Winger | Seven Review
by Griff Stevens
Celebrating 35 years of rock and roll, Winger returns with Seven, a 12-track album that masterfully combines their classic 80s sound with a modern, matured musicality. Produced by Kip Winger and recorded in Nashville, the album is a testament to the band’s evolution, maintaining a nostalgic essence while exploring new sonic territories.
Winger’s lineup—Kip Winger, Reb Beach, Rod Morgenstein, Paul Taylor, and John Roth—demonstrates remarkable chemistry, with each member contributing their unique flair. Kip’s vocals are potent and mature, while Beach and Roth deliver layered guitar work that adds depth to the tracks. In addition, Morgenstein’s solid drumming and Taylor’s keyboard arrangements provide the rhythmic and melodic backbone of the album.
“Heaven’s Falling” kicks off with a catchy guitar intro by Beach, his tone harking back to the warm 80s “Jose” modified Marshall sound, blending clarity with crunch. The sonic texture is enriched by the keyboards, pulling listeners into the realm of 80s heavy metal. Kip’s vocals impress in the verses, pre-chorus, and chorus, with added sonic elements and backing vocals in the second verse enriching the song structure. Beach’s melodic and technically polished guitar solo stands out.
“Tears of Blood” continues similarly, with the modified Marshall sound setting the tone. Palm-muted rhythm guitars provide a dynamic backdrop for Kip’s climbing melody, showcasing his remarkable vocal range. The songwriting shines with harmonic shifts that add drama, especially between verses and pre-choruses. The breakdown section releases energy before building up to another excellent solo from Beach.
Seven serves as a perfect introduction to the genre for new metal listeners, presenting a polished, well-crafted piece of work that encapsulates Winger’s musical evolution. For musicians, the album offers a masterclass in musicianship, songwriting, and heavy metal orchestration, showcasing the depth of creativity and technical skill that has kept Winger relevant for over three decades. With Seven, Winger proves that they’re not just a band of the past but a continually evolving band with a rich handle on the past, present, and future.
Release Date: May 5, 2023
Label: Frontiers Records
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