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Evergrey - 'Hymns For The Broken' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/34/db/evergrey-hymns-for-the-broken-39-1416853535.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 24, 2014    
 
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Evergrey have, with the wonderful new ‘Hymns For The Broken’, rightly returned to the top of their field.

It’s been quite some time since we last heard from Swedish Prog Metal giants Evergrey, mainly due to the fact that the band very nearly broke up for good a short time ago. After their last album ‘Glorious Collision’, Tom S. England was going through a tough time in his life, so he put Evergrey to the back of his mind and if it wasn’t for certain outside circumstances… that would have been that.

Thankfully there was a re-think by Englund and after reaching out to ex-band members Henrik Danhage (guitars) and Jonas Ekdahl (drums) for help with a few contractual live dates, Englund and Evergrey found that they were once again enjoying making music together. This in turn led to a new album entitled ‘Hymns For The Broken’. As you listen to it, you immediately get the sense that this release has given the band a new-found enthusiasm and vitality and this re-birth (if you will) is truly a new beginning for them.

From the spoken word introduction ‘The Awakening’ to final track ‘The Aftermath’, we find music that is filled with a passion and drive that Englund brings to the fore with his vocal delivery, which is then joined with the guitars, bass, keyboards and drums of Danhage, Ekdahl, Rikard Zander and Johan Niemann to great effect. This new energy further impels us to keep listening as the band’s intoxicating melancholic mix of Progressive Metal plays. It is worth pointing out that the usually downbeat lyrics and gloomy subject matter of their past albums has been replaced by words with a more uplifting and life affirming ardour that shows the band in genuine ebullient form throughout the album.

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After the intro has passed, first single ‘King Of Errors’ explodes from the stereo like a charging buffalo, demanding your undivided attention and from then on you find yourself riveted to one of the best Progressive Metal albums of 2014. The band follows this scorching start with the enigmatic ‘A New Dawn’, the drama filled ‘Wake A Change’ (where Englund shows just how good a singer he is), ‘Black Undertow’ with its superb guitar interplay, the overblown title track and finally to the epic closers ‘The Grand Collapse’ and ‘...Aftermath’; two songs which showcase the fact that Evergrey have very few peers in their chosen musical genre.

This year continues to throw up fantastic album after fantastic album and Evergrey have, with the wonderful new ‘Hymns For The Broken’, rightly returned to the top of their field. They deserve this new chance to shine and I can say hand on heart, that all of you who love the great music we call Rock, will take pleasure in what Evergrey have made.

Ian Johnson

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