Seventh Wonder
Waiting in the Wings



by Xenorazr USER (120 Reviews)
February 18th, 2016 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once more with feeling.

Bands don't always get it right the first time. With metal, this typically applies to production values, although frontmen aren't exactly far behind. In Seventh Wonder's case, a sloppy mixture of both elements hindered their debut (Become) in a way that made it, well, unbecoming. Fortunately, the abrupt departure of original singer Andi Kravljaca opened the door for a bright new voice. Most listeners were introduced to Tommy Karevik in 2012, when he succeeded Roy Khan as Kamelot's lead singer, soon followed by the release of Silverthorn. Although Tommy's ongoing work with Kamelot has been well received, it doesn't nearly match the fire he ignited for Seventh Wonder when Waiting in the Wings was released.

Considering the time between albums (one year), one wouldn't expect a follow-up to Become to be much more than a slight improvement. Yet one listen to the introductory track, "Star of David," immediately smacks the listener awake. This isn't just an improvement, it's damn-close to an overhaul. Much of what defined Become does, admittedly, define Waiting in the Wings, though mainly from a conceptual standpoint. Bouncy bass notes remain a distinct, up-front aspect of the music, such that it almost fights for all of the spotlight. What makes this particularly note-worthy is how much of an influence we see the bass guitar cast on everything else. Normally bands resign their bassists to provide simple, rhythmic backing, allowing other instruments to stand out with ease. Here the tables are turned. Andreas Blomqvist doesn't groove the tracks up so much as he lays a critical foundation for the rest of the music to stem from; you truly feel like the music is built and fueled by the bass. Even at its simplest, Waiting in the Wings has the backbone of something more eccentric, like a pinball on acid bouncing around an introverted metalhead's body. And the metalhead is somewhere between buzzed and tipsy.

This characteristic is all the more welcome when one remembers that Seventh Wonder are, at their core, a progressive metal band. Title track aside, however, Waiting in the Wings isn't prone to egregious song structures. A standard dosage of verses, choruses and other refrains are clear and present throughout, leaving plenty of harmonious flash to sparkle anyone's speakers (or headphones). The degree to which they take such flashiness borders on extra-sensory, such that listeners may feel a palpable sense of ditzy-ness. Overall enjoyment is seldom a concern, but one begins to long for a tighter sense of control when so much is on full-blast. To that end, Seventh Wonder are definitely on the melodic side, borderline dipping into power metal from an instrumental standpoint. Key to this little oddity is the prominence of light-hearted keyboards and zealous vocalization. As I prefaced, Tommy Karevik is Seventh Wonder's ultimate blessing. His ability to sustain strong notes with simultaneous power and serenity is the absolute embodiment of a godsend. Other qualities certainly bring Waiting in the Wings up for any listener's consideration, but Tommy sends it into an even higher echelon.

Much of what enabled Tommy to bestow his then-newfound group (and subsequent listeners) with such grace was the bolstered production. Become was plagued by a troubling sense of vapidity; if someone held a figurative vacuum to the music, then the first thing to go was its soul. Here, the soul is alive and thriving. No instrument feels left out, even when others are taking the time to shine. Instead of feeling drained and strangled, Waiting in the Wings sees Seventh Wonder jumping off the walls like teenagers drinking espresso for the first time. It may lead to a certain amount of excess, but you'll have a great time while it lasts.

Time is a kind gift, and we don't always need a lot of it to achieve something great. With Waiting in the Wings, Seventh Wonder achieved a triple-knockout: one for Tommy, one for production and one for refinement. Their second outing is, above all else, a sensation. It's ripe with life, tangible whenever it carries heft ("Pieces") or flies on a whim ("Not An Angel"), the latter being abundantly dominant. Full-bodied and eccentric, Seventh Wonder's essence remains intact here, showcasing one of the brightest examples of colorful progressive metal.

Recent reviews by this author
Dream Theater Distance Over TimeAvantasia Moonglow
Swallow the Sun When a Shadow Is Forced into the LightSeventh Wonder Tiara
Shylmagoghnar TransienceAmorphis Queen of Time
user ratings (117)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 18th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I got so hung up on writing this review, the words simply wouldn't come out for the longest time. Think I finally got something out though. Probably all over the place, but I always welcome feedback.

February 18th 2016


Dig the review! It does what a review is supposed to be about; tells me what to expect from the album from a stand-alone perspective, and also in comparison to previous outings.

Made me want to check out the album, as "The Great Escape" put Tommy in a tie with Maynard James Keenan as my favourite Singer/biggest influence of all time.

February 18th 2016


Album Rating: 3.0

Forgot this didn't have a review. Fun album and good review as always. And agreed Tommy is a whole different vocalist with SW

February 18th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

Great! This deserved a review.

Ocean of Noise
December 9th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

This rules.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2022
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy