Evergrey - In Search of Truth (InsideOut America) 2001
1. "The Masterplan"
Evergrey are one of those bands that people have been asking more for a long time to add to my site. Several people had sent me CDRs, all of them sending me copies of this CD. Listening to those CDRs I was at first unimpressed. I thought that Evergrey sounded like any number of prog-metal bands trying to follow in the footsteps of bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater. However, after some time I finally began to see the subtle nuances in their music and the differences in their music to the aforementioned bands. Evergrey are a combination of emotionally strong vocals and dynamic power metal. At times the music is heavy, as metal should be, but at others times the music is more melodic and almost atmoshpheric. My best description of "In Search of Truth" would be dark, haunting, slightly disturbing, progressive, power metal. While I didn't dealve deep into the lyrics, from what I did read, the album seems to be a concept based loosely around fears, alien abductions or other such emotionally paranoid delusions. "In Search of Truth" may not be one of those discs that bowls you over in the first listen, but with repeated listens I can almost guarantee that it impress.
Evergrey - Recreation Day (InsideOut) 2003
1. "The Great Deceiver"
Evergrey are power metal, but they manage to achieve a unique, dark sound that few other power metal bands possess. They are dark and gloomy, yet upbeat and melodic. Sometimes the music is somber and atmospheric, while at other times heavy and bombastic. "Recreation Day" might be better described as Swedish, dark, melodic, progressive, power metal. The piano passages are beautiful. The guitar solos are excellent. The harmonies are awesome. Together with the powerful vocals of Tom S. Englund and some beautiful vocal harmonies, Evergrey have created a powerful album. Englund has an clear, soulful and imposing voice to match the energy and gothic overtones of the band. The production is quite good as well. Each and every instrument is heard. The guitars have a razor sharp bite and aren't over produced. There are stripped down moments as well, such as in "I'm Sorry" with it's sorrowful piano and Englund's soulful voice. Likewise parts of the bonus track "Trilogy of the Damned" are includes haunting parts that are nothing more than a piano and Tom Englund's voice. However, despite my glowing descriptions of the music, "Recreation Day" will not be a CD most people will immediately take to. It took me several listen to really begin to enjoy this album, although that seems to be the case with any Evergrey CD.
Everygrey - The Inner Circle (Inside Out) 2004
1. "A Touch Of Blessing"
Sweden's highly touted purveyors of progressive power metal return with their fifth studio album. This album is a concept album with a story based around a member of an esoteric cult called The Inner Circle and what he goes through to discover true faith. Tom Englund gives an outstanding performance vocally telling the story with a passion and emotion that makes you almost think he is really going through these struggles.Musically, the band continues to mix together their slightly progressive song writing with their heavy power metal leanings. The music is quite sophisticated, yet not overly so. There is plenty of dynamics within the songs as well, so that even someone who may be unfamiliar with this band won't get bored. From sweeping guitar solos, to acoustic guitar and piano passages, to heavy power metal riffs, to emotional ballads, to earsplitting aggression, to stop on the dime tempo changes, it's all there. However, unlike the hordes of Dream Theater clones out now, Evergrey don't come off as trying to prove how technical they can be. That is not to say that the musicianship isn't excellent. Rather, Evergrey's musicianship is beyond reproach, and Rikard Zander (keyboards), Michael Hakansson (bass), Jonas Ekdahl (drums), Tom S. Englund (vocals/guitars) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) are all to be congratulated for their playing and their passion.
Evergrey - A Night To Remember (InsideOut Music) 2005
"Live: A Night to Remember" is a live recording of an Evergrey performance in their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden on October 9, 2004.
1. "Monday Morning
Evergrey are one of those bands that seems to have this huge underground buzz. People seem to hail them as one of the greatest power metal bands ever. While I like them, I never quite bought into the hype and always just saw them as a good progressive, power metal band. Their past albums featured long songs, lots of keyboard work and complicated song structures. With "Monday Morning Apocalypse" the band delivers a much more commercial production, shorter and simpler song structures, and far less synth work. Comprised of mostly three to four-minute songs, the album kicks off with the title track and the first single off the album. This song sets the mood for the rest of the CD focusing heavily on the crunchy guitar work and melodic, somewhat simplistic song writing. The band enlisted the services of Sanken Sandquist and Stefan Glaumann who had previously produced bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Rammstein). Personally I see this as a good thing. A quick search on-line reveals that I am in the minority here. Fans seem to be disappointed that Evergrey have chosen to become "more accessible and mainstream". It's not like this album sounds like some radio pop rock. Rather, this is heavy metal with bigger hooks than before, dynamic production and less concern with experimentation and progressive elements. The songs are still heavy and a bit dark as well. Tom S.Englund has always had a great voice, and his raspy vocals sound just as good here as they ever did in the past. Let the skeptics revel in the past. This is a good album by a band that has progressed without completely changing their sound or following any trends in music. "Monday Morning Apocalypse" is a good CD!