With their three track digital EP Convalescence, Seattle based technical progressive death metalers 7 Horns 7 Eyes have not only shown themselves to be a strongly expressive and powerful band but also given an indication of what their eagerly anticipated forthcoming debut album Throes of Absolution has in store.
Strong on riffs, emotive melodies, and incessant power the release shows a creative band that is not afraid to push boundaries and play upon and with the senses. Opening track ‘Vindicator’ carries a two prong attack, its intrusive riffs and sonically cutting sounds playing alongside opposing diverse and flowing melodic elegance in musical transactions, exchanging pieces of the songs in a seamless blend. It is harsh and at times brutal especially under the direction of the pummelling drums of Ryan Wood and Brandon Smith’s deep bass, whilst vocalist JJ “Shiv” Polachek IV delivers a heavy and deep rasping vocal soaked in menace and guttural intent adding to the dark intensity of the track. Countering this though is the scorching and melodic guitar play from Aaron Smith and Sean Alf and some excellent vocal harmonies that effortlessly flow behind the aggression. Traditionally evil carries a hypnotic beauty to lure the victims in and this track and the music of 7 Horns 7 Eyes is the same, menacing and dangerous but almost hypnotically impossible to ignore.
The title track centres the release rebalancing the senses before the final onslaught. Carrying a haunting atmosphere ‘Convalescence’ is a relatively brief instrumental, its grand arrangement plays like a mournful reflection of darker places tinged with a resemblance of hope still unconvinced of its own validity. A dramatic and thoughtful track that leaves the ear far too soon though its ‘premature’ end does mark the arrival of the final impressive track.
‘The Winnowing’ is a tense formidable track laying on an increasingly building ominous feeling. It’s mid tempo crawl never sinks into a sludge/doom dirge like predatory assault but it still keeps the consuming invasion moving on a like minded slow and even pace. Dark and as foreboding as the song is at times, the wonderful progressive guitar work from Smith and Alf lift it into varied and masterful fresh directions that engage and satisfy evenly.
Convalescence is a strong and pleasing release that increases anticipation for the band’s debut. It at times does suffer a lack of really striking and unique heart stopping moments that really surprise and set the band way ahead of contemporaries but it also suggests that final step in their development might just be around the corner, maybe on Throes of Absolution. The EP shows 7 Horns 7 Eyes is a skilled and talented band that deserves attention and with Convalescence are more likely than not to receive it.