Evergrey: The Glorious Collision
From the deeply gothic, melodic metal opener "Leave It Behind Us", it seems apparent that Sweden's Evergrey are once again poised to deliver another strong outing on their latest release Glorious Collision. After a very disappointing Monday Morning Apocalypse a few years back, the band rebounded with the excellent Torn, and on the heels of that success we have this brand new one to help us decipher just exactly where Evergrey are at this point in their career.
Second track "You" starts off quite heavy, but then takes on more gothic and even pop overtones. Yes, it's still metal, but with catchy hooks, backing female vocals, and light piano touches, this almost seems like a different Evergrey. In some ways it is, as only Tom Englund and keyboard player Rikard Zander remain from the previous album, joined here by new members Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums), and Johan Niemann (bass). "Wrong" is another melodic rocker, complete with a heart wrenching vocal from Englund and a good mix of atmospheric keys & heavy riffs, while "Frozen" is the rampaging power/prog metal we've come to love from Evergrey, filled with commanding melodies and thunderous instrumentation. Bubbling keyboards, crushing riffs, tasty leads, and pounding drums highlight the memorable "Restoring the Loss", one of the CDs strongest cuts and a sure bet to become an Evergrey classic. "To Fit the Mold" has some serious Industrial and AOR elements, while the poignant "The Phantom Letters" shows just how great a vocalist Englund has become over the years. Evergrey's flair for the dramatic is in full view on "The Disease...", "It Comes From Within", and the brooding closer "...And the Distance".
All told, Glorious Collision is quite 'glorious', and while it might alienate some of the older fans due to the increased amount of atmosphere and melody, this CD as a whole is so damn catchy and listenable it's hard not to imagine that a boatload of new fans will jump on board with this one. Keep in mind, this is still Evergrey, complete with super heavy guitar riffs, prog-metal styled keyboards, and that brooding gothic flavored menace they do so well, but the songs here are so mature, so memorable, and Englund's vocals just so outstanding, that it's hard to imagine that this band will remain on the metal underground for much longer. Highly recommended!
01. Leave It Behind Us
05. Restoring The Loss
06. To Fit The Mold
07. Out Of Reach
08. The Phantom Letters
09. The Disease ...
10. It Comes From Within
12. I'm Drowning Alone
13. ... And The Distance
Added: April 20th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
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|Evergrey: The Glorious Collision
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-01-31 19:08:14
Leave It Behind Us
Evergrey has had quite a few ups and downs in their 15 year history. Albums like In Search and Truth and Solitude + Dominance + Tragedy are hailed by fans as progressive power metal masterpieces, but since Recreation Day the band has been moving towards a more commercial-sounding metal act with mixed reception. Monday Morning Apocalypse was Evergrey's downfall; an album panned and beaten to death by fans and critics alike. The band has been on a rebound since then, and 2011's Glorious Collision shows them in a confident state with some killer new material. This can't compare with some of their earlier masterworks, but it's a very competent album that will surely appeal to fans of progressive power metal on the more accessible side. People who loved the complexity of Evergrey's early albums will most likely book this as a disappointment, even though I find myself enjoying this album quite a bit. Glorious Collision isn't the best thing Evergrey has done in their nomadic career, but it's a more than competent album that should satisfy open-minded fans and newcomers alike.
Although this is distinctly Evergrey for a variety of reasons, this is an extremely clean, polished, and accessible version of them. Glorious Collision will grab you at first listen - whether or not that's a good thing is up to the listener. Usually albums this accessible are major issues for me, but there's enough excellent material here to warrant many more replays. Songs like "Leave It Behind Us", "Wrong", "Frozen", or "Free" are all excellent, though selecting any highlights here is like picking randomly out of a hat. Every song here is of excellent quality, filled with memorable melodies and irresistible riffs. It's a bit formulaic (verse-chorus-verse), but incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Again, people who were drawn to the complexity of their earlier releases may feel left in the cold by Glorious Collision, but what I hear is an excellent melodic power/prog metal album that fans of the genre should get a kick out of. One of the biggest assets to Evergrey's music has always been the excellent musicianship, and, though there have been many lineup changes since their last outing, that still holds true. Of course, the stellar vocals from Tom Englund are at the forefront. The man is simply a spectacular singer, and surely among the best in modern metal.
The production is a bit too polished for most people's tastes, but I find myself liking it anyway. The sound of the crunchy guitar riffs and Englund's excellent vocals are especially excellent.
Glorious Collision isn't the best thing Evergrey's ever done and its safe approach will unquestionably disappoint a few fans, but I've had a great time listening to the album recently. I think fans of power metal with irresistible choruses and impressive musicianship should love Glorious Collision - I know I sure did. This isn't the best starting place for Evergrey, but it's another great addition to their discography and a warm recommendation from me. 3.5-4 stars are deserved in this case.
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