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“Monday Morning Apocalypse” by Evergrey

Artist: Evergrey
Title: “Monday Morning Apocalypse”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 4/6/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

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.
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“A Night To Remember” by Everygrey

Artist: Evergrey
Title: “A Night To Remember”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 3/15/2005
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Evergrey has always been one of those bands that were harder to classify in a musical sense than their peers have been. One wonders if they fall under Progressive Metal or is what they bring to the table more of the Power Metal style. Perhaps it is a finely tuned mixture of both areas since as a group they have traveled beyond the mere description that Heavy Metal in the traditional sense holds. This double CD set is just what the fans of the band have been waiting for. The show which was recorded in Gothenburg Sweden on 10/9/2004 is loaded with every song you would expect to find and then some. The band also employs the use of a choir and some string instruments to deliver this to you in the finest possible fashion. It is safe to say that this release is even better than a greatest hits package which is purely based on the fact that songs from every album are present on the CD. It also seems to be the tracks one would want on a hits piece. The sound is killer and the production is worthy of praise. None of the instruments overpower one another and the vocals are crystal clear throughout the concert. Lead singer Tom Englund is one of the most impressive front men in Metal music today. With Henrik Danhage (guitar), Michael Hakansson (bass), Richard Zander (keyboards) and Jonas Ekdahl (drums) the band certainly shows that they are a quartet to be respected.
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