(All Album Reviews by ffroyd)
I first heard about this band through our artist directory and decided to check them out. Iím very glad I did! Evergrey is one of a new breed of Swedish progressive metal acts along with bands like Pain Of Salvation that are pushing the boundaries of the genre. For those not really into prog metal this probably wonít win you over, but for those that are this is an awesome album full of twists and turns. The album was produced by Andy LaRoque, guitarist in King Diamondís band, and although this isnít satanic metal it does have an air of doom to it. If you are at all familiar with his work with King Diamond, Iíd strongly urge you to check this out.
One thing that became evident to me from the start of the CD is the liberal use of various keyboards in the band. The keyboardist, Sven Karlsson, is given free reign to do all sorts of things from atmospheric texturing and orchestral arrangements to bombastic synth bursts and (gasp!) soloing. His sound is fuller and more out front than most keyboards in prog metal are. The song ďDark WatersĒ features a quite unique effect-drenched piano sound in the intro while later on thereís an awesome symphonic part complete with operatic vocals.
Speaking of vocals, Evergrey has a quite exceptional and deeply emotional singer in Tom Englund. His voice is somewhat similar to Joe Lynn Turner but a bit deeper and raspier. Usually metal vocalists are a bit hard to stomach but his voice goes quite well with the music and he never has to resort to the typical high pitched screeching or cookie monster growling so prevalent in metal nowadays. There are quite a few theatrical parts to the CD that he performs brilliantly. Heís one of the best vocalists in metal that Iíve heard in a while.
The guitars and drums shred quite nicely and although this is nothing new for a good metal band, the technical ability here makes them shine. Most of the time the sound is fast and crunchy but I canít accuse them of really stealing a style from any other metal band. Iíd say that if you are a prog metal fan, you really canít go wrong with this band and if youíre looking into checking out some prog metal for the first time, this would be perfect.