Seven Spirits Burning – “Your Mind has been Poisoned”


This release is not for the faint of heart. Hailing from the Netherlands, Seven Spirits Burning brings their debut full length album after being in existence since at least the mid-2010s. Dedicated to the message of grace in Jesus Christ, they play a style of metalcore that blends post-rock with avant-garde trappings, which makes them somewhat of an odd duck.

This album has been in the works for a while. Work had begun before COVID, but lockdowns made practicing difficult. Once everything opened up and they were able to record, the final mixes were not to their liking with their producer, so they scrapped it and re-recorded with a different producer leading to a better sound. I can tell they are particular about their sound, which I appreciate. After re-recording, they packaged up their latest offering, the full-length, “Your Mind has been Poisoned.” What? You talking to me?!

Apparently they are. As fastidious as they are about their sound, they are unwavering in their message. They assault the religiosity mindset that puts a hyper-focus on external rules to the near complete abandonment of the gift of salvation through grace from Jesus Christ. SSB swings hard and it can be a punch to the gut if you aren’t expecting it, challenging what you believe. Personally, I love the passion they put forth on this album. It is honest and intense.

To say they play metalcore is incomplete. There is a lot to their sound and songwriting that elevates them above the fray. First is the wide range of genres represented. “Final Shot” demonstrates their death metal chops, “Drop the Corpse” has a tinge of black metal to the beginning, and there are plenty of post-metal episodes with my favorite being the choral guitar work in “Legalism → Destruction.” Secondly, the melodic and technical lead guitar patterns emphasize the harmonies over the off-kilter metalcore rhythms. Thirdly, the wide range of vocal styles that Levi employs from the harsher thrash and death metal style to an ethereal clean style that shines in the midst of bitter pain. I especially enjoyed the clean vocals in “Kill the Messenger” and “Changes.”

Their sound has an organic feel, grooving together with a hint of improvisation. Whereas most metalcore feels confined and algorithmic, SSB has some give-and-take. The breakdowns and buildups are more gradual, often reminding me of Becoming the Archetype with its metalcore-adjacent death metal style. “End of Religion,” definitely has an early BTA feel to it. Tempo changes occur frequently and in odd amounts. SSB make minute tempo changes that can feel a little jarring and even unintentional, making me wonder if they are a mistake.

That being said, it retains the attention-deficit style of metalcore where there is a lot of quick hopping from one section to the next. The songwriting has an emotionally chaotic feel to it, eschewing typical structures, flowing wherever it wants to go like a raging river. A great example is “Changes” that starts off in typical metalcore fashion and then switches over to ballad mode with clean vocals and guitar. It follows a verse/chorus form for a little while as it builds intensity until emotional outbursts start interrupting before pushing their sound off the cliff with a chaotic metal ending. Fantastic song.

This album was a surprise. It took a couple of listens for it to sink in, but it scratches some hard to reach itches with their experimentation and various instrumental textures while harnessing this infectious passion for the message of grace. I hear something new each time, and I love rehearing these cool little episodes that stick in my head. Why have these guys not gotten signed? If it is by their own choice, more power to them. I hear a beautiful artistic vision here that is definitely worth checking out and sharing. Please do as I think that the world needs more SSB.

Rating: 9.0/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Summon the Holy Rollers
2 – Final Shot
3 – Kill the Messenger
4 – Legalism → Destruction
5 – It’s Hard to Breathe With a Gun in Your Mouth
6 – I am Not You
7 – Drop the Corpse
8 – Changes
9 – End of Religion
10 – The Pastor is Dead

Seven Spirits Burning is:
Levi Remijnse – vocals
Gideon van der Stelt – drums
Jonathan Remijnse – guitars
Bernhard van der Poel – guitars
Sjoerd Peters – bass

Guest: Joel De Jong – Co-percussionist

Release Date: May 24, 2024

Record Label: Independent

Brain Surgery – EP (2016)
Your Mind Has Been Poisoned (2024)

Social Media: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Video: Drop the Corpse

Video: Legalism → Destruction

Video: Kill the Messenger

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