Seven Steps To The Green Door -

(CD 2019, 53:28, PPRCD071)

The tracks:
  1- A? - I(2:56)
  2- Salvation(3:18)
  3- A Price To Pray - I(2:51)
  4- A Dream That Strayed - I(4:35)
  5- A Price To Pray - II(5:10)
  6- A Dream That Strayed - II(3:00)
  7- A? - II(2:53)
  8- Heaven(1:30)
  9- The Word Made Flesh(7:05)
10- Hear My Voice Tonight(9:57)
11- Come To Your Father(10:07)

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Seven Steps To The Green Door are back with a new album, titled The?Lie, which holds the second part of the trilogy which started with their 2011 release The Book (2011, see review). Both musical masterminds of SSTTGD; keyboard and sax player Marek Arnold and drummer Ulf Reinhardt gathered a fine number of musical friends to perform on the album. To just name a few, so is Guthrie Govan's former student; Luke Machin, well known from The Tangent, the underrated Kiama and his own band Maschine their leading guitar player. Bass player Michael Schetter adds a fusion touch and is known for his band Relocator (2009, see review) and shines in his new band Time Shift Accident. While SSTTGD guitarist Andreas Gemeinhardt adds both guitar as well as bass parts to the album. Steve Unruh from The Samurai Of Prog plays a violin solo and is Marek Arnold's bandmate in UPF. On the other hand, for this mighty project, the initiators needed the best vocalists suitable. So, besides their two steady SSTTGD vocalists; Lars Köhler and Anne Trautmann, the lead vocals on The Lie came from Tiger Moth Tales and current Camel vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Peter Jones, next to Sören Fleshsig and Jana-Christina Pöche.

Musically The?Lie also can be seen as the next step in the trilogy, the compositions have been intensified, with fine narrated parts, Peter Jones, who keeps on amazing with his voice during his “father” role. Listen to Salvation and be impressed, not only do the vocals shine, but Marek Arnold plays a great sax part here. Both parts of A Price To Pray have become my favourite parts of the album, that impressive bass riff contrasting with an amazing keyboard and because of the raw technical power both compositions add to the album, including great keyboard solo and a subtle “grunt”. In addition, both parts of A Dream That Strayed impress, smooth and Luke shines with a tasteful solo. The two longer compositions; The Word Made Flesh and Hear My Voice Tonight show how the compositions have grown; evolving from the previous The Book album. Emotion and amazing technical artisanship go hand in hand during these fine tracks. The final song Come To Your Father combines all the beautiful elements of the previous tracks into one final masterpiece. Great guitar soloing designated bass lines and subtle drums are accompanied by a variety of keyboards. The vocalists ice the progressive rock gem.

Seven Steps To The Green Door did it again, and brought us a more than worthy successor for The Book. Perhaps a bit more technical and some more fusion influences as before make this a wonderful album to listen to.

****+ Pedro Bekkers

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