Seventh Avenue - Rainbowland (Megahard Records) 1995
1. "Theme from Rainbowland"
German metal on a Brazilian label. This is a 2001 re-release of the long out of print Seventh Avenue debut release. I think I actually like this album better than their follow-up as the production, songwriting and musicianship seem a bit heavier and tighter. "Rainbowland" speeds forth in the German, Helloween-style of power metal. Lyrically, the band is less poetic than on later efforts like "Southgate" but I really sort of enjoy the bold, in-your-face Christian message. This re-issue contains one bonus track, "Loving You" (Metal Version).
Seventh Avenue - Tale of Tales (ATM) 1996
1. "Prolog" -instrumental (2:08)
Quality German speed metal! Not quite as inspired or catchy as "Southgate," which was the first album I had heard by Seventh Aveenue. I also don't think this album is as heavy or powerful as "Rainbowland." However, this is certainly not a bad disc. Really reminds me of early Gamma Ray or Helloween.
Seventh Avenue - Southgate (Treasure Hunt) 1999
Southgate is classy German speed metal that mixes in elements of progressive metal. At times the music is fast and abrasive yet retains a melodic feeling throughout. The vocals are strong and clean and reminiscent of Stratovarious vocalist Timo Kotipelto. The lyrics are intelligent and based on Christian ideas, rather than the fantasy-type lyrics that many popular German speed metal bands are currently writing. Killer cover art as well.
Seventh Avenue - Goodbye EP (Megahard) 1999
(Acoustic Version) (6:24)
A Brazilian re-issue of the Goodbye EP with the last two songs added on as bonus tracks. If I am not mistaken, tracks 8 and 9 are taken from the band's out of print "Children" single. The EP features an extended version of "Southgate" and three versions of the ballad "Goodbye" off their last disc. I think the three versions of the ballad are a bit of overkill and the reason I didn't pick up the original German issue of this EP. With the addition of the bonus tracks though, I thought it time to snag a copy. Musically the band continues in the Helloween power metal vein, although the vocals still remind me of Timo Kotipelto from Stratovarius. The last two tracks were recorded back in 1995, so the production value on these two tracks are slightly different than the rest of the disc.
Seventh Avenue - Between the Worlds (Massacre Records) 2003
1. "Beyond the Ocean"
Seventh Avenue step up everything on "Between the Worlds". They are now in the same league as their German contemporaries like Primal Fear, Running Wild and Rage, pushing the boundaries of speed metal. Even the production is stepped up from the band's past discs. The biggest improvement, however, is in the vocal performance. Herbie Langhans, despite having a slight German accent, has a smooth, voice with excellent pitch, intonation, and even a bit of grit and aggression when needed. The songwriting is also a bit more aggressive than in the past and incorporates a bit less melody in exchange for the speedy riffs and quick double bass attacks. As a matter of fact, it's not until about track five that the band even slows down a bit. However, the songwriting is not boring and there is enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. It's also nice to see the Seventh Avenue have finally gotten on a decent label.
Seventh Avenue - Eternals (Massacre Records) 2004
1. "Battle for Destinty"
It's amazing how much these guys have improved over the years. This could be due to the ever changing Seventh Avenue line-up. It's important to note that vocalist/guitarist Herbie Langhans is the only remaining member original member here. Regardless of the line-up, 2004 saw the release of Seventh Avenue's finest album ever "Eternals". The sticker on the front of the CD states, "The new album by the German Epic/classical metal masters!" This is an excellent description. "Eternals" is power metal, without the sappy keyboards. What we have here are heavy riffs, fast guitar solos, speedy drumming, tons of double bass and vocals that remind me of current Helloween vocalist Andi Deris
1. Under The Surface" (1:05)
Seventh Avenue are a German power metal band. They've been around for decades, continuing to record album after album. With each new release they have improved their sound and their song craft. That is certainly the case with "Terium". Their sound here is pure German power metal. In other words, if you're familiar with bands like Gamma Ray, Edguy, Grave Digger and Helloween, then Seventh Avenue will sound very familiar to you as well. Actually, recent Helloween is an excellent point of comparison for this release. Their song writing reminds me of some of those excellent Helloween albums like "Dark Ride" or "Better than Raw". Even the vocals have that similar quality, being sung in a clean mid-range style with just a slight bit of gruff and grit. For the most part the songs are chock full of double bass and faster tempos, although there are some more melodic moments sprinkled throughout as well. "Hands of the King" is a full blown power ballad, although not quite as cheesy as that description may sound. There is nothing that sounds like 80's Warrant or Winger here. Rather, this is pure, European, melodic, anthemic, heavy metal. The recording is strong as well.
My only real criticism about this CD is that it's a bit too long. The current trend to cram as many tracks onto a release as possible is not necessarily a good one. Frankly, I think if a band like Seventh Avenue were to pick out the twelve best songs, they would leave the listener wanting for more. As it stands, you will need over seventy minutes to listen to this one all the way through. Otherwise, a stellar release from Seventh Avenue and easily the best of their catalog.