Section A - The Seventh Sign
Lion Music
Progressive Metal
8 songs (61:00)
Release year: 2003
Section A, Lion Music
Reviewed by Keegan
Surprise of the month

Section A, the brainchild of Danish guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Torben Enevoldsen on paper is quite the technical progressive metal supergroup. Rounding out the lineup are former Lion’s Share singer Andy Engberg, and Andreas Lill, drummer for Vanden Plas; as well as guest keyboardists Gunter Werno also of Vanden Plas and ex-Dream Theater's Derek Sherinian. Although The Seventh Sign is loaded with technical shredding prowess, Section A’s songs are much different from what I was expecting.

Enevoldsen and company waste no with the opening track of the album. Immediately Engberg displays his daunting vocal range, and Sherinian makes his first appearance with a solo and ascending run with Enevoldsen’s guitar that sent shivers down my spine. The track proceeds much like an Awake-era Dream Theater song, with plenty of catchy guitar riffs and solo sequences. The keyboard tone of the album does little to broaden connections to Dream Theater, as it sounds identical to Sherinian’s tone on Falling Into Infinity. Riot is similar stylistically to The Seventh Sign, with a strong true metal feel, and catchy riffing.

The album takes a drastic turn beginning with the third track, Pray for Rain, in which Section A sound more like Queensrÿche or eighties-Rush rather than modern prog metal bands. Enevoldsen trades his crushing distorted tone for a delayed sparkling clear sound for several parts. The eighties trend in the album continues on Nightmare, which even rips off the breakdown from GenesisLand of Comfusion. The song is also the second to feature Derek Sherinian’s soloing talents. Tomorrow manages to shift the album back to more modern times, with an emphasis on atmosphere while still maintaining an astounding level of musicianship. Werno’s solo an especially cool capper to one of the best songs on the album.

Killing Fields is one of the heavier songs on the album thanks to a killer riff and loud organ sounds. Unfortunately, the prog-metal cheese factor strikes Section A several times: “Get ready for the attack,” “Eagle one, this is Eagle two;” these horrid lyrics almost spoil the song, however it’s saved by a keyboard/guitar unison run that is on tempo with the final moments of Dream Theater’s This Dying Soul. The album builds up to the intense closing track Into the Fire, which begins slowly, but escalates into the fastest and most aggressive song on the album. This is due in no small part to Andreas Lill’s rapid double bass drumming and a soaring power metal chorus. Classic prog and symphonic elements manage to find their way into the mix, adding more dimensions to an already varied song. Enevoldsen shows again whose band this is in the closing section of the final song, where he plays some remarkable melodic leads.

Like the majority of new albums, The Seventh Sign is slickly produced. each and every track comes through loud, every keyboard fill, harmony, and artificial harmonic are crystal clear. Thank you digital recording technology.

Though The Seventh Sign breaks no new ground, Section A have made an impressive progressive metal album. Fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Vanden plas would surely enjoy every minute of it.

Killing Songs :
The Seventh Sign, Nightmare, Killing Fields, Into the Fire
Keegan quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Section A that we have reviewed:
Section A - Sacrifice reviewed by Thomas and quoted 79 / 100
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