through its first and second verse, the pace of the song picks up as a crunchy rhythm guitar pushes it to a sweeping chorus with a good catchy hook. Langhans contributes thirty seconds of the albums best lead guitar work.
"Heaven Can't Wait" fades in to several seconds of open air rhythm guitar before an edgy guitar riff steps forward and propels it to a high-octane chorus buttresses by vocal harmonies. An intense guitar solo brings out the best in a song reinforcing the albums theme of eternal issues:
But the curtain has fallen
And we can see the Light of day
Redeemer came and set us free
With the key to eternity, key to eternity
Now the curtain is torn
A living way through endless night
Jesus came to set us free
He is the key to eternity, key to eternity
Introduced to several seconds of acoustic guitar, the ballad "Voice" slowly proceeds through its first verse in an acoustic laced manner until the rhythm guitar fortifies a melodic flavored chorus with a good commercial feel. A brief but well done guitar solo aligns itself with the songs emotional pace and feel.
"Domination Of Sin" is by far the albums fastest composition. After Langhan's adds an element of grit to his vocal delivery as the song moves through its first verse, it picks up in pace for an aggressive sounding chorus carried at an upbeat tempo. The albums message could not be summed up any better than in the following line:
Thank God! I am already freed by the cross!
Thank God! I am already freed by His Son!
I found Eternals to be an album that took several listens in order for it to grown on me, but it proved well worth the time and effort. While standout tracks include "Future Tale", "Remission", "Raging Fire" and "Domination Of Sin", the rest of the albums material, rating from good to very good, easily holds up under repeated play. In the end, Eternals deserves to rank alongside other top notch Christian metal releases of 2004 from the likes of Destra, Veni Domine and Saint.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "Battle For Destiny" (1:13), "Eternals" (6:19), "Future Tale" (5:59), "Raging Fire" (6:17), "Juggler Of Words" (6:05), "Remission" (5:30), "Infinite King" (5:41), "Storm III" (3:25), "Hunger For Life" (6:51), "Heaven Can’t Wait" (5:22), "Voices" (5:10), "Domination Of Sin" (4:52)
Herbie Langhans – Lead Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Flo Gottsleben – Guitars
Markus Beck – Bass
Mike Pfluger – Drums
Florian Keupp - Keyboards
Victor Smolski - Guitars