Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seven Sisters-The Warden


The answer is obvious enough, but when the magic and the mystery of N.W.O.B.H.M. movement still swirls around your hometown then is it any wonder that (time and time again) we (the heavy metal community at large serving as both critics and fans) are treated to new favorite bands like Seven Sisters? Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, but for the members of Seven Sisters it's almost as if time stopped around 1983 or 1984. How else are we to explain the marvelous, near golden-oldie kids, vibe that lies at the heart of this four-track demo? Yes, state of the scene being what it is and all has produced handful upon handful of traditional heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. inspired & infused bands in the UK and here in the states. Few feel as authentic as this 4-track demo though. Just released this month, with band co-founder/guitarist (and for this recording at least) bassist Kyle McNeill actively involved with the demo's recording and mixing, "The Warden" sparkles with such heat and passion that one could easily pull a bait and switch and pass these songs off as rare singles from a bygone age. This release might have well been a dusted over gem  from the heydays of the scene (or specifically heavy metal coming from everyone from Satan and Witchfinder General to Tokyo Blade, Jaguar, Savage and Blitzkrieg) as it is (nostalgically-speaking) that thick in texture and rich in flavor! Of course one big thing that helps this lot out is the presence of Josh Winnard  (Dark Forest, ex-Wytch Hazel) on lead vocals. Having long-loved his work in both of those bands one could argue that it was a predetermined idea that I was going to love this project. Fair enough, but the thing is Seven Sisters originally started out as a writing project between Kyle McNeill and Graeme Farmer (guitar) with Josh simply providing the necessary 'touch-ups" if you will. With "The Warden" it's the two string-men that really make this short EP COOK especially as they went and presented a fantastic background upon which Josh Winnard could come in and lay down his cool voice. Opening strong with the title cut, which is one fave number where bands such as Witchfinder General, Angel Witch and Jaguar come out to play(!), "The Warden" strongly recalls the classic British metal scene as a whole, but this demo does take time out from the party to rock another familiar beat. As hinted at above this one might come from a "modern" metal act, but it is an eighties metal release which means that in addition to all the previously-mentioned acts the listener is served up fistfuls of 80's metal! Take a listen to "Onwards They Ride" for example. Here Seven Sisters draws upon the U.S. metal scene (think early speed metal bands who were simply not quite at the point of playing full-fledged thrash) along with bands like Ravage and the result is nothing short of phenomenon! So, while it's N.W.O.B.H.M. or bust for this bunch there are other influences carving out a niche in this London band's sound! In the end this demo smashes and bashes it's way through four "Ready or not here I come!" cuts of pure metal fury and it does so at it's own tried and true pace never once taking it's foot off of the peddle! With all of these various eighties influences making their way into "The Warden" the band, who interestingly enough list their extracurricular-activities as Excessive drinking, satanic rituals, beauty pageants, makes heavy metal for lovers of true heavy metal. The three members of Seven Sisters know what they are doing and given time this can evolve into something absolutely essential! As only a limited number of cassette tapes were issued for "The Warden" the band did the next best thing and put this demo on Youtube and then offered it as a digital download on Bandcamp. And speaking of the digital download, "The Warden" is available for a mere dollar and some change (U.S. conversion rates being what they are) making it a MUST OWN for those who still worship the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement and/or love classic heavy metal! You simply cannot go wrong with this one friends!You can listen to and download the demo here: and follow the group here: Also, Seven Sisters are in search of a bass player and drummer so all interested parties would do well to contact the band and get on-board while the opportunity presents itself!

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