For every town in Italy there must by heavy or power metal band. Additionally, every one of these bands declares that they play 'epic' heavy metal of some sort. Seventh Seal is no exception. Not every Italian band can live up to the standard that 'Rhapsody (Of Fire) has set. Still, Seventh Seal and others like them struggle on despite the history. Dating back to the late 1990's Seventh Seal offers traditional heavy metal with often fast arrangements, blistering guitars, and some better than average vocals from female lead, Chiara Luci. However, in the end, I found the performance and music basically average.
Much of what Seventh Seal attempts has been done before. Certainly, they do quasi-80's heavy metal very good. But in their case, there is little that is new and innovative. To their credit, their music shows enthusiasm and skill. The mix is a bit muddled and some arrangements seem confused. As for the latter case, 'Lucifer's Cry' is interesting, but I don't know where Seventh Seal was going in the composition. Is it heavy metal or power metal? Much the same could be said of 'The Seventh Seal' which trudges along despite their best efforts. It is redeemed by some fine fret work. Their effort is supreme on a song like 'I'm Free' where Ms. Luci expresses her versatility, the band is tight and solid. Another exceptional track is the title track, 'The Sacred Trust,' where there is premier drum work from Mark Napolitano, Chiara soars and the guitars excel. 'A Wind From The West' definitely qualifies as epic metal. It gallops along at a breathtaking pace and gives you hope for Seventh Seal's heavy metal future. It's epic, melodic and full of twists and changes. At the conclusion of this work, Seventh Seal covers Dio's 'Holy Diver.' This might be the best track on the album simply because the band relives their heritage. Chiara is awesome and the arrangement is nearly flawless. And listen to the lead guitar. Wow! This is what Seventh Seal should be aspiring to.
In the end, there is much to enjoy on 'The Sacred Trust,' but unfortunately you have to listen carefully and endure much to find it. I love the metal that Seventh Seal has called their own. However, their music still needs some work. I was definitely impressed and encouraged, but still found myself saying, 'there's nothing new under the sun.' There are moments of glory and grandeur on 'The Sacred Trust.' Be careful to listen for them. Recommended for fans of this genre.
- Craig Hartranft
Italy's Seventh Seal brings, in their words, epic heavy metal. But I'm sure you've heard that before. 'The Sacred Trust' has moments of incredible power and brilliance. Yet, this is basically standard stuff though still done well. Fans of the genre will be pleased; and others, well, they may take a pass.
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