Them—"Manor of the Se7en Gables"
Who Is THEM?
THEM are back with their second album. Never heard of the band THEM? If Testament and King Diamond had a baby it would be THEM. Vocalist KK Fosser uses a falsetto similar to King Diamond, but its not used as often as King's. KK uses a lot of different vocal styles that really separates him from what King does, like clean vocals, or, sometimes, a somewhat more thrash style approach. He makes it all work with the music, which is what really stands out to me. Most singers just have that one approach for every song, but that's not the case with KK.
Being Mostly from Germany and different parts in the U.S., Guitarists Markus Ullrich and Markus Johansson are excellent as a team. They showcase some really great guitar work. Drummer Angel Cotte really shows off behind the kit. A lot of double bass, quick tom fills and changing time signatures. Bassist Mike Lepond does some really interesting organic fills throughout the album. Keyboardist Richie Seibel adds the extra little touch to bring these songs to life. Also making an appearance on backing vocals is Paul Sabu.
First Single "Witchfinder"
Manor Of The Se7en Gables begins moments before the conclusion to the previous album Sweet Hollow. KK Fosser (Grave digger by trade and Warlock by faith) along with his assistant Remsen, head to the Manor of The Seven Gables located in Salem, Massachusetts to hide from the townspeople after performing a Ritualistic Ceremony on Mary Hawthorne. Word was the manor was governed by a coven of witches. This is where they meet Sarah, a scullery maid as well as a witch. She brings KK and Remsen into the basement until she can figure out how to introduce them to the coven.
At Sweet Hollow, the town constable contracts witch hunter Peter Thompson, to bring KK back dead or alive to serve justice.
Meanwhile back at the Manor, Sarah senses an evil spirit in KK and gets the coven to perform a cleansing which as the ceremony was complete Thompson and his men attempt to break into the manor. Sarah instructs KK and Remsen to escape using the stiarwell in the basement. KK tells Remsen to escape and finish the second part of their plan.
Thompson finds Sarah and KK. He apprehends them both in the basement. They are brought to the town council for a trial where Sarah is found guilty for harboring a criminal and is sentenced to death by stone pressing. KK casts a spell onto the entire jury turning them all to ash.
Thompson and his men burn down the manor and take KK to the town square where he is bound to the stake. This is where Thompson reveals a secret to KK before lighting him on fire.
The musicians outdid themselves along with the excellent production, mixing and mastering done by Dave Otero, which brings out each instrument crystal clear. This album is in your face the whole time with the exception of the song "Ravna" which is a little more mellow but still an awesome song. There's a lot of thrash, speed and even some power metal-ish moments throughout. I literally enjoy the whole album. Seeing this is a concept its best to listen all the way through and there honestly isn't one song I would skip. Some highlights would be "Circuitous", their second single. A very fast and power metal type song with catchy verses and chorus'. Very easy to get into right away. "Refuge In The Manor" is extremely thrashy. I really like vocal arrangement in the chorus for this song how they go against the speed of the music. "Witchfinder", the first single, has a lot of King Diamond type falsettos in the verses. Another really catchy chorus in this one. "As The Sage Burns" took me a little bit to get into because after the verses it goes into this weird off key thing with the vocals that didn't really work for me but chorus makes up for it. There's also a really nice guitar solo in this one, so I can deal with that weird little spot a few times."The Secret Stairs" has a lot of changes. I like how it slows down for the chorus. "Punishment By Fire" is a great closer with the show down of Peter Thompson and KK doing narration towards the end.
Second Single "Circuitous"
Should You But It?
Should You Buy It?
It's really hard to pick favorites from this because it really is a great album. I'll even go as far to say its album of the year for me. I'm a fan of concept albums especially ones like this where each song can stand on its own, but like I said earlier it is best to listen to this as a whole. Between the overall sound, the musicianship and the vocals that don't just stay the same throughout every song. It just gives the listener something different from all the other stuff that's out there. It's a lot to take in because the album is like a roller coaster but its an easy listen and enjoyable for anyone who's into Metal.
I can't praise this album enough, just buy it, you won't regret it.
Album Release date is October 26, 2018
Visit the bands website at Them666.com or facebook.com/thembandofficial
Buy the album on CD or Vinyl with CD (best deal) at Them6.bandcamp.com/merch or on Amazon