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Evergrey - Torn

Published September 10 2008

=Staff's pick

Broken Wings*
When Kingdoms Fall
In Confidence
Nothing Is Erased
Still Walk Alone
These Scars*

Genre Semi-Progressive Metal
Tom S. Englund
Tracks 11
Tom S. Englund
Runningtime 53 Min.
Henrik Danhage
Label SPV/Steamhammer
Release 22 Sept. 2008
Jonas Ekdahl
Country Sweden
Rikard Zander
Similar artists Nevermore, Symphony X, Vanden Plas

Two years have passed since the release of Monday Morning Apocalypse which marked somewhat of a new direction for Evergrey. The song writing and arrangements were a lot more direct and the sound a bit heavier with the progressiveness quite clearly toned down. Even though I personally loved the album and looked upon it as a well needed development in order not to get stuck in a worn-out formula, the album failed to impress the lion part of the fan base.

When I listen to Evergrey's seventh album Torn it is therefore no surprise when I hear that they have returned to their roots when it comes to melodies and song structures. This is more in the vein of In Search Of Truth and The Inner Circle rather than Monday Morning Apocalypse. This decision might be a wise one considering what the hardcore fans of Evergrey want but my firm belief is that Torn won't reach the same level of success as for example their masterpiece In Search Of Truth did.

Why, you might ask? Well, the recycling of melodies and riffs and the feeling of déjà vu is all over this record. On top of that we have a production that breathes "more of everything" which results in a sound that is not dynamic at all. My opinion is that Evergrey's music is better suited in a production with depth that leaves room for atmospheric parts as well as heavy crescendos. Torn is just a wall of sound.

This is by no means a bad album; the first half contains nothing but the bullet proof high quality songs we all are familiar with regarding this band. The opening shamrock Broken Wings, Soaked and Fear are all beautifully arranged pieces with efficient melodies and great guitar work. The closer These Scars is also worth mentioning as a definitive highlight where Tom's wife Carina Englund yet again does another great guest appearance. That song is however an exception since the second half only consists of material that is decent at its best.

Torn is most definitely another solid release of Evergrey and parts of the disappointment I feel is probably the effect of all too high expectations. Let's just hope for a bunch of fresh new ideas and a producer worthy of its name next time. The declaration of Manowar is wrong; all men SHOULDN'T play on ten…

See also review of: Hymns For The Broken , Monday Morning Apocalypse , The Inner Circle








7 chalices of 10 - Hawk

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