Performances

In Isolation, Last July, Seventh Harmonic, Inkubus Sukkubus
Purple Turtle, Camden, London | Sunday June 26th 2011
Dominion Magazine

Seventh Harmonic are a pretty big draw tonight, especially as it had been ten years or so since they last played in the UK. The group feature, amongst others, Caroline Jago of Sol Invictus and Ann-Mari Thim of Arcana, which should give you a strong indication that they're a rather special project. Playing tracks from the past as well as from the brand new album ‘Garden Of Dilmun', they were incredibly interesting both aurally and visually.

With a projector beaming images behind them it was a bit of an overload to the senses. We had both Ann-Mari's rafter-hitting operatic vocals to contend with as well as the violin clamour of Eilish McCracken, along with various percussive instruments that were either softly slapped or militantly banged. The music itself could be both mellow and soothing or strident and very much in the face. Some found the vocals too much, and to be fair, they were epic and there was no escaping them anywhere in the venue. It was the sort of performance that would have been better suited to somewhere like The RFH rather than a small North London club, but even here the PA coped admirably making songs such as ‘Bidding Grief Farewell' sparkle. Finishing with a flourish, ‘Equianimi' gave a delirious Middle Eastern twist, it wasn't just the heat that had us momentarily transported to the Saharan desert. An enchanting performance.


Waregem Gothic Festival 2010
Reflections of Darkness
reflectionsofdarkness.com

The second day at the Gothic Festival 2010 started quiet and calm with Seventh Harmonic, a nice way to start a festival day. Supported by some visuals on the video screen, the Swedish-British fiver created a beautiful, haunting atmosphere. Focus of the music and the stage presence is singer Ann-Mari Thim, and indeed her performance was more than convincing. Her voice, apparently classically trained, is pretty strong and rich. The rest of the band left a good as impression as well, although they had to rely on pre-recorded backings for the more orchestral parts of the songs. But who could afford to bring a full orchestra for such a gig? Anyway, Seventh Harmonic gave us a relaxed and lovely start of the festival day, and although I’m sure that many people weren’t familiar with Seventh Harmonic  their performance was pretty well received. And later in the day we would see vocalist Ann-Mari Thim again on stage as a member of Arcana! | Rating Music: 9 | Performance: 8 | Sound: 8 | Light: 7 | Total: 8.3 / 10  |  photos


Waregem Gothic Festival 2010
Dark Entries | darkentries.be

A very good show; Seventh Harmonic's terrific ethereal wave was an ideal beginning for a long concert day! Caroline played the bass as if it was a violin or a cello in some songs, which was very original. The percussionist (not an ordinary drummer) was really impressive. And of course Ann-Mari Thim is a great singer, as we know from Arcana. And the wonderful harp sounds of Keltia made it a dreamy experience.  |  photos


Recordings

GARDEN OF DILMUN | buy

Zillo
"Neoclassical/Heavenly Voices album of the year"

Necroweb Magazine
"A piece of musical history - 10/10"

Terrorverlag
"A true masterpiece in its entirety, a pure listening pleasure. Absolute buy recommendation - 10/10”


Side-Line magazine
www.side-line.com | March 13 2012
“Garden Of Dilmun” is a brilliant composition, which sounds as the fusion of different influences. I noticed neo-classical elements mixed with heavenly voices, drones, a few epic elements and a touch of neo-folk and martial music. It all sounds a bit like the fusion of Engelsstaub, Arcana and even Dead Can Dance. The “Garden Of Dilmun” is a graceful piece with a strong esoteric taste leading to Paganism.

The heavenly female vocals are an essential part of the opus and sometimes sound a bit in contradiction to the heavier and more epic-minded composition. The ‘opposites’ make this album stronger and accomplished. “Aoide”, “Eostre”, “Mneme” and the instrumental “Melete” are my personal favorites, but globally speaking this album appears to be a compact and fully interesting work. I was deeply impressed by the writing skills of those musicians. Mixing all influences together doesn’t exactly appear as an easy job, but their great experience and maturity resulted in a brilliant composition.

“Garden Of Dilmun” is an album that will appeal for fans of heavenly voices, progressive neo-folk and open-minded martial music. I sincerely hope Seventh Harmonic will not take so many years again to bring us a new album.  (8)

Sound Wwriter
soundwriter.blogspot.co.uk | Feb 1 2012
From great compositions to excellent operatic vocals, Seventh Harmonic’s third album is exactly what a neo-classical darkwave album should be. Its dark and haunting atmosphere is made using a mix of strings and hard drum beats that are mostly played at a slow pace. That pace rarely picks up, and while a few of the songs build to nothing as a result, most of the music on Garden of Dilmun is better for it. This is exceptionally beautiful work, and it’s rare to hear classical music used so well with contemporary gothic sounds. If you’re looking for a great darkwave album, or even a great modern classical release, then the latest from this all-female group is an excellent choice.

Heathen Harvest
heathenharvest.org | Dec 1 2011
The album's theme is shaped around the three concepts of the muses, the wheel of the year, and the seasons of the heart and its music really captures the heart of the ethereal spirit.

The sound of Garden of Dilmun is parts bombastic percussions, parts floating dreaming vocals and parts lovely orchestration that brings into mind those ancient times undreamed of. The music really captures the essence of all that is good in the neoclassical genre and the vocals of Ann-Mari really fit the overall theme of this beautiful album. From the first song Valensanimi you know instantly if you are going to like this album or not and I am pretty confident that this is the best neoclassical album I have heard this year. However it is not completely flawless and the inherent beauty of songs such as Dilmun and the short but magical Beltane really points out those few songs that I found lacking. Soporanimi is heavier, slower and more distinct militaristic in its thundering booms and really breaks against the more angelic songs of the album. Equianimi is a mystery to me that really breaks the spell with its playful yet completely distinct rapid drumming tearing me from whatever soothing calm that the previous tracks have put me into. Now I understand that these complaints only steam from my own distinct taste and other might differ, but being ripped from immersion is never a good thing in my book.

However horrible I might become when it comes to the end of the line true beauty has always ensorcelled me and Garden of Dilmun holds moments of extreme beauty. Overall this is a strong and competent addition to an already impressive repertoire of the songbirds Caroline and Ann-Mari. It is gentle yet strong, intricate yet graspable and above all it’s a neoclassical journey performed by a group of highly talented individuals. Even though I find parts of this album lacking the overall aspect remains a potent prospector of my brooding soul. Garden of Dilmun is a great album and I highly recommend it to adorers of Arcana, Dark Sanctuary and Dargaard. Rating: 4/5

Nemesis To Go issue 11
www.nemesis.to | Dec 2011
After their earlier career of DIY releases, Seventh Harmonic are now friends with Deutsche Schwarze Spezialitšt label Out Of Line, and now they're picking up attention across Europe. It's at once the culmination of everything the band has worked for, and a whole new start. Certainly, Seventh Harmonic have been comprehensively rebooted, with Ann-Mari Thim now providing the arias and canticles over Caroline Jago's swooning orchestral lushness and outbreaks of percussive drama.

And yes, you do instinctively reach for words like 'arias' and 'canticles' when listening to Garden Of Dilmun. It's almost short-changing Ann-Mari Thim's cinematic, operatic, effortlessly aerial vocals to describe the results as mere songs. There's a luxurious sense of space in the sound, coupled with a sure sense of when to step back and let a certain folkie minimalism hold sway - as on 'Eostre' - and when to give it some welly, as on the slam-blam of 'Aoide', where the percussion department cuts loose and gets its Stravinsky on. But I think my favourite track here has to be the nimble bhangra-sinfonietta of 'Equianimi', which works with an almost cheeky assurance. It's the kind of mash-up that I doubt anybody else would even think of attempting, but it's a very Seventh Harmonic moment.

I don't know who the mysterious Dilmun might be - some sort of empyrean Alan Titchmarsh, I expect. But I know this: his garden has come impressively into bloom.

Gothic Paradise
www.gothicparadise.com |
2011 sees the release of their latest full-length work Garden of Dilmun taking various pagan themes for the lyrics, building on a beautiful, yet powerful bombastic mix of neo-classical, martial and ethereal musical styles. The album comes with thirteen of these varied, powerful pieces.

Right from the beginning we get the intense mix of neo-classical and heavy, bombastic elements as synthesized symphonic sounds ebb and flow, build and fade across the intense percussions and Ann-Mari's angelic vocals caress the tempestual music. For the most part this is all a good mix and fans of the heavier, more intense tracks from Arcana and Dead Can Dance can appreciate. Starting off with "Valensanimi", it gradually builds across the symphonic sounds and slowly builds to more of the bombastic approach as described above. This leads us into "Aiode", which from the very beginning is an onslaught of heavy, martial-like percussion, tempered by the soft vocals as the track moves along, coupled with soft and subtle strings. These pieces quickly became favorites, however as we get into "Dilmun" we realize that it's not all about bombastic, martial industrial as the acoustic guitar moves along steadily and soft, beautiful layers of orchestral elements create a beautiful ethereal piece.

With this first trio of tracks we get a good taste of what the album has in store for us and we can settle back and not be surprised by anything, from the soft and dreamy, to the heavy and intense pieces. We have a trio of interludes that help to somewhat divide the album up into sections and provide added variety. These short instrumental pieces are definite treats.

As the album moves along we continue to see varied themes on the musical compositions. Favorites don't necessarily stand out a ton as the album is fairly cohesive despite the seemingly wide range of intensity. I will touch on a few here though as "Mabon" moves along sweetly, it falls well within more of a typical neo-classical / ethereal piece. Another completely different piece that is heavier with more intense percussion is "Soporanimi" which has a lot of the more bombastic elements and heavy, deep chanting male backing vocals for a stark contrast to the overpowering female lead. Another fairly similar piece is "Mneme" which also quickly became a favorite and has received good feedback from our ethereal radio listeners. It includes a nice mix of beautiful ethereal song structures and instruments yet moves along well with a heavy, ancient beat. And as the album begins to come to a close, a true beauty is presented with "Litha", the inclusion of classical piano on this piece is definitely a nice touch and tempers the heavy, deep bass strings (cello, bass, etc.) coupled with Ann-Mari's vocals. "Samhain" builds on this theme though in a much softer, ethereal style as the soft piano moves sweetly along while the various layers of symphonic strings and solo violin move along softly.

As you can see, nearly every piece stands out as a favorite and it's hard to just dwell on a few highlights. While it's not a perfect album and there are in my mind a few clashes of style, or seemingly forced intensity, overall it's a great album as noted. I think this project has found their own unique blend of talents and musical structures and genres, while still being accessible and enjoyable by fans of past greats within these genres. Be sure to check them out as the album is well worth it. | Rating: 4/5


Mick Mercer
mickmercer.livejournal.com | October 17 2011
Crikey – eight years since the last album, and how the sound of Caroline Jago’s music has grown, in sumptuous opulence and emotional drama, doubtless emboldened by the vocal capabilities of Ann-Mari Thim from Arcana. The sturdy, ominous ’Valensanimi’ pours from the speakers like theatrical ethereal, strings taking flight above booming drums and passing through bewitching vocal clouds. ’Aiode’ lets the drums have free reign as the vocals waft deliciously and a subtly diluted refrain soothes any worries about booming doominess. ’Dilmun is altogether more relaxed, the rhythm falling back behind a scree of subtle instrumentation which ripples contentedly behind the almost celestial vocal glow.

The instrumental ’Imbolc’ has a sedate, quietly rural flow, then the richly cautious ’Mabon’ unbends in nervy splendour as though as a thoughtful storm front was moving in, stolid strings plucked, moping vocals plodding. The pattering, piquant ’Eostre’ flutters meaningfully in some paean to the beneficial seasons, a gently spreading piece, and really the style here will appeal to anybody into the firmest ethereal moods, or pagan sweep, even the lighter side of Gothic Metal given the vocal resonance.

’Soporanimi’ has a tremulous filmic quality initially, with imperious backing vocals and the sly drumming impact, but it does pretty much tread water gloomily. ’Beltane’is a light hazy instrumental, then ’Mneme’, flickers with a hint of drum menace before oozing out over circling synth wooziness and harmonious vocal pleasantries.

'Litha’ includes a touch of churchy organ alongside the delicate strings, vocals wilting demurely in the soon encroaching serenity, bleeding softly into the genteel ’Samhain.’ ’Melete’ is another mellow but building affair, with an insistent vocal catchiness as the waves of energy seep over and across, then 'Equianimi’ introduces an exotic percussive patina which I could have done with a few tracks earlier as I had been getting a bit sleepy. It doesn’t deviate from the more blissed out optimism often felt, and reaches a stylish close.

You won’t encounter any vigorous sonic battles here, as all is subtle shades and immaculate boundaries, and you may sometimes need a breather as it can become a bit much at times, but when the mood is right you’d be hard pressed to find anything else more beautiful than this.

Necromag
necromag.co.uk | Sept 9 2011
The powerful drums and string sounded synths of ‘Aiode’ are a lament filled dirge. The undeniably pagan ‘Beltane’ is an instrumental interlude with an identical stride to ‘Aiode’. Lyrics like ‘sing to awake’ mirror  ’Beltane’s cautious drawn out notes. Stirring medieval guitar plucks open title track ‘Dilmun’ speaks of a pure land “where ravens dare not crow” in an almost serene track only broken by the harshness of its synth, soothed by its flute elements. ‘Eostre’s drum snare march calls nature to return from its slumber, to grow and bloom in the rebirth of spring and Easter. The excellent tribal drumming and lively synth of Equianimi takes a dramatic swing away from the lamentation and sober respect present in so many other album tracks and presents itself as a more lively festival celebration. The drama and pace of Equianimi is mirrored in Soporanimi and Valensanimi forming sort of musical trinity with a suspenseful feel running through each song, bolstered by booming drums. Though similar, each song in this trio is not simply a reprise but different shades of the same colour, or chapters of the same story. A solid example of this sobriety is Litha which builds a sense of reverence around its organ tone. another stand out moment are the urgent, almost aggressive drums of Mneme, building a sense of tension and drama bolstered by the songs suprisingly grounded vocals.


Garden Of Dilmun has distinct pagan and mythological themes, dancing through the festivals of the yearly cycle, woven these across 11 equally lithe and soulful songs. There is not a single moment on Garden Of Dilmun where some emotion or sense of spiritual connection is not evoked through the layered atmospheric instrumentation in the vein of acts like Dead Can Dance and the almost operatic vocals of Ann-Mari. The Garden Of Dilmun is a powerful, evocative, yet soothing release and has its place in the spiritual natural understanding of the flux, death and rebirth of all around you. If you can’t appreciate the subtle beauty of an autumn day then this album isn’t for you, though I challenge anyone to question the technical skill that went into the crafting of Garden Of Dilmun.

Reflections of Darkness
reflectionsofdarkness.com | May 20 2011
...The second song ‘Aoide’ was instantly remarkable especially for its dramatic drums and together with the vocals it was wonderful and rousing. I feel they are more themselves when they experiment with symphonic and classical and put themselves right into it and bring on their own originality as in ‘Soporanimi’ and ‘Mneme’ - splendid and layered even dramatic songs - especially the latter. ‘Litha’ has absolutely magnificent beginning, melancholy and majestic at the same time, the soft, sensitive and beautiful vocals make this just exquisite. As you gather the themes range from mythological entities but expressions of pagan-titled seasons too - from those Beltane stood out the most with its ethereal exultation, albeit with a great dose of sadness - more a funereal ode to Winter King rather than celebration of the Summer King. Samhain came as a close second favourite of the season interludes - with its keyboards matching falling leaves and the strings the broodiness of the season. The vocals throughout were just brilliant - never over the top, never showing off their obvious skills - just perfect for the songs. The closing ‘Equianimi’ was underlined by some great drumming at its beginning, the singing reminded me of Kate Bush, but in not such an obvious manner as ‘Dilmun’ was reminiscent of Dead Can Dance. It was quite an intense song to close this ‘Garden Of Dilmun’. This is an album of delicate, exquisite and even poetic beauty with many emotive landscapes to visit and visual wonderings possible through the evocative soundscapes; an album that should be listened to, it will certainly uplift you and even soothe you. Music: 8 Sound: 10 Total: 9 / 10

Dominion
truecultheavymetal.com | May 18 2011

The ethno-symphonic style of the all female Seventh Harmonic should have wide appeal for fans of not only neo-classical and ambient music but also those of symphonic metal acts like Within Temptation and Nightwish. But unlike your average symphonic band the tribal drumming, ambient electronica and flirtations with classical strings gives the album so much more depth. Throw in the Celtic infused vocals of Arcana's Ann-Mari and three concepts revolving around "the muses, the wheel of the year, and the seasons of the heart" and you have some deep listening to do. The songs have been composed with an exceptional attention to detail and the production preserves the ethereal quality of the subject matter. In a few places the use of keyboards instead of live strings is glaringly obvious, however this isn't a big issue as the strength of the melodies in songs like 'Aoide', 'Eostre', 'Litha' and 'Samhain' are absolutely compelling to listen to. To idly dismiss Seventh Harmonic as a mere neo-classical band or ethereal folk really doesn't do them justice. There is an attention to detail and conviction in the song writing that sets them apart from the crowd. The only place for Seventh Harmonic to go now is to collaborate with a full orchestra. [7]


Coma music magazine

coma-online.com | May 13 2011
I would like to start off by saying that the neo-classical/neo-folk/ethereal artists, Seventh Harmonic, have given life to an utterly fantastic album with their latest release, Garden Of Dilmun. For those who have never had the pleasure of hearing Seventh Harmonic before, now is the time, as Garden Of Dilmun is without doubt their finest release to date. With the addition of Ann-Mari Thim (also of Arcana) as vocalist in 2009, Caroline Jago and Seventh Harmonic have truly become a cohesive unit with an amazing sound that is hard to classify with any specific genre term. I won’t single out any specific songs because I feel this is an album that needs to be heard and appreciated as a whole, not to mention the fact that there isn’t a specific high or low point to be heard; all of Garden Of Dilmun is thoroughly enchanting. The ritualistic drums intertwined with sweeping strings and lush, intoxicating vocals inspires thoughts of breezy nights spent outside, lying back and letting yourself be enveloped by the night, staring at a star filled sky and losing yourself in the vastness of being and the world around you. Seventh Harmonic’s Garden Of Dilmun is truly beautiful, dreamy music of the highest caliber.


PROMISE OF SACRIFICE | buy

Side-Line
The second album of Seventh Harmonic shows an interesting progression into wafting gothic atmospheres leaded through heavenly female voices. This female ensemble intermixes a gothic sensibility with dreamy neo-classical arrangements and background folk inspiration. Their work sounds like a voyage through distant cultures and esoteric territories. I think it's not a coincidence to find back among the guest artists, the Greek Daemonia Nymphe. It only reinforces the sensation of their gothic-world music. This trio creates an interesting feeling of mysticism that they build up through the eastern influences of their music and through the lyrical themes as well. The ballads have been composed with patience and conviction, delivering a meaningful and emotional content. 'Promise of Sacrifice' is strong enough to please the lovers of this particular genre, filling the gap between traditional gothic stuff and neo-classical compositions.


Meltdown
The ethereal collective are back with their second full-length release. This time, Kate, Eilish and Caroline have been working with Paul from Cries of Tammuz, Greek band Daemiona Nymphe and their former vocalist Fionna. The band have certainly progressed from their debut release, The Awakening EP and their sound has matured greatly. The effect is that they now sound far more polished and tighter.

The references to Dead Can Dance still stand with the tribal drumming, symphonic violins and delicate vocals but Seventh Harmonic now add their own British stamp to these beautiful tracks. Daemonia Nymphe adds a very neo classical element to the band's style, their deep-voiced chanting contrasting well with the lighter music, while Fionna adds a haunting quality with her voice on Parisina.

A brilliantly evocative album for those in search of aural enlightment. *****


LD50
Halfway between Dead Can Dance and The Machine in the Garden stands the milestone of the band Seventh Harmonic. Two expressions that they can't hide from are neo-classical and ethereal and these really are equally characteristic - greyish, dew-scented and stretchy, like a pleasantly enervated Sunday morning.
 
The female trio paints a real convincing picture of the UK ethereal scene thought to be real dead and floating - but I have to add that I find the real strength of the album in the more moving and dark tracks - like Icarus with its tumbling percussions (which is a real contestant of Dead Can Dance's Cantara) or To the Mother of Gods and its caressing madness, reminding me of the best moments of Les Joyaux de la Princess and Blood Axis, together. The string/synthpad layers and the vocals are pretty much exaggerated over other elements of the music, but here that's definitely not disturbing, rather the opposite. One surprising point of the music is that you can't get calm on this one like on any other ethereal disc, you've gotta listen to this real close and carefully. Sometimes an advantage, sometimes not. The album Promise of Sacrifice features previous vocalist Fionna, Paul from Cries of Tammuz and the antiquity-ridden Daemonia Nymphe. The result: an amber-scented disc of 14 tracks which is anytime-anywhere between neofolk and late night chillout goth. Really worth listening to.


Space Junkies | Wednesday Elektra 
Promise of Sacrifice is a very mystical and enchanting album, while it holds true to being a masterpiece in disguise. Its moody atmospheres, lullaby styles and Celtic overtones make for a wonderful listen. No matter what mood you're in, you can always sit back and enjoy the full potential of this album. Its crisp, clear and clean musical ensemble of instruments mixed with angelic vocals makes it beautiful. Its a CD you want to have in your collection so you can pass it down your family heritage so everyone will have a chance to enjoy it! There are no good words to describe how great this album is, you must get it and listen to it yourself to understand its potency!


starvox.net | Uncle Nemesis
To call Seventh Harmonic 'ethereal' - the catch-all shorthand description that's often applied to them - doesn't really do the band justice: their music pulls in influences from classical, folk, electronics, and all around the world. And yet Seventh Harmonic manage the neat trick of never sounding like anyone other than Seventh Harmonic. 
 
The rolling bhangra rhythms of 'Chains' sit surprisingly comfortably with the swooping western-classical - not Bollywood! - strings. 'Icarus' is an exhilarating percussive tumble, over which Kate Arnold's voice tip-toes with delicate precision, and again it sounds as if the song has had a bit of a make-over. These ttwo songs are probably your best way in to Seventh Harmonic, if you're coming upon the band for the first time.
 
Elsewhere, 'Page Of Wands' has a baffling title, but it's a drift through an other-worldly symphony, with occasional punctuations of almost military drumming. 'Pass Within' sounds like it was recorded on a hot night in a Morocco souk, while 'Promise Of Sacrifice' itself features some splendid chiming percussion, and swathes of keyboard like silk scarves draped, just so, over the tune.
 
'Immortal Selene' and 'To The Mother Of Gods' are settings of Homer's hymns - and all of a sudden we're a long, long way from rock 'n' roll. On these pieces (it seems so bathetic to simply refer to them as 'tracks') Seventh Harmonic are joined by members of the Greek period folk group, Daemonia Nymphe, and there's a real sense that a door into another world has just slightly been opened. But no sooner have we got our heads round Homer than the band introduce us to another guest celebrity songwriter on 'Parisina' - for this is their setting of Lord Byron's epic poem of 1916. Somehow, Seventh Harmonic can pull in all these influences from the classics and literature without once coming across as pretentious or contrived. It seems uncannily natural: it's almost as if Homer is an old drinking buddy of the band, who agreed to let them have a crack at a couple of his numbers over a pint of Guinness one night. I think he'd be pleased with the results.
 
Seventh Harmonic will take you aback with their ideas, their tangents, their myriad influences: it's as if there's nowhere the band won't go, no music they won't absorb and transform into their own uniquely cool brew. This is probably the most fully-realised of all their recordings to date, the album upon which the band's tumbling ideas fall neatly into place, the first real destination on their musical journey. Listen and take the trip.


compulsiononline.com
The CD follows the high romantic sensibility of their earlier work. The bulk of their music is a finely developed fusion of atmospheric ethereal pop with a classical inspiration, reminiscent of the 4AD label during their heyday. Kate Arnold's vocals are slightly folk inspired and are particularly successful on 'De Terra Exoritur', 'Butterfly Kiss' and live favourites 'Inside the Circle' and 'Chains'. Yet Seventh Harmonic are developing new themes quite successfully. Two tracks feature collaboration with Spyros Gisafakis and Evi Stergiou from Athens based group Daemonia Nymphe, who are trying to recreate the sound of Greek Antiquity. The two pieces in question; 'Immortal Selene' and 'To the Mother of Gods' use lyrics taken from Homer. Original vocalist Fionna returns on 'Parisina', based on a Byron poem, to stunning effect. Paul Nemeth, from Cries of Tammuz takes a chant-like lead vocal built round an intricate Eastern rhythm for 'Pass Within' which also works extremely well.
 
Overall Promise of Sacrifice is a successful and inspiring release. The group's creative sophistication remains intact, both in producing melodic gothic pop and in pursuing less obvious paths.


darkspirit.fr.st
Diversity , passion, originality in darkness could be easily attributed to Seventh Harmonic, an English female band. Their second full length album ‘ Promise of Sacrifice' is established into Dead Can Dance's spirit, but also into some gothic standards or Prikosnovenie’s ones - one can think of Rajna’s realms, for example.
 
Caroline, Eilish, Kate – new member since 2001 as a dulcimer player and vocalist – and Fionna distil a mysterious, strange overwhelming liquor into their still…in some experimental musical laboratory….liquor made of various ingredients : a sprinkle of neoclassical tunes , a pinch of ethnic sounds * from celtic to arabic or hinduist ones * some drops of intimate acoustic guitars, strenghtened by Eilish’s melancholic violin , some electronic loops flirting with trip-hop and ritualistic atmospheres, remembering Hagalaz Runedance’s pagan horizons.
 
This sensual and emotional liquor distilled into our veins a strange veil of serenity and anxiety in the same time…maybe cos of the ingenious work made on the vocals : most of the time ethereal, but also with gregorian chorus, frightening whispers and tibetan prayers.
 
So is the world of these graceful servants of Euterpe : one made of opposites, past troubled times opposed to modernity, sacred opposed to profane, synthetic opposed to classic...always shrouded by a sensuality in between, a communion of all senses, focusing on sweet obsessional dreams
 
Besides, this enjoyful creativity – as a tapestry thought by four souls - has been enlightened by some precious artistic presences – Paul Nemeth from Cries of Tammuz and some members from Daemonia Nymphe.
 
Promise of Sacrifice has to be listened – eyes closed in obscurity when maybe we can understand the meaning of such a title, with an open heart to touch the sky and feel the truthness of life made of chiaroscuros...


THE ASCENT | buy

mickmercer.com | Mick Mercer 
With a bullish, booming opening and a hint of grandeur it just slings the most obvious comparisons at you during 'Inside' where a dramatic pulsing opening seems all set for Eurobeat glory when it switches in an instant to an astonishingly accurate Julianne Regan impersonation, then morphs madly into very early Kate Bush. Heathcliff! Given that much quality can be found between those two artists anyway, and that Seventh Harmonic are nothing if not exquisitely detailed in their compositions, you either know right now if this emotional dovetailing and picturesque froth is going to be for you, or not. If you like your music slightly fey, frosted and romantic it's got to be seriously worth considering. It remains quite beautiful throughout, with more than enough subtle twists to keep you guessing, and more than enough garbled, mysterious vocal phrasings for you to develop a second career as a psychic in unravelling whatever the Hell they're on about.
 
The title track is a perfect example of maudlin miasma, with music which hints of a time when men were men and all but the lowest born women were ladies, and bad manners were simply beastly. Parasols and promenades, performed in palladian style. In 'Your Sleep' they have suitably sombre tones balanced with high, pretty twinges, for nothing is ever harrowing in their landscapes, everything is sweetly metered and matched. Vocals oscillate in their mysticism before the synth winds snatch them up and toss them away.
 
Musically they go for a little overt adventure sometimes, as in 'Paralysis' with woozy (backwards?) passages acting as underlay for delicately feverish vocals, and it's a compellingly smeared entity, as there's a luxurious nightmare/brainstorm element to some of this, like inspired abstract musing, followed by a well named 'The Dream' with a music box cacophony, a tricky beat and anti-climactic end. Nemeth sidles in for 'Transformation' and does his lustily enigmatic thing as the woman sighs, enchantingly, and probably passes out.
 
They're deep, warm and languid for 'Swansong', entrancing with more Bush outtakes in 'B.C.' (I prefer the more naturalistic vocal drama of 'Firedance'), exploring an arty expanse of noise during 'The Sea' and enjoying a final burst of pace with 'The Reflection', which carries its historical element high; modestly modern, but decently dry. Think female highwayman (sic) and you've got the feel. Think thoroughly interesting and you've grasped the appeal.
 
A band like this should have every chance of enjoying the status the Cocteaus once held in the 80's.


musicdish.com
From England comes a trio of atmospheric shapeshifters that believe in making music a personal, soulful experience, ensnaring the baser elements of new age, blue moods and uplifting symphonic pieces.
 
Their first album 'The Awakening' sold 500 copies in the first 3 months - when you give it a listen, you'll understand why. Apart from the credible and angelic soundscapes they craft out of voices, synth, guest stars and drums, part of the reason for their success stems from the individuality of the sound. Like Enya, Dead Can Dance and the Cocteau Twins on a higher spiritual plane. Consider their 53 minutes elevating your ears closer to heaven, a heaven that is pure and proper but that seldom tells you what's going on. It's enough that you are part of the experience.
 
These 13 tracks often bring in a voice, but these aren't pop songs. Their lengths might be roughly the same, but like playing Myst, you must listen to the wind and all other sounds as you get closer or father away from what you expect to be the next, great clue.
 
When I hear 'The Dream' that blends new age and ambient melodies in a filtered cloud of keyboard, then simple rhythm machine beat, I am asking myself, what the hell's going on? But the mind doesn't want to pull away, even if the ?-noised hallway that approaches is filled with the kind of cult that is as dangerous as it is inviting. But through it all, especially after the fact, it's obvious there is no danger. Only understanding - if only your id is the beneficiary.
 
This is a cd for the electronica and ambient crowds, to be listened to at home with the volume low, edged up slightly as the puzzle falls in place.


starvox.net | Jezebel
Compared with Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Fading Colors and I will add in Changelings and Black Tape for a Blue Girl, the magical and musical medieval melodies of Seventh Harmonic cannot be beat.

This album has the second incarnation with Amandine as the helm of the vocals. Whereas their former singer, Fionna, was lovely and had the soft voice usually required for this type of music, Amandine brings something different. Perhaps it is her background singing for metal and punk bands, but there is a new dimension.

Still concentrating on the vocals, Amandine's voice has been compared to Kate Bush and it is nowhere more apparent to me than in 'Paralysis'. It also smacks of Tori Amos to me, although in a subtle way which cannot be defined in any one song.

But away from the vocals. This is ethereal, magic influenced, medieval music at its best. The dulcimer brings you flying through the waves of the melody. The gorgeous violins are just daintily placed through out. Fairies all over the place. Guitars, bass they are used with the softest and simplest and most beautiful of ways, creating waves. That's it. Waves of angelic sounds.

This is, as so many other reviewers have said, music for incense, a glass of wine and for me, I will add a bubble bath and some candles. This is an experience cd, not something you plunk on and wander about, you listen you let your mind wander and ride the waves oh feeling so oceanic about this cd but that descriptor in itself tells a lot this takes you to places, deep within the beauty of the sea, the denseness of the forest, the openness of the sky.

Amandine has since left the group, and has been replaced by the dulcimer player. I cannot wait to hear what they now will give us. Caroline's strong song writing ability can probably be the perfect ground for any singer with the talent to breathe into the lyric, letting it give the voice, instead of vice versa.

What is remarkably refreshing about Seventh Harmonic is that they are not just another ethereal band who is like other bands but have (and which is so important to me), evolved their sound. You can hear the normal influences, but more importantly, you can also hear the influences of classical training and of musicians who have never kept themselves isolated with one genre of music.

I cannot wait for their next offering and after one listen you won't be able to either.


Darklife
Seventh Harmonic are influenced by Dead Can Dance, Kate Bush (more specifically her sound from the much neglected 'Sensual World' album) and Enya to a lesser extent. They usually get referred to as being 'ethereal', 'dreamy', 'romantic'. OK fair descriptors, but the point seems to be missed. However otherworldly Seventh Harmonic appear to be, they posses a precision and structure to their work which impresses. It might be due to Eilish McCracken's classical training, it might be a result of Caroline Jago's skill as a song writer and producer. The band never seem to sway in to the realm of indulgence, nothing is wasted on CD or in their live sets, no room for any meandering. 'The Ascent' was recorded with Amandine on vocals who has now left the group. There are 14 quality tracks, all of them possessing distinction. Highlights include Inside and Requiem are exquisite love songs, Transformation is almost operatic, with the lyrics and part of the vocals sung by Paul Nemeth. The Reflection ends the CD with a certain visionary confidence. Marvellous.


Whispering Gloom magazine
Here we have a wonderful creation named Seventh Harmonic. This is the debut full length album, after the well acclaimed MCD 'The Awakening', which sold over 500 copies within 3 months of release.

Amandine's voice adds impact and dynamics to the beauty contained within the beautiful music. What we have here is such brilliant musicianship, enlightening compositions, and enchanting harmonies, all created to capture your attention and take you away from this world. Amandine's vocals are of a beautiful, delicate nature, sometimes angelic, sometimes sorrowful, always dynamic - she reminds me of All About Eve. The musicianship is what stands out, and sounds a mixture of Mortiis, and dark ambient vibes, which adds so much depth and melancholy, ethereal atmospherics, dripping with such passion, mixing the grotesque with the glamorous - WONDERFUL!!!!!!

This isn't the sort of release to put in your player, and go about your daily chores. The only way to appreciate this little gem is to play during hours of darkness, turn out the lights, light your candles, light incense, place the CD into your deck, sit down and relax and totally absorb the moving creativity within. This is an ESSENTIAL release, and I feel proud to review this piece of art. Anyone who appreciates acts such as All About Eve, Mortiis, Dust Of Basement, Ghosting, Kate Bush will lap this up. TOTALLY MAGNIFICENT!


GreenGauge magazine
Seventh Harmonic have recently released their second album 'The Ascent' following up 'The Awakening', and it was released commercially in September this year. The lyrical content is very good and haunting harmonies produce a mystic feel throughout - the melodies set up by the violin add to the ambience and compliment all aspects of the music. Many parts to the CD remain instrumental (the introduction, 'The Ascent') and this helps create a full, yet unusual impression to the music. Other musical devices add much depth to the songs - on 'The Sun, The Sea', for example, spoken word adds a mysterious glow to the backing track, accenting what's being played already. The guest voice of Paul Nemeth on 'Transformation' completes the harmonic sound with both himself and Amandine Ferrari complimenting each other. My favourite song has to be 'Inside', with such a soft, unearthly violin part that supplements Amandine's eerie vocal harmonies. After listening to the CD for many days (not only to be able to write this article) I have come to the conclusion that overall the presentation, sound quality, composition and performance are of an exceptionally high standard. If anyone is unfamiliar with the work of this band, then I strongly suggest that you become familiar with it. 


Shadowland
This is the first full-length album from Seventh Harmonic, following on from their much-acclaimed debut-MCD 'The Awakening'. Seventh Harmonic are an all female gothic/ethereal band from London with an incredibly big talent. This Heavenly Voices band produces a very beautiful sound - gentle female vocals mixed with the warm and romantic sound of strings and guitars, producing a very mature and polished gothic/heavenly/ethereal album that will appeal to lovers of bands such as Ordo Equitum Solis, Chandeen, Gothica or Ataraxia.


Side-Line
Seventh Harmonic is a female trio that just released their debut full length on the brand new First Light Rec. They compose an enlightening mix of gothic, folk and neo-classical. You feel like entering a relaxing universe with angelic voices coming down to tingle your ears… the sensation of a last summer breeze. The vocal parts, which are constantly moving from English to French language, create a harmony between sadness and sensuality. An enigmatic duality that runs through the whole "Ascent". The more you get familiar with the sound of those angels, the more you feel like visiting an ambient experience. That’s probably the reason why Seventh Harmonic has been already compared to Dead Can Dance, Mortiis, Cocteau Twins ao… In comparison with Dead Can Dance I would say that they dig deeper into Celtic influences. This is music to dream away.


THE AWAKENING | buy

AudioGhoul
Influenced by the neo-folk tradition of Dead Can Dance and by the 'ethereal' ... acts associated with the US label Projekt, they have more in common aesthetically with guitarless atmospheric artists such as Mortiis and Endura.... The six tracks on their debut EP are songs rather than soundscapes, constructed from elegantly orchestrated violin, guitar and synthesised piano, but drip with an intense atmosphere of romantic wistfulness more usually found today in the dark ambient and neo-classical genres. Immersed in this shimmering melange of sound is the dreamy, achingly sweet voice of elfin vocalist Fionna. Carefully laid back in the mix to enhance the texture of the music, rather than being pushed to the front, her vocals are subtly interwoven with Eilish's poignant violin and Caroline's echoing orchestral programming and sonorous, sparse guitar.

Like all good atmospheric work, 'The Awakening' rewards attentive listening with subtle beauties that do not immediately reveal themselves to the casual ear, as the deeply structured interplay of the instruments does not have the brash obviousness of conventional rock or pop music. Sounds rise slowly from the mix, blurring together soothingly through the use of heavy echo. A different instrument is constantly foregrounded to provide the guiding melody that holds the song together. After several listens the album reveals a pleasing diversity in its alternation of guitar, 'piano' and violin lead tracks, with Fionna subtly adjusting her vocal style accordingly.

The stand-out track first appears to be 'Tireansamraidh', a more up-tempo piece with Scots Gaelic lyrics played and sung with great and joyful gusto. However the soaring violin-lead finale of the final track, 'The Last Goodbye', tops it as the single highest peak of musical intensity on the EP. The second track, 'Each Hour', opens with solemnly thunderous percussion that hints intriguingly at a darker side to Seventh Harmonic's glamour. 'The Awakening' is a stunning debut, convincingly setting out the case for honest and whole-hearted romanticism.... This tasteful gem will surprise and delight fans of acts as diverse as Dead Can Dance, Mortiis or Enya with its fresh and captivating sound.

Pagan Dawn
'Seventh Harmonic are a band to lose yourself in. It's music to dream to, to draw or paint to, to read to, or to walk through the countryside on a cold winter's day listening to. It's music for when you want to heal and find a calm place away from the rest of the world. Though you can't always make out the words, the emotions are always very clear. It's music that grows every time you listen. The six songs contained here are timeless. Incense and candlelight are required props, though obviously this can be a bit awkward if you're listening to your Walkman on the bus. If comparisons have to be made, then there are elements of Dead Can Dance circa 'Spleen and ideal.' Fionna is a less esoteric singer than Lisa Gerrard, and the clues here are much easier to follow. The rhythm for 'Each hour' is almost primeval and the words 'Lose all the blind ties/Come from the dark and raise your eyes/for fear must fade before we rise' are simple, but beautiful. Piano, guitars and keyboards are used to create a world. Eilish's violin is used on only three songs, due to time constraints when the album was being recorded, but this can only act as an impetus to see Seventh Harmonic play live.

Judas Kiss
Seventh Harmonic`s debut 6 track CD is a wonderful, majestic, multi-layered offering reminiscent of Projekt Records releases; fans of Dead Can Dance,Ordo Eqiutum Solis and the Cocteau Twins in particular will love it. 'The Awakening' is a truly exceptional piece of work, saturated with memorable hooks and great melodies, overlain with Fionna's soft langorous vocals. The whole release is shot through with light and optimism and is wonderfully uplifting; complimented by a touching, beautiful and poetic lyricism. This is an essential release.


ADUMBRATIONS II| buy

'Cursor Mundi | zyworld.com/Oriflammejournal
Daemonia Nymphe and Seventh Harmonic have released a joint venture titled Adumbrations II. The first four tracks feature Caroline Jago with Spyros and Evi and are more of an experimental nature, unlike the previous work ascribed to either band. Highlights include the mellow and bittersweet 'Marie Celeste'. The rest of the CD features an assortment of rarer Seventh Harmonic work, including a haunting version of the Swans' I Remember Who You Are' , in which Fionna, the first Seventh Harmonic vocalist takes the lead vocals. Two tracks from 'Promise of Sacrifice', 'Icarus' and 'Inside the Circle' are remixed.

 

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