April 28, 2011

Music Review: Evergrey - Glorious Collision

Glorious Collision (Ltd. Ed. Digi)Evergrey, Evergrey, where have I heard that name before? I swear I know these guys from somewhere, I just cannot quite put my finger on where. The name strikes me as so familiar, but I am drawing a complete blank when trying to nail down where I know them from. I look at the cover and the band name art and the only association that comes to my mind is Biohazard and I know that is completely and utterly incorrect. Well I cued up the album to give it a listen figuring that I will e able to place it after listening to it. No such luck. I am still completely stumped, perhaps even moreso now as the sound is. Not what I was expecting at all.

It may be an unexpected sound but I must admit to liking it. It is big, melodic, full of emotion, and just overall inviting. I have given up trying to place where I know them from, the endeavor was just hurting my head. I am now fairly certain this is my first exposure to them. I am all right with that as I am enjoying these first few listens. I cannot say I love them, but there certainly is a lot to like about them.

In my brief moments of research I have come to learn this is the eighth album from the apparent Swedish heavyweights. They often seem to be mentioned alongside the likes of In Flames, Soilwork, and Dark Tranquility. I like all of those bands, but I cannot say I hear Evergrey's brand of melodic metal and think of those other bands. With that said, it is easy to tell hey are a European band, they just have that sound that feels far removed from what I am used to in modern American metal. There is no evidence of scene or core elements, and I find that adding to the refreshing nature of the album.

With Glorious Collision I have found there is something terribly inviting in these darkly melodic metal tunes. Inviting guitar riffs, solid bass and drum rhythms are the method of transportation, and those guys know what they are doing. The songs have a slightly hypnotic quality, holding your attention while other elements work their way into your mind.

Now, while those riffs and such are the meat and potatoes of the album, what will keep you coming back for more. Count the solos among the gravy. They show off great technique, fit the songs like a glove and have a certain mournful quality to them. However it is the vocals that have the strongest influence on my enjoyment. This is odd as I am traditionally a proponent of the stringed instruments. Now, I am not always taking the time to comprehend the words being sung (sorry, just the way I've been wired) but Tom Englund's voice has this emotional' sorrowful quality that I just really like. In some ways I am reminded of Warrel Dane's solo album (which I absolutely love) in the way mournful emotions play a big part in how the vocals come across. Even not listening to the exact words there is a lot conveyed in how his voice is used.

Pay attention to "You," "Frozen," "It Comes From Within," and "I'm Drowning Alone."


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