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Evergrey: The Dark Discovery/Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy (Reissues)

Even though it's taken about a half-dozen years, I think it's safe to call Evergrey a progressive-metal success story. After a series of successful festival gigs in the United States, as well as a stint opening up for the German progressive death-metal band Arch Enemy not to mention songs from the Swedish band's fourth album, 2003's Recreation Day, still garnering airplay on MTV2 and an opening slot on Iced Earth's U.S. tour this spring Evergrey is among the elite bands leading the current underground progressive-metal movement in America, practically defining the genre's essence with its brand of dark, melodic, hypnotic and soul-hitting music.

On the eve of the release of Evergrey's fifth album, The Inner Circle, a stunning and gut-wrenching examination of religious cults, comes reissues of the band's first two previously hard-to-find CDs, 1998's The Dark Discovery (recorded three months after Evergrey officially formed) and 1999's Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy (singer/guitarist Tom S. Englund's favorite Evergrey album). While both discs feature completely different players than present-day Evergrey Englund remains the only constant these recordings provide an evocative glimpse into the brutal but beautiful beginnings of a band that is now operating like a well-oiled machine. Aggressive and angry tracks mingle with mellow and pretty (almost eloquent) melodies throughout both albums, and such songs such as "Blackened Dawn," "Solitude Within" and "Nosferatu" remain staples of the band's live show today. And "As Light Is Our Darkness," "Words Mean Nothing" and "The Shocking Truth" provide the sonic roots of the popular Japanese bonus track "Trilogy of the Damned" a continuous piece of music combining those three songs with only piano and voice accompaniment.

Each of these "special edition" versions also includes liner notes penned by Englund and disturbing but intoxicating bonus videos that you've probably never seen before. The Dark Discovery features "For Every Tear That Falls," a duet from the album with guest vocals by Carina Kjellberg, while Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy includes the video for "The Masterplan," the lead-off track on 2001's In Search of Truth. Neither album appears to be remastered, but with original pristine production by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Falconer), little remastering is needed.

As a band that just seems to get better with each release, Evergrey set its own standards quite high with The Dark Discovery and Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy. If you haven't heard these albums, you owe it to yourself to give them a spin (or several). If you're one of the lucky ones who got their hands on rare import versions of these titles and have already experienced them, these "special editions" offer the perfect opportunity to make a "dark discovery" all over again.


Track Listings
The Dark Discovery:
1) Blackened Dawn (3:50)
2) December 26th (5:04)
3) Bark Discovery (3:34)
4) As Light Is Our Darkness (1:58)
5) Beyond Salvation (4:01)
6) Closed Eyes (6:38)
7) Trust and Betrayal (4:16)
8) Shadowed (3:50)
9) When the River Calls (4:27)
10) For Every Tear That Falls (4:12)
11) To Hope Is To Fear (5:37)
Bonus Video: For Every Tear That Falls
Total Time: 47:52


Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy:
1) Solitude Within (5:32)
2) Nosferatu (5:39)
3) The Shocking Truth (4:34)
4) A Scattered Me (4:16)
5) She Speaks To the Dead (4:57)
6) When Darkness Falls (4:50)
7) Words Mean Nothing (4:11)
8) Damnation (3:50)
9) The Corey Curse (5:21)
Bonus Video: The Masterplan
Total Time: 43:28

Added: March 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Evergrey Web Site
Hits: 2001
Language: english

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