Section A - The seventh sign - 2003
Section A is the band formed around Danish guitarist Torben
who has produced two instrumental solo albums, before making this band
production. The first one is “Guitarisma” and the second
one “Warmth in the wilderness”, a tribute to Jason
a colleague guitarist suffering from an incurable disease, which prevents
him from playing guitar anymore.
In Section A Torben is joined by vocalist Andy Engberg and drummer Andreas Lill (known from the German band Vanden Plas). On the album “The seventh sign” Torben also plays bass and keyboards, but he found Derek Sherinian (Planet X) and Günter Werno (also from Vanden Plas) willing to do a few keyboard solos.
Torben started playing guitar in the 1980’s and is influenced by guitar heroes as Ritchie Blackmore, Edward Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen. No surprise then, that the music you hear on this album very much resembles that of the bands these guitarists participated in. Although nowadays mostly categorized as “metal” or “progressive metal”, when compositions get a little more complicated and/or combined with some other styles, I still think this music is in essence “hard rock”. Vocal and guitar style and sounds very much remind me to the in my opinion greatest band in this genre, Deep Purple. While the sound of this band was heavily influenced by the keyboard playing of John Lord, it is obvious that Torben Enevoldsen, although he also plays some keyboards on this album, is primarily a guitar player. Nevertheless are the sparse keyboards on the album an enrichment to the guitar driven sound of Section A. Typical metal elements as fast paced guitar riffs and drumming are present, but the energetic and melodic guitar play of Torben creates the ultimate sound of Section A. As already mentioned, the vocals of Andy Engberg match perfectly to this robust but melodic sound. The bass playing Torben also takes care of, is rather inconspicuous.
The album opens with the title track “The seventh sign” (8:52). After some atmospheric sounds, Torben starts the guitar shredding and Andy Engberg introduces himself with a typical Ian Gillan scream. This opening track has some nice themes, short piano breaks and some Hammond organ in the background. The vocal harmonies are typical for the genre, but sound good and the second half of this song features a nice guitar/synth solo.
Most of the remaining seven songs on the album are characterized by
the typical basic structure of hard rock songs: an opening theme with
guitar riffs and a melody line or guitar solo, followed by alternating
easy verses and a heavy choruses were the opening riff re-appears.
Of course one or more guitar and/or keyboards solos in the second half
of the song, followed by a reprise of the chorus.
In the strongest song of the album,“Nightmare” (8:00), Derek Sherinian shows his skills with thrilling keyboard solos, where Günter Werno does the same with a nice synthesizer solo on “Tomorrow” (9:45).
The album extinguishes a bit without a highpoint, as the last track “Into the fire” (6:56) fades out with a rather easy guitar solo on top of a strumming acoustic guitar.
A good thing about this album is that Torben not just uses his music as a showcase of his virtuosity on the guitar. All notes contribute to the structure and melody lines of the songs. On the other hand, don’t expect anything special or progressive. “The seventh sign” complies with the sound of conventional melodic metal/hard rock music and will therefore certainly please the lovers of this genre.