9 OUT OF 10
Having previously owned just one Evergrey album, 2008’s Torn, getting the chance to review their latest offering was too good to turn down.
Released on AFM Records on 9th September 2016, The Storm Within is the Swedish quintet’s 10th studio album and is one of the most progressive records they have produced to date. Inadvertently coinciding with their 20th year anniversary, The Storm Within, is considered by some to be their strongest album ever.
Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1995, the band have undergone various personnel changes, their current line-up undoubtedly being their best as 2014 saw the triumphant returns of both Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl on the album, Hymns For The Broken and The Storm Within picks up where Hymns left off.
In true Evergrey style, the album has a melancholy concept and is one that everyone can relate to. Described by frontman/founder Tom S Englund as the band’s first “love” album, it portrays the processes and emotions of having someone, losing them and having to pick yourself up and move on and incorporates the Evergrey trademark progressive, dark and melancholic elements.
The album is packed with elaborate guitar work, remarkable solos and killer rhythms and the combination of melodies, progressive tendencies and a heaviness only a metal band could produce along with haunting lyrics and vocals, means the band connect with their listeners on both a musical and emotional level. On a personal note, I can relate to the distinctive poignant vocals but with plenty of beefy guitars and galloping heavy riffs, which recently had been pointed out to be a favourite of mine, the album offers a delightful treat for my ears too.
We start with a haunting piano intro that steers us into Distance, the lead single and first video off the album, and the melodically and lyrically stunning Passing Through is set to become a fan favourite. My Allied Ocean is undeniably the heaviest track on the album, and The Impossible is a nice change of pace, with just the main vocal, piano work and some lovely string ambience, the band paying for real stringed instruments. The duet with Floor Jansen from Nightwish on In Orbit is the icing on the cake, the two complimenting each other perfectly and Englund is also joined by his wife Carina on The Paradox of the Flame.
Says Englund of the album: “The Storm Within is a massive album. There are no fillers on it and we’ve never been about that. I think the inspiration speaks for itself.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Mr Englund. A cracking album, and one I will continue to listen to for a good while to come.
- Passing Through
- The Impossible
- My Allied Ocean
- In Orbit (feat Floor Jansen)
- The Lonely Monarch
- The Paradox of the Flame
- The Storm Within
- Tom S Englund – vocals, guitar
- Henrik Danhage – guitar, backing vocals
- Rikard Zander – keyboards, backing vocals
- Jonas Ekdahl – drums
- Johan Niemann – bass, backing vocals
- Also available on Deezer, Spotify, YouTube and TuneIn
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