Them are a German band (with some US musicians involved) who formed in 2013 and released their debut album, “Sweet hollow” in 2016. Now they’re back with their second album. Sweet Hollow was a concept album that chronicled the bizarre journey of a man caught between unfortunate circumstance and unspeakable evil, and they’ve stuck with the horror theme for Manor of the se7en gables. The writing started with creating the story that would flow through the album before the two writers (Markus Ullrich and Markus Johansson) started to write the songs in order.
On this album, Mike LePond (Symphony X) appears as a guest musician on bass while Paul Sabu (Alice Cooper, David Bowie) conrtibuted guest vocals.
Musically it’s an interesting mix of power metal and good old fashioned thrash metal, and it’s a mix that works well. The whole album is written around the concept – it’s not just a case of fitting the lyrics to a story, the music has been written to suit the concept too. There are intros in several places – the opening track for example (Residuum) is a three minute intro with people playing the roles of the various characters talking over atmospheric music to set the scene.
“Refuge in the manor” starts off as a great thrash track with a bit of an Anthrax influence, but then you get to the twist – the chorus is more Power metal than thrash. It’s something you find throughout the album – there’s a definite thrash sound but also a definite power metal sound, and they’re blended together nicely. The album is full of heavy guitar riffs, and the pace of the music ranges from fast and heavy to slow, dark and atmospheric. The vocals are great – Klaus König Fossor has a great voice and can scream with plenty of power when needed.
With this album the band have moved forward a lot from their debut – this is heavier and more complex, and the result is a great album. Ok it’s not necesarily the most original sound, but it’s a damn good album and that’s what matters. Well worth checking out.
“Manor of the se7en gables” will be released on 26th October 2018 via SPV/Steamhammer
3. Refuge in the manor
5. A scullery maid
7. As the sage burns
8. The secret stairs
9. Peine forte et dure
11. Seven gables to ash
12. Punishment by fire