Thursday, 21 August 2014
Evergrey - Hymns For The Broken (CD Review)
02.King Of Errors
03.A New Dawn
04.Wake A Change
09.Hymns For The Broken
11.The Grand Collapse
Tom S. Englund (Vocals/Guitars)
Rikard Zander (keyboards)
Johan Nieman (Bass)
Henrik Danhage (Guitars)
Jonas Ekdahl (Drums)
One of the most original metal bands to come out of Sweden almost called it quits. It wasn't a decision vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund had spent hours or weeks brooding over, but as time passed following the band's ‘Glorious Collision’ album from 2011 he felt less and less inspired to continue. Perhaps it was the splintering of the band line-up in 2010 - which saw Henrik Danhage (guitars), Jonas Ekdahl (drums), and Jari Kainulainen (bass) leave on friendly terms - or maybe it was the business side of the music that had worn him down, but Englund had seriously considered throwing in the towel. Fate had other plans, however, and he found himself working alongside his former bandmates due to circumstances beyond his control. The end result of that unplanned collaboration, which was meant to be temporary, resulted in a re-energized Evergrey creating ‘Hymns For The Broken’, arguably the strongest album in the band's 16 year career.
"We needed a stand-in drummer for a few shows that had already been booked," Englund explains, "because Hannes (Van Dahl) had been offered the chance to join Sabaton, so I naturally called Jonas to see if he was available. We also needed a second guitarist, so I asked Henrik and he was fine with it. While we were doing those shows we realized that we were having a lot of fun with the music again."
Oh bloody hell another intro!
Eventually the music starts (hooray!) and 'King Of Errors' really reminds me of Tony Martin era Black Sabbath, very drum driven with this huge dioesque vocal powering through the speakers.
'A New Dawn' is a fast paced, modern melodic heavy metal song, great keyboard sounds, awesome choral style background vocals and another solid performance from the drummer.
Ahh and here we go, so we have had a pointless intro and now here is the heart felt rock ballad with 'Wake A Change'.
'Archaic Rage' in one notch up from the ballad (Just!) at 6 and a half minutes it actually turns into quite a good neo-prog style piece.
'Barricades' has quite a symphonic sound, think its mainly due to the keyboard playing and the Nightwish style guitar work.
Moving between quite and melodic music to some full on metal 'Black Undertow' keeps you listening, waiting to see if it will get faster or if they will bring it down with a simple piano note or two.Very bluesy guitar solo thrown in to make this a brilliant stand out track.
Finally some full on metal (I knew it was gonna be in there somehwere), 'The Fire' delivers with speed, power and agression tempered with some quieter moments and then they even throw in some children singing backing vocals.
Very 80's "hair metal" song is up next and to be fair 'Hymns For The Broken' is a pretty good song, one of those radio friendly rockers that eventually gets into your head.
Piano and Vocal only? Oh dear please not another ballad.... damn it 'Missing You' is indeed a downbeat ballad, great vocal but just not my thing at all.
Now next is the first of two seven minute songs, 'The Grand Collapse' ay have a slow symphoic metal beginning but soon turns into some serious heavy metal, solid drums and nice piano, harmoinic vocals and some fancy guitarwork.
But 'The Aftermath' is an epic rock ballad style again, sure this one has a bit more to it with some great slide guitar, but still a ballad.
For Fans Of: Helloween, Dio, Queensryche, Blind Guardian, EdGuy