The Swedish progressive metal band EVERGREY has been around since 1995 and provided us with excellent albums every two to three years. Their last three albums were part of a trilogy, starting off with “Hymns For The Broken” and found an end in 2019’s near perfect “The Atlantic”. This trilogy dealt with a lot of personal issues that Tom Englund was going through. Now in 2021 they are back with “The Escape Of The Phoenix”.
Evergrey has never disappointed on any albums, although some were more enjoyable than others. It’s a band that doesn’t get too overwhelmed in the technical demonstration that a lot of metal bands, especially in the progressive genre, wish to expose. They keep the song in mind, even their solo’s are not a presentation of what they are capable of, they just fit the song. Lyric-wise Tom adds always deeply dark emotions , “a therapy that has been there for almost 25 years” he further explains.
“Escape Of The Phoenix“ is for Tom essentially all about falling and standing up in life, sometimes you are just so tired of everything, like he explains himself :
When you talk about the resurrection of the phoenix, that started a mindgame for me,” Englund reveals. “What if the bird doesn’t want to be resurrected? What if it doesn’t want to come back? That sort of resembles things in life; sometimes you get tired of standing up and being strong. I guess that was the main idea. It came to me after we’d finished writing the music.”
This 12th album opens with the first single “Forever Outsider”, a very intense and heavy track that has the same vibe as “Blinded” or “A Touch Of Blessing“. While being catchy it sets also the overall tone of the album. A surprise on this album comes in the way that nobody less than James Labrie from Dream Theater doing some guest vocals on “The Beholder”. A collaboration that came together by just writing a simple email. Although he and Tom have different voices with different character, they fit well together, opposites attract they say, well this proves it.
The title track is a very heavy song that just won’t get out of your head. The stunning opening riff just wants you to go out there and loose yourself in the heat of a concert. Once again Jonas shows that bass is and always be the most important instrument of a metal song. The vocal line that Tom added on this song keeps haunting in your head . I expect your showers will take longer as you will sing these choruses on and on. “Eternal Nocturnal“, “Stories” and the last track “Run” are also memorable songs that are worth to mention.
This album is why Evergrey is still an important part of the modern metal community: good heavy songs and you’ll know that you’ll get quality music from talented musicians. This is one of their best albums they have ever made. Just put it on and enjoy the music, forget about the bad things in life.
Release Date : February 26th 2021
Label : AFM Records
- Forever Outsider
- Where August Mourn
- A Dandelion Cipher
- The Beholder
- In The Absence Of The Sun
- Eternal Nocturnal
- Escape Of The Phoenix
- You From You
- Leaden Saints