Seventh Calling - Monuments

12 songs
49:20 minutes
***** ***


Meeting eighteen years ago in Sioux City, South Dakota, the two guitarists Lance C. Lange and Steve Handel needed half an eternity to settle over to Minnesota, find a rhythm section and finally release their debut album Monuments in 2007. So they certainly don’t get an award for fast working, but that shouldn’t matter when you make such a good first impression. Influenced by the kind of metal that was popular when they started (Judas Priest, Fifth Angel, Crimson Glory, Fates Warning,…), Seventh Calling are light-years away from the baroque kind of symphonic metal that is flooding Europe at the moment, and that’s a good thing. Much like their label mates Beyond Fallen, Seventh Calling give the impression as if their CD was recorded twenty years ago, except that it has a bigger production as is common these days.

Led by two artists with probably big egos, Lange and Handel share the lead guitar and vocal chores. I am not that much of a guitar connoisseur and therefore can’t make statements about their respective techniques, but their vocal ranges work fine next to each other, with Handel’s rawer voice perfectly complementing Lange’s more melodic range.

The album is purest heavy metal, with sometimes maybe slight nods to power and thrash metal, but never in a way to make the band too aggressive for your average heavy metal fan.

Seventh Calling are at their most ambitious on the seven minute long Fight For Your Life and on the last quarter hour which is a monumental trilogy of songs held together by two short instrumentals. Monuments is an excellent debut album which sometimes is maybe still lacking the really big moments, but which overall is a true gem in the current flood of average copycat releases.

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