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Evergrey - The Atlantic

Evergrey
The Atlantic
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 12 December 2018, 5:40 AM

Honestly, EVERGREY have been floundering since the release of ‘’Monday Morning Apocalypse’’ in 2006. In my honest opinion, they lost their stride after a string of awesome albums from 1998 to 2004. They have strayed away from what made the band its identity. I felt they lost track of the concept albums they explored with ‘’In Search of Truth’’, ‘’Recreation Day’’ and ‘’The Inner Circle’’. I felt the last few albums have been forced and was not significant enough to listen from the beginning to the end. I always tried to listen to their new albums but got initially bored after only a few songs.

My go-to album persay was their 2011 Best of that gives a new meaning to the timeless songs they have done since 1998. Tom Englund is by far one of the best singers of the last twenty years in Metal, his passion, his range and his emotion is bar none some of the best of there. The guy has such emotion and passion, it’s overpowering and you can feel the anguish, anger and love in his voice, hell, even in the same song. EVERGREY is his band, it’s no secret to anyone, he is the main man and all goes through him and that might have tarnished a bit the last few albums mediocrity.

Let’s hope his new stint as lead singer of the highly underrated REDEMPTION gave him a much needed boost on this early 2019 release. So let’s begin. First of all, you can sense a better production than the last few albums, maybe it’s because there is so much place for improvement than you notice it off the bat. I also believe that you have to be in a specific frame of mind when listening to EVERGREY. They are pretty depressive come to think of it and it’s not the type of band you listen to each and every day. I myself listen to them here and there but I really have to want to listen to them and won’t make the added effort to force myself to listen to any of their material. You usually have to listen to something more upbeat afterwards because it can get you down and it does that to me whenever I listen to them. I know it may be different for other people but that’s what their music does personally to me.

Compared to their previous albums, there are so much more instrumental elements this time and long-drawn out periods with no singing. The instruments really shine and I felt it was a much needed change of pace from their last efforts. Yet the lyrical content is still on point and I was really happy they came back to their concept albums. This album portrays the eternal matter of life and death that involves water. Water is the source of life but it’s also the source of destruction. It’s the duality of earth’s finest element, it can bring happiness but it can create total chaos. After a departure of sorts on the last 3 albums, I was really happy to see that they didn’t forget their roots.

You have the obligatory Mid-Tempo Ballad in ‘’All I Have’’ and it’s pretty good, nothing really memorable but they always dangle a ballad in their albums and they never really disappoint. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s a nice change of rhythm after the two previous songs. I read an online interview with Tom Englund saying their recording studio got broken into in the first week or so of the recording of this album and they felt they lost a bit of their momentum but added a lot of anger issues after that and they wanted to make the listener feel how pissed they were. I’d say it’s bad does good, in a sense that some songs really start off strong with some insane drumming and almost Death Metal licks and riffs, so I guess they made their point! The lyrics nor the singing reflect any of this event though. Tom Englund, he is his usual self, great range, great emotion and never lets off.

My favorite song of the album is ‘’The Beacon’’, this song represents the whole feeling of the album. Beacon can be two polar opposites. It can provide hope for the hopeless or the lack of it. It’s the duality that exists in each of us that makes us all human, sometimes we hope for the best, sometimes we hope for the end. It’s something that drives us, or just gives us a false look unto life itself. I really enjoyed the last song, ‘’This Ocean’’. Although the ending of the song seemed to be cut short and kind of fell flat to be honest. The lyrics about this ocean of tears really got me thinking about all the tears we shed in a lifetime and it’s a like a drop of water in the ocean of life. If we add all the tears of everyone, we could have an ocean of sadness and that’s a sight I would never like to see.

Are EVERGREY back, difficult to say, this is a step forward and they seem to have gotten back to what made them great in the first place. Let’s see what the future brings for the Metal veterans.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Silent Arc
2. Weightless
3. All I Have
4. A Secret Atlantis
5. The Tidal
6. End of Silence
7. Currents
8. Departure
9. The Beacon
10. This Ocean
Lineup:
Henrik Danhage – Guitars
Rikard Zander – Keyboards
Tom Englund – Vocals
Jonas Ekdahl – Drums
Johan Niemann – Bass 
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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