CD review THEM ‘Manor of the Se7en Gables’

(8/10) Describing Them as a Kind Diamond clone would be far too shortsighted. Of course, there are undeniable parallels, starting even with the band name, which reminds of the same-titled King Diamond masterpiece from 1988.

But Them is more. The band premiered in 2016 with the ‘Sweet Hollow’ album, a release that came out of left-field, at least for me.  I was impressed though by the album and the quality that came with the songs on the debut. Them, that is KK Fossor (v) Markus Johansson (g), Markus Ullrich (g), Angel Cotte (d), Richie Seibel (key) and Alexander Palma (b). As the famous role-model the six-piece band created an album with a conceptual approach and, not a big surprise, it’s about horror.

Work on ‘Manor of the Se7en Gables’ started with the storyline, that was fixed prior to the songwriting. Creating the songs was mainly done by Ullrich and Johansson and the way it was done was in chronological order. Such a way of working ensured that each of the songs adds to the dramaturgical expression of the album and makes the story even livelier. Music and lyrics fit together in a good way.

After an intro, entitled ‘Residuum’ it’s ‘Circuitous’ which kick-off the album in a furious way. The dramatic song is a well-placed appetiser and showcases a band that became heavier. Power metal and thrash metal move more to the forefront while melodic tracks like ‘Dead of Night’ from the debut, are less present on ‘Manor of the Se7en Gables’.

With A Scullery Maid‘, an intermezzo, the more dramatic aspect of the story comes to light. The slow-paced song is musical storytelling before ‚As the Sage Burns‘ shifts gears again.

KK Fossor’s high pitch singing, like partly in songs like ‚Witchfinder‘, still reminds of King Diamond, but the moments he makes use of the tool are limited and well placed. It’s more that the storyline demands this way of singing and it’s most of the parts that come with a clean medium voice.

The takes advantage of some King Diamond cross-references, but not merely built on them. The second album is a heavy one with a focus on power metal, sometimes heavier, sometimes more melodic, but always dramatic.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Residuum (Intro) 
  2. Circuitous 
  3. Refuge in the Manor 
  4. Witchfinder
  5. A Scullery Maid (Interlude 1) 
  6. Ravna
  7. As the Sage Burns 
  8. The Secret Stairs 
  9. Peine Forte Et Dure (Interlude 2) 
  10. Maleficium
  11. Seven Gables to Ash 
  12. Punishment By Fire 

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: October 26th, 2018

 

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