Everon - 'Venus' (landmark album review)

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Everon - 'Venus' (landmark album review)

A landmark album that I very strongly recommend, and hopefully a purchase for you, if you don't already have it.

This is a Rocktopia™ landmark review (album review no. 4996, pls. click HERE for more information)

I was browsing in a small record shop in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) when the proprietor fired this one up for a listen. I was still in my infancy of discovering all the wonderful music that has subsequently led to my bank manager's despair! I was as captivated by the superbly written, polished Neo-Progressive/Symphonic sounds as I was by the Sci-Fi-inspired artwork (by Aussie Gregory Bridges – who, incidentally provided artwork for all of Everon's albums, with the exception of 'North'). 'Venus' was an immediate purchase, and I then backtracked and acquired 'Paradoxes' (1993) and 'Flood' (1995), thereafter acquiring each new release as they appeared; 'Fantasma' (2000), 'Bridge' and 'Flesh' (2002) and finally 'North' (2007). 'Venus' is the one I return to most often, even though it may not quite be their best.

Bad luck hit the band soon after the release of 'Flood' when their label ceased to trade, but they picked themselves up to record 'Venus' which is somewhat heavier than their earlier records. It was their first self-produced release, and was recorded at the prestigious new studio (Spacelab) that was opened by vocalist Oliver Philipps and drummer Christian ('Moschus') Moos. This enterprise was responsible for the gaps between Everon releases and ultimately led to the demise of the band as it had become almost impossible to find the time to complete 'North'. Delain, Wolverine, Haken, Leah, Cloverseeds and Imperia are among the bands that have worked with Philipps and/or Moos, analogue methodology playing a major role in the rather unique sounds achieved at Spacelab. The band that recorded 'Venus' additionally comprised guitarist Ralf Janssen and bassist Schymy, both of whom were founder members of Everon. On all subsequent releases Janssen was superseded by Ulli Hoever.

'Venus' is an absorbing album and my Fireworks colleague Dave Cockett, then writing in Hard Roxx magazine, described the album thus: "Imagine... 'Hemispheres'/'Permanent Waves' Rush style redefined and updated for a nineties audience; add in a healthy dose of early Saga, overlay that within an overblown epic Marillion-esque melodic sensibility; then finally stir in the inherent heaviness and complexity of Dream Theater and you might just begin to get a feel for what this band have achieved... an explosive, emotionally charged roller-coaster ride of light and shade..." This wonderful description of the album paints a near-perfect picture of what continues to draw me into 'Venus' to this day. It remains readily available and you can check out two of the standout tracks – 'Missing The Last Train' and 'Until The Day Breaks' – if you go to YouTube. Certainly, the latter is probably my favourite track recorded by Everon. It's quite a complex, majestic composition that is full of angst and is extremely emotional; indeed, lyrically this is not the only song that seems to have a very personal edge.

The album "booklet" is also a masterpiece, with all the relevant material (including the lyrics) and front and back covers folding out to reveal an amazing poster of a (female) alien being. Overall, 'Venus' is a landmark album that I very strongly recommend, and hopefully a purchase for you, if you don't already have it!

Paul Jerome Smith

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