7 Horns 7 Eyes
Throes Of Absolution
01. Divine Amnesty
02. Phumis: The Falsehood Of Affliction
03. The Hill Difficulty
04. Cycle Of Self
06. A Finite Grasp Of Infinite Disillusion
08. The Winnowing
[Century Media/Basick Records]
The most exciting part about watching a trend in metal is keeping an eye on the peripherals — watching out for the bands that are tangentially related to it, be it by sound or image, but don’t quite fit the pre-defined mould. It’s pretty much a rule of thumb by now that those are the bands that create the most interesting and varied music. Take 7 Horns 7 Eyes, for example. You’d be hard pushed to deny that their off-kilter riffs and movements weren’t inspired by the almighty, chug-titans Meshuggah, but unlike the masses who kneel at that altar and declare all others to be false gods, 7H7E take great pride in lifting other influences from all around the progressive metal world.
Throes Of Absolution has been a long time in the making, creating an interesting kind of ‘What if?’ situation, whereby Bulb, Acle and their various cohorts never got round to defining the djent sound so well and so early on. This is Meshuggah influenced progressive metal that leans more towards the world of death metal than metalcore and is untainted by the years of abusing clean vocals and breakdowns. ‘A Finite Grasp Of Infinite Disillusion’ sees the meandering tones of Opeth meeting head on with a grand orchestra of strings and soulful leads – nothing about the track ever feels forceful towards the listener as it does with a lot of extreme metal, instead the band opts for you to bear witness to a grand journey than be the subject of aural abuse. Also, the intense groove of ‘The Winnowing‘ provides some of the album’s more blunt and heavy moments but even then there’s enough room to breath, take a step back and admire the quality of musicianship on display.
Whilst the majority of the running time is spent wisely, there’s a distinct division to some of the material. ‘Cycle Of Self‘ for instance picks up the pace straight away before descending into more introspective and melodic territory, reminiscent of the latest In Mourning effort. The former section portrays itself as bold and unforgiving whereas the latter comes across as drawn out and never really captures the same energy that was present at the beginning. This type of layout isn’t exclusive however, ‘The Hill Difficulty‘ opens gracefully with juddering rhythms and a tasteful lead guitar line before nose diving into off-beat chugging that seems to plod along at a sluggish tempo for full 5 minutes.
Altogether, Throes Of Absolution is an album that always hints at greatness but never quite reaches it. For every moment that feels measured and well-constructed, there’s another that comes across as superfluous or even uninspiring. However, in those glorious moments where everything lines up so perfectly, this band shows buckets of potential – more so than any new band I’ve heard this year. Mark my words, barring drastic line up changes or a nuclear apocalypse, the next 7 Horns 7 Eyes album will be spectacular.
7 Horns 7 Eyes’ Throes Of Absolution gets…