A Fortress Called Home

SEVEN SPIRES from the USA return with their fourth studio album – A Fortress Called Home – to be released on 21.06.24 via Frontiers Music srl. The album has been preceded by the singles Almosttown, Architect Of Creation and the third single, The Old Hurt Of Being Left Behind. Jack Kosto, the guitarist, has produced, mixed and mastered the album in fine style. The line up is completed by Adrienne Cowan on vocals and keyboards and Peter De Reyna on bass.

Thinking of all my reviews to date, SEVEN SPIRES are the most prominent band I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know their music and their history. The music doesn’t stray too far from the band’s signature sound of symphonic power and extreme metal, but there is enough variation to show progression in both songwriting and soundscapes. Devoted fans of the band will be pleased at the growth of the band.

Adrienne has such a dynamic range that her ability to jump from beautiful clean vocals to harsh vocals is staggering. The band provide a solid backing with strong rhythms and formidable guitar playing. Additionally, the orchestration is used to maximum effect on the respective songs.

The band has said of the album it will take the listener on their own emotional journey rather than one designed by the band in the past. The songwriting was done exploring the deepest of depths more than once and is confrontational at times, questioning people’s choices, the roads most and least travelled, transcendence and experiences that are difficult to emote. A challenge for newcomers to the band, but after a few or more listens they will be hooked and bathing in the aspiring, forceful and enterprising complexities of sounds presented here.

The album itself begins with the stirring but brief opener, the title track A Fortress Called Home which leads into the second track Songs Upon Wine-Stained Tongues, the longest track on the album which is grand in scale and performance. The aforementioned three singles that have been released were inspired choices and highlight the variations of sound and give the listener the perfect lead in to the twelve track album that follows.

Love’s Souvenir begins with a beautiful piano accompaniment to Adrienne’s lovely vocals, almost reminding me of a chanteuse standing in the spotlight alone on stage, before the emotions let loose and the music soars to great heights with harsh male vocals and Adrienne’s soaring vocals taking it to epic dimensions. My favourite track on the album though in some respects I sort of wish it could’ve remained in ballad territory, but I love it none the less. The actual ballad on show is the wonderful Emerald Necklace which conjures up feelings from deep within.

As this is a lengthy album there are many other highlights for the listener to discover.

Being my first full on experience with the band I’m very impressed with the length, depth, ambition, emotions and musicianship on display here. Great story telling within the songs bring the listener along for the heart rending and heartwarming rollercoaster ride. Once again I’ve been lucky enough to delve into an artist and album that I’m more than happy to recommend.

Peter Sym