Release: January 25, 2019
''Come, come save me from these waters…''
Swedish progressive melodic metal band Evergrey are set to release their eleventh studio album, titled “The Atlantic”, on January 25, 2019 via AFM Records. Founded in 1995, Evergrey has released 10 albums so far, from “The Dark Discovery” in 1998 to “The Storm Within” in 2016. Talking about their new release, vocalist Tom S. Englund stated that it’s “also the third album of a concept that might have reached its destination or at least one conclusion. It might also have been something that some of you saw coming or anticipated.”
Heavier, darker, very guitar-driven, more melancholy and emotional than most of their previous releases, “The Atlantic” is a deep dive in the very core of Evergrey, and what it has to offer on every level, from their unbridled creativity and originality, to their strong songwriting skills and on-point musicianship, and everything in between. It’s also quite diverse and melodic, though there is a healthy dose of wistfulness and darkness mixed in each song that kind of gives a new meaning to the expression ‘Scandinavian melancholy’.
A silent arc
All I have
A secret Atlantis
End of silence
The theme of water is very much present throughout the album, from a calm surface to all the turmoil that goes on below. “The Atlantic” jumps right into it with “A silent arc” and its black metal oriented guitars and rather serene moments. It’s gives the fans a good idea of what to expect from the album. And true enough from the second track, “Weightless”, onward, we start exploring the deep and twisty undercurrents, both lyrically and musically, with some quite heavy and aggressive guitars parts, furious but precise drumming, powerful and grave bass lines, but also beautiful piano lines and soulful vocals. Like the waves of the ocean, “Weightless” ebbs and flows between mellow parts and harsher moments, but there is always a balance between the two, with a rather catchy chorus to it. “All I have” continues the dive into treacherous waters with a big wall of sound coming from the drums and guitars, but the smooth piano lines tend to counter this aggression. A highlight of this song is the two beautiful guitar solos, which seem to break your heart, much more than the lyrics and vocals already do.
Starting with some groovy drum pattern, “A secret Atlantis” soon develops into a full blown headbanger with the help on over the top chugging and rhythmic guitars, but still quite melodic. Actually you can easily headbang to most of the songs on this album, it’s that heavy. “The tidal” is a synth interlude, similar to Vangelis, and it acts like an island in the middle of a stormy ocean. And sure enough, the chugging guitars and powerful drum beats are back again full force for the moody mid-tempo “End of silence”. Next up is my favorite track off of this album, “Currents”, a rocking yet soulful track, with a rather memorable vocal line and chorus, and some splendid guitar work. Also the ending of this song reminds me of Nightwish’s “The Siren”, with the gentle vocalization and synth. The light bass parts, gentle piano lines, lush acoustic guitars, elegant drums, and Tom’s crooning mix so well on the melancholic “Departure” making it a gem of a song. “The beacon” ramps up the heaviness one last time, with some killer guitar solos and beautiful vocal delivery, before “The ocean” closes the album in a very high note.
Deep as the Atlantic Ocean, this album does require a few listens through to fully appreciate all its progressive intricacies and melodic complexities, but once you have taken the plunge, be ready for some quality metal, as Evergrey seen to have stepped up their game and delivered one of their most atmospheric and well-rounded albums to date. I dare say it’s almost as good as Amorphis’ “Queen of Time”.
Rating: 9 / 10
Tom S. Englund – vocals, guitar
Henrik Danhage – guitar
Rikard Zander – keyboard
Jonas Ekdahl – drums
Johan Niemann – bass