Evergrey – “The Storm Within”


the storm within 300 x 300Swedish progressive power metal band Evergrey return with The Storm Within, their 10th studio release.

Gothenburg, Sweden has been the home of some legendary metal bands to the point where it has become synonymous with a style of melodic death metal in the early 90’s due to bands like At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquility among others.   From the midst of this, Evergrey formed in 1995 and released their first album The Dark Discovery in 1998.  Between 1998 and 2011 when the band took a bit of a hiatus and endured some significant lineup changes, the band toured the globe, played many large festivals, and released 8 studio albums and one live double cd, A Night to Remember that was recorded at a 2004 concert  with the Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra.  The Glorius Collision in 2011 marked the last recording for guitarist Marcus Jidell and drummer Hannes van Dahl who were replaced by Henrik Danhage (guitar) and Jonas Ekdahl (drums).

The Storm Within starts out with as sorrowful lone piano and then immediately launches into a heavy, groovy riff that to my ears sounds very much like something you would hear from bands like Disturbed and Tom Englun’s vocals are also similar in some ways to Dave Draiman’s (Disturbed) on this track.  By now, you’re probably catching on that I am not a long time Everygrey fan given the Disturbed comparison, but interestingly the two bands are almost contemporaries when you look at when they started, so it may not be that much of a stretch to say there are similarities.  Justificaitions aside,  this is heavy, strong track to open the album up with and it sets a pretty high bar for the rest of the songs on the album to meet.  The track closes with a children’s choir taking over the chorus backed by some atmospheric keyboards and that mournful piano from the beginning on the fade out which was a nice touch.

“Passing Through” starts with some heavy guitars but then some odd keyboards come in and really take the song in a different more radio-friendly pop direction.  At various points in the song, the band tries to take things back in the heavier direction but just when things start to get interesting again from a metal perspective, they shift back to softer side.  This is much the story with the album as a whole.  Songs like “Distance”, “Someday”, “Astray”, My Allied Ocean” and “Disconnect” are all on the heavier, power metal side of spectrum, featuring some pounding riffs and rhythms and anthemic choruses, while songs like piano-driven “The Impossible” and “The Paradox” (duet with Carina Englund) and power ballad duet “In Orbit” (featuring Floor Jansen of Nighwish/After Forever) almost seem out of place in context with the other songs.  In addition to those songs, ones like the aforementioned “Passing Through” and “The Lonely Monarch” have prominent keyboards that really don’t work for me within the songs as they again shift the general tone and feel of the album away from the heavy elements.

Of the songs featuring additional female vocals, “Disconnect” (featuring Floor Jansen) with its machine gun riffing would have to be my favorite.  In this case, the transitions to sections with a lone piano and the soaring choruses, seems to fit together better within the context of the song than some of the other songs on the album and does provide that epic feel that one would expect in a song from a band with progressive metal tendencies.

Overall, production and mixing provide a crisp, clear, and big sound that one would expect from bands in the genre, especially ones that have released more than ten albums.  Musicianship and vocals, likewise, are very strong.  While I applaud the variety, my main objection with the album is how it goes from power metal songs that work very well, to the radio friendly pop metal, to soft ballads which just seem out of place amid the other songs.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

Track listing:
01. Distance
02. Passing Through
03. Someday
04. Astray
05. The Impossible
06. My Allied Ocean
07. In Orbit (Feat. Floor Jansen)
08. The Lonely Monarch
09. The Paradox Of The Flame (Feat. Carina Englund)
10. Disconnect (Feat. Floor Jansen)
11. The Storm Within

Band Members:
Tom S. Englund – Vocals
Henrik Danhage – Guitars
Rikard Zander – Keyboard
Johan Niemann – Bass
Jonas Edkahl – Drums

Record Label: AFM Records, Sept. 2016

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘The Paradox of the Flame’ (feat. Carina Englund)

Video for ‘Distance’

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