ARTIST:

EVERGREY

(SWEDEN)
TITLE:

ESCAPE OF THE PHOENIX

(2021)
LABEL:

AFM RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Epic, Technical
"More direct and Heavy than its predecessor, "Escape Of The Phoenix" lacks originality and creativity to really spark interest."
DARIALYS (11.02.2021)  
2/5
(0) opinions from our readers (3) comment(s)

Two years ago, the Music Waves team was raving about "The Atlantic", Evergrey's penultimate album. Unanimously acclaimed by critics, our in-house reviewer even described it as on of the albums of the decade! Enough to put a certain pressure on the Swedes' shoulders when they reveal the marvellous cover with epic accents of their new effort, "Escape Of The Phoenix".

The press kit attached to the album tells us that the Gothenburg natives' opus was written during the confinement of early 2020, with the desire to be more direct. This frontal approach is very present throughout the album and this, from the first track, 'Forever Outsider', its great power being equaled only by its melody. However, if the direct aspect of the songs is not a concern, the situation becomes more problematic when we couple this characteristic to a certain lack of originality and creativity, two concepts relatively foreign to this album.

The songs appear very standard, like 'Dandelion Cipher' and its almost wheezy vocals, or the common 'Where August Mourns' which confirms the commercial character of this album. The label of progressive metal seems to have disappeared in favor of a more watered down modern radio metal. The result sometimes even makes you grit your teeth like on 'The Beholder', so naive that it will be difficult to listen to it in its entirety, despite the presence of James LaBrie, guest on the track.

There is also a feeling of heaviness in this record, which is sometimes exhausting. It must be said that, except for a few pieces like 'You From You', "Escape of the phoenix" tends to be overpowering. The band seems to be constantly at 100%, even when the atmosphere is a bit calmer. This is the case on the track 'Stories', with its focus on atmospheric metal, but here again, the very powerful production doesn't really serve the title. 

Fortunately, a few tracks manage to stand up from this "compact block". 'Eternal Nocturnal' has the merit of offering a nice chorus, in a powerful and melodic alternative metal register. Some lightning bolts, unfortunately too short, also stand out, like the main riff of the eponymous song, or in the same vein, the Gojira riff of 'Leaden Saint'. 

Musically, it is necessary to recognize that the wheels of the Evergrey machine are perfectly oiled. Nevertheless, this album lacks a good dose of feeling and creativity to really arouse an interest that runs out of steam as the minutes go by. Let's wish Evergrey a change of approach, maybe even an exploration of new musical territories, to give this flagship band a second youth.


More informations on http://www.evergrey.net





TRACK LISTING:
01. Forever Outsider
02. Where August Mourn
03. Stories
04. Dandelion Cipher
05. The Beholder
06. In Absence Of Sun
07. Eternal Nocturnal
08. Escape Of The Phoenix
09. You From You
10. Leaden Saint
11. Run

LINEUP:
Henrik Danhage: Guitares
Johan Niemann: Basse
Jonas Ekdahl: Batterie
Rikard Zander: Claviers
Tom S. Englund: Chant / Guitares
   
(0) OPINION(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(3) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
SKARDEUS
25/03/2021
 
86
0
Album super heavy and melodic and very progressive
To whom it may concerns, if you're looking for a follow-up to the heaviness of the Live of Redemption (Alive in Color), this is your album and you are in for a treat.

Niemann & Ekdahl deliver in here some mind-blowing massive lines
Danhage / Englund : equal to themselves in guitar playing : Sharp and melodic
Englund : to me maybe the best voice of progressive metal in the last 5 years (outstanding voice ... check his last effort with the keyboardist of Redemption Vikram Shankar - Album : Silent Skies)
My big surprise even if he's always excellent is Zander who just gave this album a wonderful touch in keyboarding playing by weighing on discreetly but with some wonderful noticeable sounds here and there.

5 Stars the eyes closes
PROGRACER
16/02/2021
  1
Je suis globalement d'accord avec Darialys même si je le trouve un peu sévère. La production est excellente et la plupart des mélodies sont assez efficaces. Effectivement, l'impression de déjà-entendu est très (trop) présente et les aspects progressifs habituellement présents chez les Suédois brillent ici par leur absence. Mettons ça sur le dos du Covid et gageons qu'ils sauront redresser le tir à la prochaine offrande car c'est le seul faux pas en 10 ans.
TORPEDO
12/02/2021
  0
Pour être lourd, il est lourd... C'est dommage parce que titre par titre, ça envoie sévère mais tout l'album d'une traite reste une épreuve.
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