|Evergrey - 'Glorious Collision' (Steamhammer/SPV)|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Tuesday, 01 February 2011 05:00|
'Glorious Collision', the eighth studio album from Swedish progressive metallers Evergrey, marks the start of a new era for the band. An amicable split in personnel has seen the departures of drummer Jonas Ekdahl, bassist Jari Kainulainen and guitarist Henrik Danhage, to be replaced by new boys Hannes Van Dahl, Johan Neimann and Marcus Jidell.
Main man Tom Englund remains very much at the helm, citing this album, the band's first in three years, as the most musically diverse Evergrey album to date. Indeed, the sound of the album ranges from moments of calm, brooding subtlety to the rage of a full on metal attack. What remains consistent throughout the album is a strong sense of melody, especially in the vocal department where Englund excels. The guitar work throughout the album is first class as well, where a good sense of soul and feel prevents the solos from becoming a mere shred-fest.
Long serving keyboard player Rikard Zander's atmospheric and inventive playing makes a major contribution to the overall feel of the album, giving the tracks an eerie atmosphere reminiscent of Rammstein in places, especially on 'Restoring the Loss'. At other times, such as when used for choral introductions the keyboards add a more gothic feel into the mix.
The standout track for me, and probably the one that illustrates the diversity of the album the best is 'To Fit The Mold', an epic sounding piece building from subtle acoustic passages to a big, bold guitar anthem with an exceptionally strong chorus and a delightful guitar solo. Other highlights include the strong opener, 'Leave It Behind Us', where once again the strong sense of melody shines through, and 'It Comes From Within', possibly the heaviest and most metallic cut from the album.
'Glorious Collision' is quite a lengthy album, with one or two tracks sounding a bit formulaic and less inspired, but still keeping their head above water thanks to the quality guitar work.
This is a fine, very well produced melodic rock album, that packs a mighty metallic punch and isn't afraid to break new ground.