Since their formation in 1993, the one constant in Evergrey has been singer/ guitarist/ songwriter Tom S. Englund and the quality of the musicianship and compositions released. Returning with their eleventh release since 1998’s The Dark Discovery, The Atlantic concludes the trilogy of albums about the adventure in life. The Hymns For The Broken trilogy commenced in 2014 and saw the return of Henrik Dahnage (guitar and backing vocals) and drummer Jonas Ekdahl to the fold; rejoining keyboard wizard Rikard Zander and Johann Nieman on bass.
“As on Hymns For The Broken and its 2016 successor The Storm Within, the new album is about events and experiences in our lives. It’s about relationships, beauty and darkness, about fortune and grief, about love, hate, despair, joy and everything connected with it. Life is like a journey across the ocean, on the way to distant shores”. Explained Englund.
“It’s probably our most complex and progressive release so far and includes all the elements that our fans love.”
What Englund neglects to mention, is that this release is delightfully heavier.
The artwork is exquisitely subtle and dark, depicting a solitary figure standing upright, almost defiantly, aboard a boat with an almost skeletal mast from its desperately tattered sails. This central focal point is dwarfed by an ominous wave to the right, lit by the pale sun and an even greater behemoth rising from the water to the left. Crow-like, organic and composed of gnarled wood, roots, flotsam, flowers, monarch butterflies what appears to be a manmade structure with steps leading to a giant keyhole. It’s head haloed by an oppressed sun and fleeing crows, while a flock of gulls pass by. The suggestion of bioluminescence echoing the light source adds an even greater sense of wonder and awe.
Wonder and awe were indeed my reactions not just to creation of Greek artist Giannis Nakos and the creations within. It’s rare to regress to my teenage state of being as engrossed in the cover art for the duration of an album.
Our journey commences with a sound reminiscent of submarine sonar bleeps before blasting into the powerful, atmospheric and intense A Silent Arc. The percussion is phenomenal, the riffing hard and the groove powerful. Progressive and melancholic, the soaring guitar harmonies are inspired as we commence the voyage. The official video to this track was released late last year and it is an engrossing, meditative exploration over land and sea as this epic unfolds. Imagine yourself at the prow of a colossal ghost ship and enjoy the ride.
“I love this song. It’s really brutal in a certain kind of Evergrey way, with guitars that you might expect from a band like Behemoth, but certainly not from us. We’ve never sounded as dark or as raw before.” Stated Englund
Weightless commences with a feistier attitude and a killer bass riff. Melancholic, yet uplifting
‘I stare my past in its eyes to say
it’s over, it’s over my friend.’
You can listen to this melodic behemoth here, while watching a live style performance
All I Have is darker, heavier, doomier and anthemic in its rousing poignancy while A Secret Atlantis commences with psychedelic/ acid rock elements before a crash of thrash for a heavy progressive pummelling with a softer melodic chorus. The Tidal is a delicate interval, a synth orientated eye of the storm to catch yourself before End Of Silence a slower paced, but heavy and powerful epic that gains momentum.
Currents channels the classic elements of an empowering 80’s classic metal track and Departure with its dare I say funky slapped bass and delicate keys takes us in a rollicking syncopated direction with gentle progressive feels and exhilarating vocals. The crashing of waves and sea-bird calls lull the listener, before the ferocity of The Beacon and This Ocean dramatically concludes the odyssey.
Dark, progressive, heavy and atmospheric, what an expedition Evergrey have undertaken.
Evergrey released their new studio album, titled The Atlantic, on January 25th 2019 and it can be purchased here
Evergrey will be supporting Kamelot for 2 dates in March & also playing Hammerfest you can catch them on the road:
21st March, Manchester
22nd March, Birmingham
23rd March, Hammerfest, Prestatyn
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