Seagrave are a five piece hard rock/metal group hailing from Finland and were originally founded by Petri Isomaki and Veda Kolu, the bassist and drummer respectively. After initially being a covers band, they started writing original material in 2005 and in 2012 guitarist Elmo Karjalainen joined, followed by vocalist Michael Henneken in 2013.
Their music is strongly influenced by 1980’s metal such as Iron Maiden/Bruce Dickinson, and this album consists of nine tracks. They instantly establish their high degree of musicianship on opening track Airborn, which brings the Iron Maiden sound into the modern era.
Thunderous drums and restlessly inventive basslines do battle with incredibly fluent guitar lines from Elmo Karjalainen, switching between meaty low end riffs and high end riffs which are often harmonized. Over this, Michael Henneken lays down superb vocals that I personally prefer to Bruce Dickenson. His vocal range is huge.
The title track is highly melodic metal and shows this band write properly crafted songs rather than just vehicles for riffage like so many metal bands. Into The Darkness shows again their gift for writing memorable choruses, while The Citadel surprises by initially starting slow with acoustic guitar, a gentler side to their music.
By contrast, Immortal rollicks along at a furious pace (to the point where it could be classified as speed metal) while Sea Of The Dead nicely alternates between picked acoustic guitar and more standard metal sections. It also has a particular good solo, amongst an album of them. The closing Winter Sky is a fine finale and what stands out is how these often five or six minute songs never get repetitive or dull.
Overall, this is one of the best metal albums I’ve heard in years as it manages to capture the best elements of metal and fuses it with songwriting craft and a strong sense of melody. A classic of its genre.
Verdict: 9 out of 10