01. The Awakening
Album review Evergrey - Hymns for the broken
Evergrey is a dark, melodic, progressive metal band from Sweden that has been active since the late nineties. Evergrey has been balancing between gloomy and hopeful storytelling but most of the time Evergrey belly flop right into the pitch black abyss. Since the release of Recreation Day this band has delivered fantastic tunes unmatched on the musical horizon, lyrical as well as musical. Still Evergrey has been somewhat of a secret, well know by the musical connoisseur they still remain unknown to the regular metal fan. This is a great mystery to me since the music still contain plenty of easy accessible parts and some of the choruses border to mainstream metal. The singing style of Tom Englund is strong but somewhat limited in the tonal range, this is however more of an asset since the melodic themes and rhythmical counterparts often are quite complex. The lyrical themes of Evergrey mainly stay in the realms of personal struggles with, mortality, belief and the hardships in life of the alienated, all topics ever present in my mind.
Clearly Tom Englund draw inspiration from his own life, and his ability to formulate his experiences resonates with the Evergrey army throughout humanity. Evergrey is the black unicorn of the musical industry, unknown to the masses but completely compelling to the followers.
While Monday Morning Apocalypse and Torn both were fantastic albums the last album Glorious Collisions didn't supersede the predecessors leaving me a bit disappointed. I am a bit hesitant to the new album Hymns for the Broken, fearing that it will be mediocre, hoping that it will be great.
Tom Englund has been hyping the album on social media quite a bit before the release and he seem confident that we will take Hymns For the Broke To our hearts. The turmoil between the albums with plenty of changes in the lineup doesn't bode well though. On top of that it seems like Tom Englund at some point even considered to call it quits and disband Evergrey altogether.
I tell you that Hymns for the Broken just might be the best Evergrey album ever! Epic! Magnificent! Majestic!
Hymns for the Broken is a gloomy album but with enough dynamic variation to keep the listener interested from the beginning to the end. All the trade mark ingredients are there but also plenty of modest solo piano parts. Hymns for the Broken showcase the vocal capability of Tom Englund in the most flattering way throughout the album. The ending suite, Missing You The Grand Collapse and The Aftermath is probably the most epic Evergrey moment I've ever come across. Regardless if you are a fan of Pink Floyd, Pain of Salvation, Rush, Paradise Lost, Katatonia or Queensryche this album will impress you with its diversity and great songwriting.
If Evergrey has been suffering in the process of creating this album, the least we can do to repay these great artists of the 21:st century is to buy their new album, Hymns for the Broken, and wish that the new reinvigorated Evergrey will keep playing over many years to come.
Evergrey surely hit the Bulls Eye with this one, it quite
possibly is the best album I've come across during 2014.
Earlier in 2014 Tom S. Englund checked in from Division Two Studios, Sweden:
"I am sitting here in what feels like the black heart of distorted guitars and heavy drums trying to sort what material to be chosen for the new Evergrey album that will be brought to you by our new record label AFM! While the music might be the most contemplated and dark pieces we have written - and while the sheer amount of music we have the pleasure to choose from is more than ever, we are super psyched and pleased to have chosen a label that believes in Evergrey!