SEVENTH WONDER – Welcome To Atlanta: Live (2016)
Let’s start this with a fact; SEVENTH WONDER is one of my favorite band from the current scene no matter the genre. They are powerful yet elegant, heavy yet melodic, all crowned by a stupendous musicianship. to be released by Frontiers Music, “Welcome To Atlanta: Live” documents the band’s show at ProgPower USA in 2014 performing their excellent album Mercy Falls in its entirety.
On par with Seventh Wonder’s studio albums and live performances, the sound recording of “Welcome To Atlanta: Live” is simply immaculate. Every musician is heard with crisp clarity, notably Andreas Blomqvist on his six-string bass.
In front of a raving audience, the band performed their third record in full – the concept album Mercy Falls, a fan favorite – but it also has four tracks from Waiting In The Wings, two tracks from The Great Escape, an acoustic medley of tracks, a studio recording of a new track and an official release of ‘Inner Enemy’ (which originally only got released as its music video online).
The album starts with ‘A New Beginning’, which is the first track from Mercy Falls and is full of haunting keys and stadium sized guitars, with a slightly galactic feel to it. With a sombre finish, it piles into ‘There and Back (Overture)’ which is crammed full of atmospheric guitars and hammering drums as it begins to weave the story in your mind’s eye.
Next is ‘Welcome to Mercy Falls’ in which guitars continue the intricate story telling with another space age feel to it before the haunting vocals of Tommy Karevik start for the first time on the album.
As ‘Unbreakable’ starts, it is clear to hear that Seventh Wonder have stayed remarkably true to the studio version of Mercy Falls, getting the sound nigh on perfect from the stunning guitars to the solid bass and drums; the live rendition also featuring the stellar guitar solo from fretboard wizard Johan Liefvendahl.
‘Tears for A Father’, ‘A Day Away’ and ‘Tears for a Son ‘also remain very faithful to the studio tracks, and make you realise how much of a masterpiece it was, even after eight years – and it has weathered the test of time very well indeed. ‘Tears for a Father’ also features an emotional crowd participation, which warms the cockles as you can just feel how delighted people are to be there and witnessing the full sole re-telling of this album.
‘Paradise’ and ‘Break the Silence’ are some of my personal high points of the album, with stonking bass, huge vocals and top-notch instrumentation work throughout that continue to paint a delightful manic imagery of Mercy Falls as it plays out in the man’s comatose mind.
The strength of the live sound continues with ‘Fall in Line’, and the rest of the Mercy Falls album, Seventh Wonder consistently doing justice to their critically acclaimed studio album in a live setting, with on-point guitars and bass, all the instruments set at an equally decent level so you, the listener, get a full taste of their showmanship and bravado.
Another one of my personal favourites is ‘One Last Goodbye’, which is a stunning climatic piece to wow you into submission with the range of what Seventh Wonder can do.
The two bonus tracks, ‘Inner Enemy’ and ‘The Promise’ are breathtaking, and are a great addition to this album with fantastic vocals and guitars weaving their way throughout them.
‘Inner Enemy’ with its song format at 3:41 minutes it’s exactly the sort of track that would work well as a single for a progressive metal record: short enough to encourage non-prog fans to give it a shot, but complex enough to not feel like the band have stripped the complexity out of their sound to longtime listeners.
‘The Promise’ is a brilliant composition with a somewhat sympho edge but it still sounds like Seventh Wonder, right down to the spectacular chorus. The slight symphonic touches raise some interesting questions about where the band is going with their upcoming fifth record.
Long-time fans of Seventh Wonder will adore this live offering “Welcome To Atlanta: Live”, and newcomers have the opportunity to discover this incredible band.
It will delight and impress both, as it’s a stellar addition to the Seventh Wonder discography.
CD 1: Welcome To Atlanta: Live
01 – A New Beginning (Live)
02 – There and Back (Overture) (Live)
03 – Welcome to Mercy Falls (Live)
04 – Unbreakable (Live)
05 – Tears for a Father (Live)
06 – A Day Away (Live)
07 – Tears for a Son (Live)
08 – Paradise (Live)
09 – Fall in Line (Live)
10 – Break the Silence (Live)
11 – Hide and Seek (Live)
12 – Destiny Calls (Live)
13 – One Last Goodbye (Live)
14 – Back in Time (Live)
15 – The Black Parade (Live)
CD2 – Bonus Tracks
01 – Taint the Sky (Live)
02 – Banish the Wicked (Live)
03 – Alley Cat (Live)
04 – Walking Tall (Live)
05 – The Edge of My Blade (Live)
06 – King of Whitewater (Live)
07 – Seventh Wonder Odyssey (Acoustic Medley)
08 – Inner Enemy (new studio track)
09 – The Promise (new studio track)
Vocals: Tommy Karevik
Bass: Andreas Blomqvist
Guitar: Johan Liefvendahl
Keyboards: Andreas Söderin
Drums: Stefan Norgren
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