In 2007, in the vicinity of Stuttgart, Germany, the symphonic gothic metal band Schwarzer Engel was formed. The band consists solely of German multi-instrumentalist Dave Jason, who uses session musicians during live performances. In 2010 Schwarzer Engel released their debut album and in the years that followed, this German band released 5 more studio albums and a number of E.P.’s. Originally the newest album was planned for release in the summer of 2020, but due to the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, it was postponed.
In the end, a release on January 7, 2022 was chosen. Appropriate, since the album has been given the name SIEBEN. Consequently, Schwarzer Engel’s seventh album has been released on the seventh day of the new year. Subject to any developments regarding the Covid virus, Schwarzer Engel will do a short tour in their home country to promote this album.
Sieben, as mentioned, is Schwarzer Engel’s seventh studio album, contains 11 new songs (some of which have been previously released for promotional purposes) and has a total playing time of just under 43 minutes. The cover is characteristic of Schwarzer Engel and was designed by Mattias Löwenstein. The album is available on all digital platforms, can be ordered physically and the possibility is offered to order a “limited box-set” containing additional merchandise.
The album opens with the title track VII (Sieben/Seven) and is followed byKreuziget Mich and Teufel. For people who know Schwarzer Engel, it is a feast of recognition from the first tones. Where VII builds up relatively quietly, the next two tracks are completely in line with previous music of this German musician. Symphonic metal, fine rhythmic guitars and a pleasant pace provide a fine opening to the album.
Paradies, Ewig Leben and Wie Viele Jahre are the tracks that follow. Paradies and Wie Viele Jahre have a slower pace and feel a bit heavier. Lyrically and musically strong songs though honesty dictates that it sounds little innovative. Ewig Leben is a recent single release from Schwarzer Engel (Dec. 22, 21) and is again a faster song. Somehow it feels a bit like a convergence of older work from Rammstein combined with influences from bands like Blutengel.
Just over half way through the album we come to the tracks Schlitzer, Vollmond and Ring Frei. Schlitzer and Vollmond are again a bit more heavily used, and the (frequent) use of the keys comes to the fore here as well. Vollmond in particular, which is also the longest track on the album, feels somewhat menacing and emotional partly due to Dave Jason’s vocals but fits seamlessly into the album. Again, the music feels like a whole, the lyrics are strong and well-crafted and the build-up in the tracks themselves is strong.
Towards the end of the album we come to the final two tracks of the album, namely Schönheit and Endzeit. Schönheit is perhaps the prime example of what Schwarzer Engel stands for. Somewhat heavy, penetrating music, which is very accessible. Again, not very innovative but that’s not necessarily a negative thing. The album ends with Endzeit and is in my opinion the best song on the album. Endzeit evokes recognition to some well-known German bands like Rammstein, Unheilig et cetera. Uptempo metal, clearly recognizable German vocals and a high “scream along” content make for a worthy ending to a good album!
Sieben is a fine album without too much innovation compared to its predecessors. Musically and textually the album is well put together, the variety in the album is well thought out and Sieben fits perfectly into the existing repertoire of Schwarzer Engel. For fans of Schwarzer Engel in particular or Symphonic Gothic metal in general, this album is a nice addition to the already existing line-up. You won’t find any special features on this album, but you won’t get bored with this album either.
Dave Jason – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard, Lyrics, Composition
Vincent Hübsch – Guitar
Bert Oeler – Bass
Tino Calmback – Drum
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