Though Evergrey took somewhat of an ill-fated left turn with their last release Monday Morning Apocalypse, they are back with a new record label, SPV/Steamhammer, and a return to their dark & melodic progressive/power metal attack with Torn. It might not be Recreation Day, In Search of Truth, or Inner Circle, but it's damn close, and a step back in the right direction for these veteran Swedes. Led by the always unique and strong vocals of Tom Englund (let's face it, he's got some of the best pipes in the business), the band once again have put together a strong selection of songs here that combine haunting melodies, crunchy power riffs, blazing leads, atmpospheric keyboards, and pounding rhythms. Production wise, Torn is a powerful sounding record, perfectly adorning these strong songs...the cool cover artwork is just the icing on the cake.
Longtime fans will rejoice at the opening crunch of "Broken Wings", a trademark Evergrey song with all the drama, melody, and metal power that we've come to expect from this band. A more mellow piece like "Soaked" is the perfect segue to the churning number "Fear", a real heavy prog-metal number with crushing guitar riffs from Englund & Henrik Danhage, as well as some ultra-catchy hooks to go along with the bombast. "When Kingdoms Fall" is a moody & atmospheric symphonic metal number, Rikard Zander's synths & piano providing the majestic backdrop to some brooding riffs, while the fantastic "In Confidence" might just be the strongest song Englund & Co. have written in years. This one features some frantic rhythms and catchy guitar patterns, but more importantly one hell of an addicting chorus that will stay with you for days. More atmospheric metal rears its head on "Fail", a decent number but one of the weaker ones here, which is followed by the rocking "Numb", another hook laden power metal number showing off the supreme vocal talents of Englund. Grandiose melody is the name of the game on the title track, Englund's poignant & tortured vocals soaring over loads of synths and heavy riffs for one of the CD's most majestic and stirring numbers. The band returns to chugging progressive metal on "Nothing Is Erased", complete with lots of intricate guitar passages from the duo, and the raging "Still Walk Alone" follows suit, another busy number with inventive instrumentation and memorable melodies. Evergrey ends the CD with the equally heavy "These Scars" (and with some stunning guest female vocals to boot), making for a blistering trio of killer tunes to close out Torn with, letting everyone know that they are back doing what they do best.
Now that they've gotten the commercial sounding Monday Morning Apocalypse out of the way, Evergrey have come back with a fine return to form here on Torn. Though it's not a perfect CD, it certainly holds up well alongside the classics in their discography and will once again have metal fans agreeing on their place in the genre today.
1. Broken Wings
4. When Kingdoms Fall
5. In Confidence
9. Nothing is Erased
10. Still Walk Alone
11. These Scars
12. Caught In A Lie (bonus track initial 6000)