Evergrey
Torn

“In this world people will always throw stones in the path of your success, it depends on you what you make from them, a wall or a bridge…”

Being one of Sweden’s most controversial and widely debated outfits, Evergrey seem to have been ignoring any disrespect they keep getting year in year out, constructing one spectacular bridge after another and caring not at all if they are adored or despised among the metal circles. Thus, their previous release Monday Morning Apocalypse, much like their countrymen Pain Of Salvation’s Scarsick, disrupted the band’s ambitious fanbase into two opposing camps with one part still worshipping their gods and the other nearly running them out of town for the alleged departures from their established sound. However, to me they are, and will always be the group, whose uniqueness is chiefly associated with their unchallenged leader Tom S. Englund, a born vocalist, guitarist and composer, all in one. The man owns such a gorgeous bluesy range, accentuated by the typical frog-in-the-throat edge, that without him you would be left with a totally different band even if the musical decors remain untouched.

If I ever had any problems with Evergrey, they all belonged in the songwriting department and related to some rare uninspired bits rather than to the dubious drastic changes the guys supposedly underwent on various albums. Of course, I have my personal favorites from them, with The Inner Circle being in the lead and still impressing me with its grandiose dynamics and audacious lyrics. But, I also get a fair amount of kick from the rest of their catalog except for their rather average debut which I find myself rarely willing to get back to. Similar to its predecessor, Torn left me neither confused nor jumping with joy. Being far from a kind of stunning revelation, it came across as just another very good album from one of my favorite bands, an album destined to be loved in all its highs and lows. Thankfully, the highs, as always, seem to trump any scanty low points with a vengeance. Carefully crafted around the weighty yet energetic riffs, most of the songs are adorned with marvelous melodies and arrangements leaning towards the Modern Melodic Metal realms even more than The Inner Circle and Monday Morning Apocalypse. So if you buried this band somewhere around those albums period, worry no longer and switch to something possibly more becoming to your tastes.

All of the tracks on Torn are divided between simply good numbers, though still perfectly arranged, and those having an enormous potential to become crowd pleaser’s due to their memorable choruses and bundle of energy in the accompanying riffs. In the latter category are unquestionably pieces like “Fear” with its addictive serpentine leads, and “In Confidence” firing the afterburners right from the very first chord and then gradually shortening sail only to go full lick again by the end. Engrossing with its more temperate feel is the half-balladesque title track built around incredibly beautiful plucked guitars and catchy chorus part. I have always liked Tom’s heartfelt “crooning” on Evergrey’s softer material, and this one is no exception.

All in all, Torn is primarily an album for those with unquenchable fancy for the band, or for those who have just discovered the groups offerings of Melodic Metal. Anyone else probably shouldn’t try their luck and are strongly recommended to check it out before making up their minds whether to take the plunge or instead leave it to the strange freaks who so vociferously pronounce the band’s name in revered awe.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
October 8th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Man I have to say I’m in the camp that just doesn’t get this band.

    To me it seems like the band wants to do something heavier and Tom sounds like he belongs on some sort of AOR contemporary Michael Bolton kind of album.

    To me there’s just too much seperation between the vocals and the music.

    They aren’t proggy enough to be considered progressive to me, and at the same time they’re not really heavy enough to be a thrashy metal band, but that’s just my opinion. I won’t deny that they are experienced musicians, but they just don’t do it for me.


  2. Commented by: ceno

    These guys are destined to be in the love or hate category. Just don’t call em Evergay :lol:


  3. Commented by: Staylow

    I’m shocked by how much I like this album – it’s not normally my thing. I need to check out some of their other stuff again to see if it clicks.


  4. Commented by: swampthang

    Man I listened to The Inner Circle album like a million times, stuff made me cry. Englund def has the best singing voice in metal. its so sincere and real. good review I dig.


  5. Commented by: SludgeHammer

    Fantastic review, I love these guys and can’t wait to hear this album.


  6. Commented by: Vance

    I have a problem with any band that the lead singer stands up on stage and sings while having a guitar hanging from his neck that he rarely plays. These guys are straight up posers, they ought to just drop the leather trench coats and long hair and just totally wuss out (get one of those guitar shaped keyboards), you know that’s what they really want to do. The dude does have a great voice, but too many ballads, too much open space with nothing going on, Yeah I sound bitter because I am, this band shouldn’t be getting near the amount of credit that they are, bands like Symphony X and Pagan’s Mind blow them away, hell even the homo-erotic Kamelot is better.


  7. Commented by: Erik

    In Search of the Truth is a great album. This is not. They continue to spiral into averageness. The best singing voice in metal is Dug Pinnick of King’s X. Period. If you disagree you know NOTHING of music.


  8. Commented by: ceno

    Funny.I think I know NOTHING of music, because I disagree wuth you Erik. Dug Pinnick vox is good for grunge, not metal :lol:


  9. Commented by: battleface

    Evergrey has never been my cup of tea, mainly due to the uneven structures of the songs. It doesn´t take very long for a marvellous riff turn into yet another boring break with Englunds whining on top.

    Speaking of Englund, what the hell man. Can´t anyone else but me notice that he uses the same singing technique/phrasing in 95% of all Evergrey-songs ever written. Listen carefully and you´ll know what I mean.

    They are gifted musicians but make boring music IMO.
    Thorn is the ultimate proof of that (for me at least).
    One thing though, I REALLY like the sound of their guitars on this album.

    It´s a shame that a band like Evergrey tend to be placed in the “Swedens finest”-category when bands like Arch Enemy, Her Whisper and Kryptillusion (to name a few) that have taken over the throne a long time ago.


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