Evergrey live in Athens 2019

Evergrey seem to have a decent fan base in Greece at least down South, as reports of two digit crowds in Salonica were an ominous reality that could be repeated, as with some delay (due to unbelievably heavy traffic).
Evergrey Athens Show 2019 poster
I was able to walk into the club, midway through Crossing Eternity’s short set. The Swedish/Romanian combo forms a rather decent prog power band, with cool ideas and more than adequate chops. Their vocalist Berti is not your typical wimpy tenor, spitting his guts out, but has a rather pleasant baritone that he utilizes well, within the band’s melodic compositions. Definitely worth checking out.
 
An Italian quartet Genus Ordinis Dei, who came up next, were allowed to use a lot of stage props – including two large metallic ornamental disks that were hanging from large spikes and their own backdrops and seemed to go for a symphonic deathcore style. Despite playing in front of a two digit crowd at that point, they showed professionalism and passion, trying to make the crowd to respond to their music. They even included a Manowar cover (“Hail and Kill)” and were definitely good fun, if not a little “far” from the headliners style.
 
The last band to perform, was the Finnish quintet Bloodred Hourglass, a band steeped equal parts into Swedish melodic death worship at the altar of early In Flames and the like, as well as the bottoms of the Lake Bodom, when they get slightly thrashier. With some genuinely nice leads and a frontman that could double as your average Jekyll and Hyde office worker by day, death metal growler by night… they were another rather pleasant, if not a little off the mark band to warm up for the main event which was of course the Swedish prog misery merchants, Evergrey.
 
Ah, Evergrey… last time they were here in 2014, they went down rather well if I remember, hot on the heels of “Hymns for the Broken” and even doing an acoustic show prior to the date. This time things were a little more docile, in terms of fan turnout, but reservedly the band seemed more focused on the later parts of their career, thus not bothering to do any material from the earlier albums.
 
Van Halen’s “Panama” was a little bit of an ironic choice, cause opener “A Silent Arc” was its complete aural antithesis, heavy and hard hitting as hell, creating an almost claustrophobic vibe in the club. The band stayed on “The Atlantic” – with “Weightless” quickly taking  ver. Keeping thematically to their “naval” inspired trio of latest albums, from which the setlist was largely sourced “Distance” came as no real surprise as did “Passing Through” that followed it, also from the “Storm Within”. The “Hymns” was the album that surprisingly got the most representation with “The Fire” igniting soon after, and the band only going further back with “Leave It Behind Us” from “The Glorious Collision”. But since “Hymns” was such a success, another tune – the fan favorite “Black Undertow” was performed, with the lightshow being consistently cool and atmospheric, but giving people near epileptic seizures with all the strobo going on – seriously I ain’t got an issue, but it did tire the #@$# out of my eyes after being exposed to it, by almost all bands on the bill. “My Allied Ocean” was another choice cut from “The Storm Within”, with “All I Have” being the dramatic closer of the base show, and the final song from “The Atlantic” to get an airing. Thankfully the encore, was a little more varied, starting off with “The Grand Collapse” from “Hymns” and bookended by “The King of Errors” both “Hymns...” songs – the latter the band’s biggest hit in recent years. “Recreation Day” represented it’s eponymous album and then we were treated to a fairly Rainbowesque keyboard solo with antagonizing loud guitars from the duo of Zander/Danhage, the latter of which seemed a little on the verge, with his liquor, which was later manifested as some very endearing drunkenness, while he was talking with the fans after the show, but didn’t seem to affect his performance. “A Touch of Blessing” was a nice touch, before the aforementioned “King of Errors” signaled the end of the night with the house lights coming on.
 
Overall, a decent pack of bands and fair and professional performances by all. Maybe last little was a bit more spirited, when it comes to Evergrey, who’s singer Tom Englund did complain at some point about a cold or something and feeling a bit under the weather and the song selection was a little more varied, but I hardly think anyone could complain about the scope of the night. Let’s hope it’s not the last time we see them hard working Swedes on these shores.