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Evership: Evership

Having played with the 90s alternative rock outfit Curious Fools, Shane Atkinson retreated from the music business and focused on building a hugely successful software company. However, continually drawn back to music and composing, he eventually sold his business and slowly, over the period of a decade or so, began to build the Evership. Based round a memory of the music he and his brother James (who provides lead and acoustic guitar here) listened to and played for neighbours as they were growing up, what this self titled album becomes is a 70s inspired, American prog record that somehow feels totally un-self-aware. That may not sound it, but it's a huge compliment, because throughout this album, it never, not once, sounds like Evership are trying to emulate the great bands from the past. Instead they sound exactly like they are one of those great bands from the past. Kansas being the most obvious touching point, but Styx also enters the equation, as do early Queen and to give an indication of just how strong the vocal and guitar melodies and many of the harmonies are, so do Boston. That too is down to the superb, soaring, natural vocals from Beau West, who is, on an utterly superb album, an incredible find. Just drink in his masterful touch, poise and class on the uplifting "Ultima Thule", or anything else on this album for that matter, for proof.

Having been recorded over a long period of time and many different sessions, four different guitarists, James Atkinson, Rob Higginbotham, Dan Smalley and Brandon Vestal, all appear at varying stages. And yet with the compositional structure of this album so strong, you'd never guess the stop-start, revolving door nature of what you find. Shane Atkinson himself handles keyboards, drums, percussion, theremin, dulcimer, chapman stick and much more. His performances are immensely engaging; constantly drawing you into enigmatic tracks such as the sprawling 13-minute-plus, multi-part "Flying Machine", where a patient keys and voice intro builds bold, yet always soaring guitars, or "Evermore", which illustrates the Kansas-Boston pomposity to perfection. However, album opener "Silver Light" pulls a different trick from this band's multi-faceted bag, the string infused, almost Queen meets ELO like intro bursting into a staccato riff laden monster of a track that answers the question: What would happen if early 80s Scorpions had decided to go prog? The answer is majestically jaw dropping. But with the 12 minute-plus (we are thoroughly in multi-epic territory here), "A Slow Decent Into Reality" being a Queen-Kansas hybrid, the hugely pleasant surprises just keep coming.

Supposedly Atkinson has already amassed enough material for a further three or four albums. Bring it on, I say! I'd happily receive them all, right here right now. That's how good this debut is. For lovers of crafted, beautiful, accessible 70s prog, this is a must have.

Stunning. Quite simply, stunning.

Track Listing
1. Silver Light
2. A Slow Descent Into Reality
- I. Everyman
- II. A Slow Descent
- III. Wisdom of the Ages
- IV. Honest with Me
- V. The Battle Within
- VI. Anyman
3. Evermore
- I. Eros
- II. Agape
4. Ultima Thule
5. Flying Machine
- I. Dreamcarriers
- II. Dream Sequence
- III. Lift
6. Approach

Added: March 5th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Evership online
Hits: 2832
Language: english

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