Everwood is a progressive metal band from Hungary, and their debut full length CD Mind Games is a symphonic journey that will please fans who regularly divulge in the sounds from bands like Dream Theater, Kamelot, Symphony X, Rhapsody, or Pain of Salvation. There's plenty to like here, from the keyboard laden "Heart So Cold", the complex drum riffery of "Remembrances Of A Fallen Angel", to the crushing down tuned guitar mayhem of "Jean D'Ark (Never Surrender)".
Overall the band has a very appealing sound. Lead singer Balazs "Balu" Koncz for the most part has a strong voice that fits the music well, although his Hungarian accent is very apparent and at times he struggles to hit some of the higher registers. The keyboard playing of Attila Tanczer plays an integral role in the music of Everwood, as he creates huge soundscapes, melodies and textures by which guitarist Ferenc Farkas feeds off of. While you will hear some shredding from both players at times, Mind Games is ultimately not about chops, but songs. The rhythm section of drummer Nandor Barabas and bassist Victor Erdos do a fine job, especially on the speedier pieces where some serious power metal chops are needed, like on the stop/start frenzy of "The Colonists" or the complex "As the Ocean Cries" . At times some of the arrangements seem a tad disjointed, but with some seasoning I can see this band getting tighter in the songwriting department. The band really excels at the more mid-tempo material, like the melodic "Black Leaves Fall", a soaring number featuring great vocals, sweeping keyboards, and just enough crunchy guitar to keep things interesting.
In the end, Mind Games is a solid release from a young band that in all likelihood has a strong future ahead of them. With a few more albums under their belt, Everwood may very well be mentioned in the same circles as some of the other heavyweights of the prog-metal genre. Time will tell. For now, enjoy the sounds of a promising band on the rise.
1) Into The Mind Games
2) The Past Is Alive
3) Heart So Cold
4) Remembrances Of A Fallen Angel
5) The Colonists
6) Black Leaves Fall
7) As The Ocean Cries
8) Jean D'Ark (Never Surrender)
9) Sense Of Guilt
11) Who's The One To Blame?
12) The Two Of Us
13) Where I Belong