Evergrey - Escape Of The Phoenix review



Reviewer:
N/A

146 users:
7.98
Band: Evergrey
Album: Escape Of The Phoenix
Release date: February 2021


01. Forever Outsider
02. Where August Mourns
03. Stories
04. A Dandellion Cipher
05. The Beholder
06. In The Absence Of Sun
07. Eternal Nocturnal
08. Escape Of The Phoenix
09. You From You
10. Leaden Saints
11. Run
12. The Darkness In You


At this point Evergrey appear to be in a comfort zone where they are unable to produce a mediocre album. Are they capable of releasing a grand album though?

The Swedes have been doing pretty well during the last few years with the trilogy of Hymns For The Broken, The Storm Within, and The Atlantic having been received very favourably and with a good reason. I personally have a genuine affection towards this band. I guess their brand of part prog / part power / part melodramatic resonates with me in some way, and I am always happy to listen to a new album from Tom and co.

This 12th full-length is often driven by the rhythm guitar and the drums, and on top of them there are emotional lead guitar passages and keyboard fills that offer some much needed 'playfulness' to the wall of sound. Englund's one-of-a-kind voice is once again the feature that makes Evergrey stand out; they always have good songs on offer, but it is the voice of Tom that gives them that extra soulfulness and a very distinctive personality.

In terms of songwriting, the album feels a tad more energetic overall than The Atlantic and offers more hooks. Songs like "Forever Outsider", "Where August Mourns", "A Dandellion Cipher", and "Eternal Nocturnal" are instantly likeable and with memorable choruses. I particularly enjoy the heavier tracks on here, "Escape Of The Phoenix" and "Leaden Saints"; the former is surprisingly influenced by Gojira and the latter is actually my favourite on the album because it has a very imposing character and possibly the record's best solo.

On the other hand, I am not very convinced by the tame and indifferent "The Beholder", which features Dream Theater's James LaBrie as guest, and frankly I don't see any justification for his appearance apart from some potential (and very deserving) extra exposure for Evergrey. The other softer songs on the album - "Stories", "In The Absence Of Sun", and "You From You" - are quite alright, although not particularly gripping; "You From You" is the best of the bunch mainly due to its very moving solo. The closer, "Run", offers a successful mix of ballad and power.

Going back to the beginning of this review, it must be clear to everyone by now that Evergrey will never again be the band they were between 1999 to 2004. Escape Of The Phoenix has mostly good or very good songs, but I have trouble finding a mindblowing song. Evergrey sound like they are currently stuck in a certain formula, while still remaining a class act of course. If you have never been into them, this record will not convert you. But for fans of the band, like myself, this is the melancholic prog/power fix we just cannot pass up.

"And if you find yourself on the outside
You never need to feel that you're all alone
Because I'll be there in your times of twilight
Forever nocturnal
I'll be your eyes in the dark"


 



Written on 08.03.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 22   Visited by: 133 users
08.03.2021 - 17:58
Deadsoulman
Ok Lumberjack
I don't think I've listened to a single Evergrey album since that Monday Morning Apocalypse disappointment, so I stand right on the fence between "former fan" and "haven't been into them for over 15 years". Maybe this one will encourage me to work my way back through the last few albums...
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08.03.2021 - 18:21
nikarg
Mod
Written by Deadsoulman on 08.03.2021 at 17:58

I don't think I've listened to a single Evergrey album since that Monday Morning Apocalypse disappointment, so I stand right on the fence between "former fan" and "haven't been into them for over 15 years". Maybe this one will encourage me to work my way back through the last few albums...

Given the circumstances you describe, you will probably like this. I believe it is going to push the nostalgia button at least..
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08.03.2021 - 19:06
Callisto

Man, am I the only one to really enjoy The Atlantic?
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08.03.2021 - 19:41
TenebrisAlas

Grateful for every album...
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08.03.2021 - 19:50
Dream Taster
The Enemy Within
Written by Deadsoulman on 08.03.2021 at 17:58

I don't think I've listened to a single Evergrey album since that Monday Morning Apocalypse disappointment, so I stand right on the fence between "former fan" and "haven't been into them for over 15 years". Maybe this one will encourage me to work my way back through the last few albums...

This new one is alright and as described in this excellent review but Hymns For The Broken is probably the best one of that second half of their discography
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08.03.2021 - 20:38
nikarg
Mod
^ Read the review again. You're probably confusing it with something else you have read. Your comments make no sense whatsoever as a response to this particular review.
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08.03.2021 - 20:50
musclassia

Written by DystopianWonder on 08.03.2021 at 20:29

Band had a classic period. Here are the names of those albums.


Highlight where in the review this was done; the earliest album I can see mentioned is 2014's Hymns Of The Broken.

Beyond that, Nik described the overall sound of the album, described specific songs and moments that he felt were particularly strong or weak, and briefly placed the album within the context of the band's work in the introduction and conclusion. What more would you like to see in the review?
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09.03.2021 - 09:19
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
Written by musclassia on 08.03.2021 at 20:50

Written by DystopianWonder on 08.03.2021 at 20:29

Band had a classic period. Here are the names of those albums.


Highlight where in the review this was done; the earliest album I can see mentioned is 2014's Hymns Of The Broken.

What more would you like to see in the review?


American Pie?
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09.03.2021 - 09:36
Deadsoulman
Ok Lumberjack
Written by nikarg on 08.03.2021 at 20:38

^ Read the review again. You're probably confusing it with something else you have read. Your comments make no sense whatsoever as a response to this particular review.


Since the guy you were replying to seems to have deleted his comment, now it looks like you're yelling at DT for saying your review is excellent
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09.03.2021 - 11:18
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This is good reviev, I agree with inro part, they have no bad albums, I disagree whit Collin, all bands what don't change genre to nu and others horrible genres are good to try once. Thus band never will put out gigantic album, but same time there are millions of new bands, Radu and Yaniv fix many bew ones. I listen once most of them
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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09.03.2021 - 11:24
nikarg
Mod
Written by Deadsoulman on 09.03.2021 at 09:36

Since the guy you were replying to seems to have deleted his comment, now it looks like you're yelling at DT for saying your review is excellent

Hahaha, indeed. I am going to leave it there if DT doesn't mind because it looks so funny
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10.03.2021 - 10:05
The Melting Snow

Written by Callisto on 08.03.2021 at 19:06

Man, am I the only one to really enjoy The Atlantic?


naa, that's the album that got me into the band. I still love it.
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10.03.2021 - 10:15
The Melting Snow

I don't know why, but I recently find myself agreeing with all of the reviews posted here, for bands i listen to, that is. Epica, Evergrey, Moonspell, Draconian, Tribulation, Soen, Therion. (Does this mean I think like the Staff and should be among them? )

I so totally agree with the James Labrie part.. and with the fact that this band is consistent with their quality and creativity. I started listening to them after The Atlantic and since then have been going through their back catalog too which is quite impressive.
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10.03.2021 - 18:37
nikarg
Mod
Written by Callisto on 08.03.2021 at 19:06

Man, am I the only one to really enjoy The Atlantic?

I very much enjoy The Atlantic too. And I am sure there are a lot of us who do, you're definitely not the only one
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11.03.2021 - 00:24
Callisto

Written by nikarg on 10.03.2021 at 18:37

Written by Callisto on 08.03.2021 at 19:06

Man, am I the only one to really enjoy The Atlantic?

I very much enjoy The Atlantic too. And I am sure there are a lot of us who do, you're definitely not the only one

That was my impression happy to be wrong! most of the comments I've read about it are negative while I consider it brilliant.
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11.03.2021 - 14:26
JoHn DoE

Enjoyable album, I did not get the point of LaBrie guesting on that song, but anyway...
Excellent vocal performance as usual.
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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12.03.2021 - 01:17
nikarg
Mod
Written by JoHn DoE on 11.03.2021 at 14:26

Enjoyable album, I did not get the point of LaBrie guesting on that song, but anyway...
Excellent vocal performance as usual.

I can hardly notice LaBrie, Tom really overshadows him. But it's good marketing to have the DT vocalist in one of your songs I guess.
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12.03.2021 - 13:26
JoHn DoE

Written by nikarg on 12.03.2021 at 01:17

Written by JoHn DoE on 11.03.2021 at 14:26

Enjoyable album, I did not get the point of LaBrie guesting on that song, but anyway...
Excellent vocal performance as usual.

I can hardly notice LaBrie, Tom really overshadows him. But it's good marketing to have the DT vocalist in one of your songs I guess.


When I said "excellent vocal performance", I meant Tom's performance on the album.
As for James LaBrie being good marketing, I don't know about that, people complain more about his vocals than enjoy them. I don't know how it helps Evergrey having James sing on a song.
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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12.03.2021 - 17:40
Tom Muller

Solid work as usual
----
Fire walk with me
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12.03.2021 - 20:21
nikarg
Mod
Written by JoHn DoE on 12.03.2021 at 13:26

When I said "excellent vocal performance", I meant Tom's performance on the album.

Of course, I had no doubt about that


Written by JoHn DoE on 12.03.2021 at 13:26

As for James LaBrie being good marketing, I don't know about that, people complain more about his vocals than enjoy them. I don't know how it helps Evergrey having James sing on a song.

I meant "good marketing" more in the sense of how much more popular and well-known DT are. Having the (not so great) vocalist of (the prog metal giant) DT on your album gives you more exposure to people who haven't heard of your band before. Evergrey are nowhere near as recognizable as DT. It's like having Lars play drums on a Vektor album, that's how I see it more or less.
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12.03.2021 - 22:58
musclassia

Written by nikarg on 12.03.2021 at 20:21

It's like having Lars play drums on a Vektor album, that's how I see it more or less.


Now that's something I'd like to hear
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08.04.2021 - 01:26
tintinb

This felt like I was listening to a 90s rock band, something on the likes of three doors down, hence a huge nostalgic value.
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