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Evership: The Uncrowned King - Act I

I can’t disguise the fact that with their first two albums, Evership and Evership II, the band of that same name have been my own personal prog ‘discovery’ of the last five years. Not to put too fine a point on it, their melding of Kansas, Styx, early Queen and maybe even Boston, nigh on perfect across two albums that were utterly steeped in the era they so clearly pulled their inspiration from. Having already allayed my fears that they’d be a flash in the pan with their second offering, I will admit that with album number three, once more I held a little trepidation as I discovered that this time with The Uncrowned King - Act I, Evership were set for the land of the concept album, and one based on a book published in 1910. Add in what, to me anyway, is thoroughly uninspiring cover-art and I had to consider the merest possibility that the band were in the process of dropping the ball.

Oh me of little faith, Evership it would appear have a glue like grip incapable of even letting the ball slip, never mind hit the floor, with the same ingredients as before brought to bear once more, although the recipe has been given something of a stir. If anything, and possibly through the basis behind what is the first part in the telling of Harold Bell Wright’s novel, this time Evership have an ever so slightly more serious head on their shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, the interplay between the gloriously melodic keyboards and heart warming guitars on the uplifting “The Tower” still demands an immediate grin of appreciation. And then when the syrupy sumptuous vocals from Beau West (who has a lot of the Delps about him) add yet more dynamics, it’s difficult not to get carried away. However, this time the fix isn’t quite so instant or insistent - at least not for me. Arguably, what has emerged is a more complete, coherent album, with the flow from the three part, ten minute “The Pilgrimage” via the shorter “The Voice Of The Waves” and on into the mini-epic “Crownshine / Allthetime” utterly seamless, as West’s voice soars and the keyboard work from Shane Atkinson is matched every step of the way (and then some) by James Atkinson’s guitar prowess. If I was to be super picky, I could pin-point the bass drum slap in the latter of those three movements as being just a little too flappy for my own personal preference, but it’s a short aberration on an album produced on vintage equipment to ensure it sounds genuine and not retro - which is a neat trick indeed.

Having already lived with this album for a few weeks, I still have the impression that it has more to give and time will possibly see it force its way into the reckoning when the best slice of Evership is considered. However, reviews have to be written at some point and in what is a three way photo-finish, I see this album picking up bronze instead of gold or silver. However, that this super-talented band have managed to maintain the ultra high standards they now have across three albums surely sets them out as current and future stars of this genre.

Track Listing
1. The Pilgrimage
- i. Desert of Facts
- ii. The Temple of Truth
- iii. The Quiet Room
2. The Voice of the Waves
3. Crownshine / Allthetime
4. The Tower
5. The Voice of the Evening Wind
6. (a) Yettocome / (b) Itmightbe
7. Wait

Added: August 28th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Evership online
Hits: 760
Language: english

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