Artisit: Seventh Station
Album: Heal the Unhealed
Location: Slovenia (made up of international members)
Release Date: 07/11/2022
Written by Alfred C Key IV
As I sit down to ink out another piece of art I tune into Seventh Stations Heal the Unhealed and what issued out of my headphones can only be described as twisted Frank Zappa vocals with heavy metal/classical/jazz/whatever the fuck the musicians decided it is. This music does not carry the listener down the usual progressive rock stream but insteads dumps them in the deep end of music with the likes of King Crimson’s Court of the Crimson King. This deep shit of music leaves me standing in the middle of shit creek with my balls hanging. I do not know what’s going to happen next and the tension of the music leaves me uneasy.
If you’re looking for easy listening pop prog or a sludge filled Mastodon impersonator you’re not going to find it here. What you will find is excellent instrumentation with bizarre orchestration. On the positive side it’s an educational experience in the world of progressive music and on the negative it is a damaging cartoonish musical experience. These musical pieces, which is the best way to describe them because they are not conventional songs, tell a story of some kind. I’m not sure what that story is and as a listener we should be told in liner notes but with our ears. As each passing piece moves through its various phrases I am continually bombarded with mind damaging sonic bombardments. So much so I have to take a break between each song to fully digest the music. If the music was a jungle this would have to be the place where lost civilizations are found.
Yes, it is that bizzare. So much so that you can’t even call it progressive rock or metal but instead have to call it something else like orchestral-core.The heavy orchestration like the guitar, bass and drum work are heavy on the note smashing and leaves me to wonder if the players hands have developed arthritis at the end of their musical experience. Like most modern prog bands I would imagine that the composers of the group are using some sort of synthesized orchestration because some of the musical phrases are just too complex to be played without the musicians having to be experts on par with the San Francisco symphony. I like technology in music and it’s what makes genres like rock music grow but when I hear how unrealistic it gets especially with this album it bums me out knowing that there is no way in hell my Hawain friend Michel Victor could play this on his violin. Trust me he’s a fucking sevante. Or how alienating the organs can get that my buddy Joseph Gurnee, a phenomenal keyboardist won’t touch the album with a ten foot rod.
As for me I am a fan of music in general and like to be challenged instrumentally but I know for a fact that my punk metal technique will never be able to compare with the acoustic classical guitars on this album. There are songs on here that do not have the orchestra or synthesizer and it’s nice to listen to just the guitar, bass and drums hack their way through a number.
Seventh Station continues in this mode of weirdness for the entirety of the album. Moving from one movement to the next breaking barriers and creating them along the way. Strange vocal tracks mixed with sound bites of Russian to invoke the toxicity of the Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin’s relationship not only with his wife but also with the people that he ruled over. Guitarist and primary composer Dimtri Alperovich paints a picture so bleak in my mind that it makes 1984 seem like a Harry Potter novel and the sad thing is that it’s all true. Based on the guitarist childhood in the Soviet Union we walk down a dark path of the draft being applied to mobilization of people to fight the Nazi’s.
I wish the music was a little more digestible but I get why he decided to compose the songs so differently from the normal prog metal. It’s to invoke the mood and create drama for those who do not know. In the end this album is an excellent example of composed music and gets rid of the Meshuggah influenced sound that have so pervased the musical world.
Listen to and order the album:
Pre-order the album HERE