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Evergrey – Glorious Collision

text: Silviapd

band: Evergrey
album: Glorious Collision
genre: progressive rock/metal
release: 28th February 2011
label: SPV/Steamhammer

This eight album from the Swedish band Evergrey is a hard one, because I can’t capture it in one word. When it was a debut from a band I haven’t followed in ten years, I would say it was a masterpiece, but from Evergrey I expect a bit more. “Recreation Day” (2003) is still one of the best metal albums I know, and on “Glorious Collision” they are back with a new line-up and a strong energy vibe.

Also the band left the more commercial path behind and returns to their roots a bit more. The new members are very talented and the writers duo Rikard Zander (keyboards) and Tom S.Englund (vocals, guitar, songwriter) is a golden combination.

Most of all strength and energy are back, something I missed the last two albums. On the other hand there are recognizable elements and parts that I have heard on previous albums, something I never thought I would say, because Evergrey has the reputation to chance their sound on each album. That doesn’t make this one less challenging. Keep in mind that the band returns from a dark period and all that said and done makes it clear that it is indeed a masterpiece if you only give it time.

Opening track “Leave It Behind Us” starts serene with a choir, but soon set the tone for a very catchy and heavy guitar- and drum sound. Vocalist Tom Englund is still outstanding whatever he does, but with many effects on his voice many layers disappear. The classical piano from Rikard Zander is a dynamic element that stays in your head. The melody is a bit predictable and somehow it makes me wonder if Englund has motivation to improve himself. The middle part with the guitar solo from Marcus Jidell has all the power and energy you can imagine.

A darker and groovier sound on “You” is reminding you of the old days of the band. Drummer Hannes van Dahl is fast, has technical knowhow and most of all doesn’t fill every empty minute. The end of the song has a very interesting battle of all instruments, going faster and faster and it definitely proves that this combination of musicians have a special chemistry that brings the band on a higher level. Johan Niemann on bass is finger fast and a perfect contradiction with the warm piano outro. It has the intense vibe, what gets under your skin and makes you silent afterwards.

The single “Wrong” shows a more fragile side from Tom Englund, putting all his emotions in his sometimes broken voice. The lyrics are suddenly breathing and more convincing. When the choir and guitar are working towards a bombastic climax it makes me shiver. Jidell has such a seventies inspired sound, and it fits so well, that it is a real ‘diamond’ to develop that chemistry over the years.

Frozen” has the dark, dynamic sound that reminds me of “ Monday Morning Apocalypse” (2006), a classical Evergrey song with very strong progressive elements, bombastic guitars and synths.

On “Restoring The Loss” the power grows. The low voice of Tom S.Englund is the top layer, but when you dive deeper very technical guitar, bass, and orchestrations are the strong base of this song. A very surprising song, because the band uses new elements and create a deep sound without getting too bombastic and become even darker than before.

“To Fill The Mold” is also a complex, melancholic and sensitive song. Acoustic guitars and a more serene Tom S. Englund create a fragile atmosphere that soon breaks into a raw chemistry between all instruments without loosing sight on the essence of the song. It unites contradictions in a beautiful way: dark and light are finding a way by the guitarsolo, melodic drums and orchestrations.  This is a masterpiece that gives me the evidence that Evergrey still can do it: writing amazing, unforgettable songs that take my breath away. After four times I still discover new elements that amaze me.

Out Of Read” is an intense wall of music, marking that we are halfway ‘Glorious Collision’ and “ The Phantom Letters” is an acoustic midtempo ballade. Finally I can focus more on Tom Englund his voice, but not for long.  A bombastic twist makes the song very dynamic, good songwriting and teamwork.

It Comes From Within” is again a strong ensemble, definitely pay attention to all the layers, in a raw and straightforward approach.  “Free” has a beautiful intro, short and very gothic. Then in an explosion of energy Evergrey is saying indirectly that they are back full force to concur the metal scene again, and I believe they have a lot to carry out: it is a full album and it demands a lot from the listener in a good way.

The Disease” is the song I recognize from the demo and again the melody stays in my head.  Again the golden duo from Rikard Zander and Tom Englund are perfectly finding the right key to open everyone’s heart: it’s sensitive, intense, beautiful and interesting.

After this highlight, the contrast on “I’m Drowning Alone” can’t be bigger.  Even the voice of his daughter is a part on this bombastic, groovy song. After more than fifteen years Evergrey is still a strong band, and on the finale “..And The Distance” a duet between Tom Englund and his wife Carina with her warm voice, makes it all complete. This guitar orientated song, convinces me that the band is back delivering a dynamic, strong, convincing, amazing, vivid and powerful album. That is the best promise for the future!

Rating
9/10

Website
http://www.evergrey.net/

Discography
1998 The Dark Discovery
– 1999 Solitude-Dominance-Tragedy
– 2001 In Search Of Truth
– 2003 Recreation Day
– 2004 The Inner Circle
– 2005 A Night To Remember
– 2006 Monday Morning Apocalypse
– 2008 Torn
– 2010 Glorious Collision.

Line-up
Tom.S Englund – vocals, guitar
Rikard Zander – keyboards, piano
Marcus Jidell – guitar
Johan Niemann – bass
Hannes van Dahl – drums.

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