Hot off the Press

Seven Spires | Solveig

by Joe Mis
– Sr. Columnist —

If “Theatrical Metal” ever becomes a fully recognized genre American rockers Seven Spires will be the picture next to the definition. This very talented Boston-based quartet are blazing a unique musical path, combining modern Melodic Metal with touches of Death Metal, Symphonic Metal, hints of Gothic and Power Metal, and straight up hard rock – delivering it with tons of fire and bombast. Solveig is their full-length debut, and what a debut it is…

The four members of Seven Spires are all graduates of the Berklee College of Music and have been playing together sore some years now. They released an EP entitled The Cabaret Of Dreams in 2014, and have taken their time polishing and tuning Solveig, their debut concept album. Fronted by dynamic vocalist Adrienne Cowan and guitar master Jack Kosto, Seven Spires delivers complex and varied music on Solveig, mixing things up enough that the listener cannot become bored. Cowan can bring it soft and gentle, and then go full Death Metal roar in the blink of an eye, and Kosto is a complete player both in lead and rhythm guitar. The founding duo is joined by bassist Peter Albert de Reyna and drummer Chris Dovas. In the band’s press packet, Solveig tells of “..the journey of a lost soul through a neo-Victorian underworld ruled by an ancient demon.”

A simple and haunting instrumental, “The Siren,” opens the release and sets the theatrical tone of the remaining tracks, building in intensity and power as it progresses. Adrienne Cowan comes in full blast in the first vocal song. Her vocal work on “Encounter” goes from soft and gentle to full on roar, touching every level in between. “The Cabaret of Dreams” is theatrical, cinematic, over-the-top and just plain fun – imagine Andrew Lloyd Webber penning a dark metal tune… “Choices” is built around Kosto’s superb rhythm guitars and blistering leads, while Cowan’s layered vocals are fully in front during “Closure,” backed up nicely by de Reyna’s bass and Kosto’s intense lead break. Cowan gives one of the best vocal performances of the year during the haunting ballad “100 Days.”

One of the strengths of Seven Spires is their ability to change things up, and they do so by kicking it up to 11 on the powerful “Stay,” a tune that runs the gamut from Symphonic to Death to Power Metal, while “The Paradox” is almost all growled Death Metal. “Serenity” mixes the death growls with clean choruses in almost a “beauty and the beast” style. “Depth” is dark and murky, driven by bass and keys, but Kosto’s smooth and emotional solo is the icing on the cake. The contrast with the upbeat and uplifting modern rocker “Distant Lights” is almost startling, but Seven Spires seems to be able to do it all. “Burn” is a Symphonic/Death blend that segues into the almost bouncy, Pop-metal “Ashes.” The soft and mellow instrumental “Reflections” winds the listener back to earth slowly and peacefully.

On the whole, Seven Spires’ Solveig is one of the strongest debut albums in recent memory. If you are looking for a particular style of music then Solveig may confuse you a bit, but if you want something varied and intense you can’t go wrong. Adrienne Cowan is a talent to watch, and her band-mates are equally strong. The mix of the album is balanced and clear, pleasant to the ear. Good songwriting and solid delivery coupled with passion and fire make Solveig a winner all around, and it is highly recommended for fans of Female-fronted or Symphonic Metal.

Genre: Theatrical Metal

Adrienne Cowan (vocals)
Jack Kosto (guitar)
Peter Albert de Reyna (bass)
Chris Dovas (drums – live band)

Track Listing:
1. The Siren
2. Encounter
3. The Siren (Reprise)
4. The Cabaret of Dreams
5. Choices
6. Closure
7. 100 Days
8. Stay
9. The Paradox
10. Serenity
11. Depths
12. Distant Lights
13. Burn
14. Ashes
15. Reflections

Label: Independent


Hardrock Haven rating: (8.5 / 10)


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