Seventh Wonder
The Great Escape


5.0
classic

Review

by Dying. Feed us? USER (8 Reviews)
March 6th, 2011 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Great Escape shows an already outstanding band reaching their absolute potential.

Masterpiece: n. 1. A person's greatest piece of work, as in an art.
2. Anything done with masterly skill
3. A consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind

The Great Escape, by the always outstanding Seventh Wonder, exemplifies all meanings of the term. They are a band that has a made a career out of crafting fantastic albums, even if their discography is somewhat sparse due to their relatively recent formation. Mercy Falls, heralded earlier as a masterwork, was thought by many fans to already be the high-water mark in the band’s career. So many bands achieve greatness, only to fall quickly by the wayside, trying to replicate the sound that had made them beloved to their fans in the first place, and, in the process, come across as parodies of themselves. I am ecstatic to say that Seventh Wonder are not one of these bands. Rather, by allowing their natural progression to continue, they have released a record that, dare I say it, surpasses even its exemplary predecessor.

This album contains the brilliant guitar, keyboard, even occasional bass flourishes that have adorned previous albums up to this point as well. Vocalist Tommy Karevik is in top form, displaying an absolutely awe-inspiring control over every note he hits throughout The Great Escape’s duration. The combination of his performance with that of the rest of the band members synthesizes into striking works of art and beauty that never fades for even the slightest second. The production itself is crystalline, throwing this glorious mixture into vast relief, each instrument carving its own niche in the overall sound, while simultaneously complementing each other in a constant, lucid flow of intermingling cohesively into a perfectly realized whole. The Great Escape as an album is such an amazing feat due to this very amalgamation. Not once does any individual attempt to rise up and seize the spotlight from the rest of the band members, with the clear focus on the song, not the individual, allowing Seventh Wonder to easily circumnavigate the pit of self-gratification that too many progressive bands seem to fall into.

Despite, or perhaps because of, this blend of simultaneously diverging and converging sound, it does indeed take several listens to fully appreciate the mastery of the musical craft on display here. As previously stated, all the band members handle their roles within the group with admiral aplomb. Simply out of this inherently complex nature, it is difficult to absorb all the different pathways explored over the course of The Great Escape, at least after a mere cursory listen. In order to be appreciated fully, as it clearly so deserves, multiple listens are indeed warranted, preferably in the foreground. This is not a mere soundtrack to be used for ambiance in the background. No, this commands absolute attention, the seamlessly interwoven melodies blending together in lines of absolute power and weight, so to speak.

Multiple listens are not difficult here, however, despite the extended length of the album, due to the fact that, while each song does sound completely unique, there is also an underlying musicality to the proceedings that undoubtedly unite these songs into a cohesive experience, as opposed to a mere collection of separate tracks thrown haphazardly together.

And of course, a review of The Great Escape would be sorely lacking without mention of the epic title track. A piece of mind-blowing genius and virtuosity, this song essentially collects every single thing right with this record, and puts it forth in miniature (if its even possible to mention the word miniature in relation to a jaw dropping epic exceeding half an hour in length). Based on the epic space poem Aniara written by Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson, The Great Escape tells the tragic story of a doomed cosmic voyage aboard the ship that shares its name with the source material, after a mission to begin human colonization of Mars commences in anticipation of humanity’s imminent destruction of Earth. Containing 13 separate movements, each with its own unique sound, still tied ingeniously together into a unified final product, this song is, quite simply, the shortest 30 minutes I have ever experienced. Karevik’s vocal performance is simply beyond words, conveying everything from hope, to desperation, to deep, impenetrable despair, while simultaneously displaying his formidable range, proving beyond a shadow of doubt that he is one of the greatest vocalists to grace music in the past decade. And I can say, without the slightest hesitation, that The Great Escape is absolutely the greatest song I have ever heard performed. I was literally left in a nearly catatonic state at its conclusion, scarcely able to believe what had just come through the speakers.

This is Seventh Wonder’s masterpiece. The claim has been made before in regard to Mercy Falls, many left in wonder as to how the band could possibly follow up such brilliance. Suffice to say, if the band can repeat the pattern, they undoubtedly deserve to go down in history as one of the greatest bands to ever walk the Earth. Although, I do confess I have doubts that it is even physically achievable to surpass this work of pure perfection.



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
lancebramsay
March 6th 2011


1585 Comments


Good review - Pos'd

Might I recommend shortening some of those sentences though. You got quite a few run-ons amidst it all.

"Multiple listens are not difficult here, however, despite the extended length of the album, due to the fact that, while each song does sound completely unique, there is also an underlying musicality to the proceedings that undoubtedly unite these songs into a cohesive experience, as opposed to a mere collection of separate tracks thrown haphazardly together."

^ is an especially bad run-on. You got a couple others scattered about.

Remember, don't be afraid to have a short sentence! The review is very good for the most part.

DurzoBlint
March 6th 2011


1195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

30 minute track... I generally hate such long tracks. Its actually the best on here, but id prefer it split up. Either that or just have it as a one track "EP" and cut the rest out. Album is just so long....

alachlahol
March 6th 2011


7515 Comments


whollee shit

ffs
March 6th 2011


4884 Comments


my brain cant imagine a band so progressive. O_ o

alachlahol
March 6th 2011


7515 Comments


i just drank my own piss

DurzoBlint
March 6th 2011


1195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha

99Lore99
May 5th 2011


2 Comments


This band is nowhere nearly as lame as Dream Theater or Tool.

Fucking GREAT stuff.

DoctorVelvet
May 25th 2011


116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with the review, but it was wayyyy too wordy.

DoctorVelvet
May 25th 2011


116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I couldn't read through the whole thing. Clean up your fucking vocab!

Metalseeker
May 27th 2011


4 Comments


great review! This is a real progressive masterpiece...the best work i have heard after solution .45's for aeons past ans swallow the sun's new moon...the vocalist is a genius!!! Starts the album with a masterpiece and ends with an epic song that never gets boring...a classic album with every instrument playing great part...Vocalist is the best after Christian Alvestam of Solution .45!


jybt
October 10th 2011


346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've wanted to hear this band for some time. Not bad, though there seems to be awkward transitions and a lack of attention to tempo, which fortunately don't mess with the huge epic until about halfway through. The BASS was excellent, I can sure say that. I'm still eager to hear Mercy Falls.

+1

Digging: Daniel Cavanagh and Joseph Geraci - The Passage

pizzamachine
October 15th 2011


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very enjoyable, well done prog, but definitely not as good as Mercy Falls.

TheSpirit
October 19th 2011


18002 Comments


pizzamachine i need to thank you for playing this in turntable last night, i'm digging this. it's like a poppy symphony x

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

pizzamachine
November 5th 2011


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no prob man

D41V30N
December 3rd 2011


949 Comments


Their music is good.
But because of their vocalist, I think they invented a new genre.

Progressive Boyband.

pizzamachine
February 11th 2012


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha that's pushing it

Tyrael
February 11th 2012


20972 Comments


this is the best album i've ever heard

pizzamachine
February 11th 2012


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Ty is learning!

Tyrael
February 11th 2012


20972 Comments


yea I might listen to this some day

maybe

pizzamachine
February 11th 2012


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just like you might listen to Girls' Generation? ;)



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