In 2019, it would be surprising if you, the person taking the time to read this review, had never heard anything by Evergrey. Over more than 25 years this unique Metal band have been releasing quality material that has rarely deviated from their original ethos, a sound very much their own, instantly recognizable as Evergrey. Whatever you have heard before stands you in great stead for whatever is to come – whenever you join Evergrey on their creative journey, you live everything with them, they are all encompassing and enveloping. They create a mood, a feeling, an emotion, that is Evergrey – really their name should be in the dictionary as a descriptive word depicting something including melancholy, energy, power, intensity and raw emotion. Evergrey.
Damn it! I’ve gone and used my closing paragraph right at the start of the review! My big closing statement! Now it’s going to look like I just waffle on inanely about the album in the vain hope that anyone is still reading, building slowly to nothing at all. Oh well, if that’s the case lets just crack on then… “The Atlantic” is the third part in the trilogy that saw a newly invigorated and hungry Evergrey release the fabulous “Hymns For The Broken” back in 2014. As this trilogy has unfolded it has become increasingly obvious that anyone trying to shoe-horn the term Power Metal into a description of their music has to let it go. Yes Evergrey are powerful, immensely so, but really Dark Progressive Heavy Metal would be nearer the mark – but then it’s hard to label Evergrey, they always push it that bit further…every time.
Take opener ‘A Silent Arc’, that during it’s just-shy-of-8-minute life, explodes forth with a sound akin to Arch Enemy or Into Eternity, displays the bands trade-mark intricate, powerful, tight rhythms perfectly and yet also manages to segue effortlessly into sections that showcase Evergrey at their most reflective and accessible. It’s no coincidence that in this one song, the lyrical concept for the album is laid out, but if you think you’ve heard it all in one song, obviously you must think again – this is Evergrey after all. The opener sets the scene for the modern day Evergrey – a balance of energetic power, crushing darkness and despair, plus just enough elements of optimism and hope to continue – this album continues that trend resoundingly.
Swept up in an all consuming wave of Evergrey, the songs come and go, the moments of brilliance come thick and fast, the arrangements keep you guessing, the production pummels, the melodies delight and it unveils itself more and more. Each musician is at the top of their game and integral to every song, every moment. It’s impossible to name highlights, or on the other hand find much to criticise as this is an album to be listened to as a whole, it fits together, everything happens because of what has happened before it and what is to come – the album is crafted, not thrown together, another Evergrey staple.
In 2019, it would be surprising if you, the person that…oh bollocks, I’ve already used that paragraph at the start! Now what? Err…this is a great album from a truly great band. It’s well good and you should like it too. Hmmm…not quite as eloquent as I would have hoped, but after such an engrossing, draining experience as analysing and delving into an Evergrey album is, it’s probably lucky your getting more than just a string of emojis…
(9/10 Andy Barker)