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Evergrey – Glorious Collision: Review

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Swedish progressive power metal band Evergrey is to release their newest album on February 25 entitled Glorious Collision. It features a drastic lineup change, retaining only frontman Tom S. Englund and keyboardist Rikard Zander. That is more than half the band as newcomers! For this reason I was rather skeptical about the upcoming release. However, I was still extremely excited to listen to it. Having heard it a week ago, I clearly have not been excited to review it.

The Music (rating: B)

  1. Leave it Behind Us
  2. You
  3. Wrong
  4. Frozen
  5. Restoring the Loss
  6. To Fit the Mold
  7. Out of Reach
  8. The Phantom Letters
  9. The Disease
  10. It Comes from Within
  11. Free
  12. I’m Drowning Alone
  13. … And the Distance

For those unfamiliar to the band, Evergrey has always had a power metal sound with a darker edge and frequent implements of progressive characteristics. Glorious Collision is no exception. Like its predecessors, it is fairly vocal-centralized. The guitar is the second-most dominant instrument upfront, but the keyboards have an essential, unmissable presence in the atmospheric portion of the music.  And also similar to the rest of the band’s catalog, the record is compiled of a vast range of dynamics and tempos both between and within songs, yet consistently maintains its darker tone.

However, Glorious Collision lacks the high quality that has been given in such albums as In Search of Truth and Recreation Day. On paper, this album and the aforementioned share many characteristics and should equate to a good record. But there are many key characteristics that Glorious Collision lacks that greatly detracts from its potential, the most noticeable being its energy level. The instruments (particularly the guitar) are unable to elevate the music to the likes of the better Evergrey albums. More specifically, the guitar is mostly comprised of large, heavy chords. This is not a new trait for the band, but it gives no memorable riffs or substantial overlaying vocal/keyboards to fill the created space. Though they served useful as down-tempo breaks in former albums, they are most of what this release offers giving it very little to break from. There are also very few solos to refuel the music, and none are comparable to the former guitarists. Consequently, the album drags along for much of its duration. Much could have been done with the empty space on the part of the vocals and the keyboards, but not enough was given. The keyboards are essentially a mixture of single note background enforcement and atmospheric chords, both done rather simplistically and mundanely. The vocals are decent, but there is just too much space that not even the best vocalists can fill, let alone a very good one such as Evergrey’s. All in all, the paper-statistics are contradictory to the actual execution; you get both an Evergrey album and a less than great album.

I was hoping for a stellar album, and the band unfortunately did not deliver. It may be due to the erratic lineup or possibly that the band is unable to maintain both freshness and their signature style, but this album is a disappointment for a fan such as myself. It is not bad by any means; it retains the unique Evergrey sound with at least a remainder of the bands great talent. It just seems much too contrived and minimally executed (to Evergrey’s standards, of course) to draw a listener. There is little heartfelt inspiration nor any impressive technical composition to hold an audience. And given the high quality that can be found in the old Evergrey collection, this record really is not a necessary listen. I personally was hoping for a resurrection of the greatness of old Evergrey. But this is Glorious Collision… that pretty much says it all.

  1. Dewayne Crum
    December 27, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I personally love this disc. Love everything about it. Great vocals, love the guitar/keyboards. As always love the deep lyrics that leaves one thinking.

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