Title: “Monday Morning Apocalypse”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 4/6/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Progressive Rock
I have to be fair to the readers in starting this review by saying that I was new to the music of Evergrey. They were a band that I think I caught once or twice while being focused on other stuff and only when Iced Earth toured with them did I find myself paying attention. From there on, I became an open-minded supporter of this Melodic Hard Rock band that seemed dislike being referred to as Power Metal or Progressive. After absorbing the killer live effort of “A Night To Remember” which for the new listener is a great piece to help fill in your band blank spots I was unsure why they felt this way about those titles. Perhaps coming from their native Sweden and finding so many of those types of bands being churned out was the reasoning. Either way on their latest record “Monday Morning Apocalypse”, we find the band reaching ever further from some of their established sound and exploring new ground. While this is not a commercial album by any sense, it does have an intrinsic commercial vibe in some areas. The first being the length of the tracks on the record, as they are notably shorter than Evergrey has been apt to produce. The other key difference is the processing found on Tom Englund’s voice. He has an almost mechanized filtering on most of the songs here and while this might have been a good idea for a song or two, it did not belong on the entire record. When the albums title track begins the listening for you, there is a chance that you not realize that you are in fact listening to Evergrey. It is a killer opener and it won me over after a few listens since it keeps that heavy vibe I generally enjoy. However, only two tracks more, “Lost” comes on, and this is a track that I fear will send the bands hardcore fans to the door. It’s more like contemporary Rock than anything we are used to hearing from the band and it has a weird sing song chorus as well (“Inside out, Outside in”). This was not one of my favorite tracks but I admit that it has radio potential. Maybe the band is seeking a different audience with some of this material and this new direction is a path that they have opted to follow.
Musically there are some strong moments on the recording but do not expect epics with this one. “Unspeakable” and “Obedience” are probably the strongest of the tracks outside of the title and everyone does play good. Production wise the album is solid having being worked on by Sandquist & Glaimann (notable producers on bands like Def Leppard and Rammstein). The bottom line that despite being more off from their signature sound the band still makes sure to deliver. It is up to you as the fan and listener to decide and judge more for yourself on whether to continue to support their efforts. In music, the only constant is the continued need for experiment as not everyone can get by on the same formula for decades (Rolling Stones, ACDC). If this is your first go round for the band, I might say wait until you check out the live CD first, and then look into this one. It is not a recommendation as a first sampling of this incredible group but more a CD that merits investigation after absorbing some of their back catalog.
1. Monday Morning Apocalypse
5. The Curtain Fall
6. In Remembrance
7. At a Loss or Words
8. Till Dagmar
9. Still in the Water
10. The Dark I Walk You Through
11. I Should
Official Website: www.evergrey.com