The Phoenix. A symbol of resurrection and rebirth. A mythical bird said to come back to life from the ashes of the flames of death. What would happen though should the Phoenix decide to not go through this cycle? Progressive metallers EVERGREY put a twist in the myth of this legendary creature with their 12th album offering Escape Of The Phoenix.
Forever Outsider is an instant banger of a track and certainly grips your attention as the album opener. An opportune track to headbang throughout amidst breaks to sing along, for sure this would go down well in a live setting “when it all comes down to, was that I never felt like one of you”
Where August Mourns offsetting the cries of Summer with the oncoming Winter months, this track portrays yearning towards reinvigoration as referenced in the lyrics “if I’m just aching this can’t go on, I went from chasing dreams to all alone. A change of season where August mourn, I really need life to touch me.” Suffice to say Tom S. Englund has dug deep within to channel his feelings and to unload with this track. Conveying a personal sentiment and stance showing that music is a wonderful healer.
Stories is full of gothic and melancholic brilliance. This is a chilling and poignant track that is heavily keyboard orientated allowing Rikard Zander to display his talent.
Dandelion Cipher has pounding percussion from the offset, it soon juxtaposes to heavily utilised synth then returns with some throbbing basslines showcasing the talents of both Johan Niemann and Jonas Ekdahl respectively.
The Beholder features guest vocals from the mighty James LaBrie of DREAM THEATER. The harmonising between him and Tom works beautifully. It makes one wonder why this collaboration has taken so long to materialise as it is just perfection!
In Absence of Sun has a melodic keyboard intro and a hypothetical opening verse “sun, where’s the sun? Why is it hiding for some?” It then utilises an ethereal choir before the full band kicks in and further develops upon the questions asked in the opening verse “deeply carved into my essence, present forever.” Also featuring haunting guitar solos that engrain themselves deeply into your psyche.
Eternal Nocturnal easily ticks all the right boxes throughout. Full of might, an extremely catchy chorus and an incredible guitar solo too.
Escape Of the Phoenix As it starts this wouldn’t be out of place amidst any of the bands melo-death contemporaries. It is an empowering track focusing on breaking the norm and the restraints of being bound to fate. “I’m reaching, I’m stretching, to then fall from grace into oblivion, the calling for freedom.”
You From You totally honours (whether intentionally or not) the late, great EDDIE VAN HALEN and instantly reminds me of the track Respect the Wind via the guitar solos in play that instantly give me goosebumps. It’s beautiful from start to finish.
Leaden Saint is one of the heavier tracks of the album full of doom-laden power. There are some eldritch sections that would not be out of place amongst KAMELOT’s repertoire. An absolute anthem from start to finish.
Run from the very start through its use of keyboards instantly takes me to JEFF WAYNE’s version of WAR OF THE WORLDS. As the final track in the album, it is somewhat of a slower pace compared to some other tracks previously mentioned. However, it is mightily composed and has lyrics that all of us can certainly relate to in current circumstances “I believe that the world’s not on my side, and if I couldn’t feel it well sure it’s just lies”
Some bands as time goes on seem to fall into a rut and do not dare to do anything different, this is not the case here whatsoever. Whilst there is plenty for long-time fans to appreciate there’s also plenty to attract a new audience too. This is a band that are really crafting music to the absolute best of their ability.
Just to note, EVERGREY are due to start their Recharging Europe headliner tour in October with support from WITHERFALL and DUST IN MIND
Words: Martin White
Escape Of The Phoenix is out now.
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