I’ve had an up and down relationship with Evergrey over the years. I owe each album but my interest in each one has ranged from one that I really enjoy like “Recreation Day” to one that I found rather bland like “Hymns for the Broken.” Many times I find that I love specific songs rather than the full album. “Frozen” from “Glorious Collision” comes to mind.
So once again, I attempt to see if I can complete click with Evergrey with their new album “The Storm Within.” Initially on the first listen, I love that it felt heavier and more aggressive. However on the second listen, I noticed some songs that I really didn’t care for. Specifically, “The Paradox Of The Flame” is one that I just don’t like. It comes off as a cheesy AOR power ballad. Vocalist Tom S. Englund sings another duet with his wife Carina. Tom has a bit of an affected vocal style as it is, but singing with his wife seems to just push that further which she is guilty of as well. It’s a track that I skip faithfully.
The other duet is with Nightwish singer Floor Jansen who guests on “In Orbit.” The song is catchy as hell and has a great melody. The problem is Jansen decides to add too many extra notes to the melody and oversings a song that didn’t need it. Besides, it feels like trying to cash in on Nightwish’s name more than anything. It baffles me when bands with capable singers feel compelled to bring in outside vocalists. Many times the voices don’t match up, other times it just throws off the vocalist for the band.
But the good news about “The Storm Within” is that many of these songs kick ass. “Distance,” “Passing Through,” “The Lonely Monarch” and the title track rank with anything that Evergrey have ever done! And the aforementioned “In Orbit” is a good song regardless. The riffs are thick and heavy. The production is also top notch. I love the artwork as well!
Evergrey could be as popular as Katatonia. In many ways, they remind me of Katatonia: heavy, dark music with a strong, clean vocal. For me, Englund is not on the same level singing wise as Jonas Renkse but his voice always fits Evergrey’s music. As a whole, “The Storm Within” is one of Evergrey’s better albums. It is still flawed but the band play to their strengths more often than not.
2. Passing Through
5. The Impossible
6. My Allied Ocean
7. In Orbit
8. The Lonely Monarch
9. The Paradox Of The Flame
11. The Storm Within
Label: AFM Records
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