Evergrey - The Atlantic

Evergrey The Atlantic cover
The Atlantic
AFM Records
Almost twenty five years a slow burning career that has taken them somewhere, through ups and downs, Evergrey are a proof that despite how talented you might or might not be, persistence is key when you’re trying to make it in any sector, but especially in music. Their eleventh album and a closer of a loose “oceanic” trilogy of album, you’ll get the melancholic, semi doomy prog of the Swedes. Oftentimes soothing, rather than raging and superbly complicated, the band relies more of layering and atmosphere than anything else.
Long winded and full of some heavy handed darkness but with ray of light, shading things out as well, “A Silent Arc” opens the album, tossing the listener into a wild sea of conflicting emotions, but offers some temporary catharsis as is seeks for new horizons…
“Weightless” has some heavy riffing somewhat reminiscent of say what Loomis did in Nevermore, but the vocals, are so radically different that it all comes across rather differently. The smart verse into chorus melodies make it perfect “single” material and turned into a video it was.
“All I Have” is another song that follows a similar formula, but is a lesser version of its predecessor that doesn’t stray too far away from the band’s signature style.
“A Secret Atlantis” is much more interesting with some neat percussion and certainly more prominent guitars, allowing it to diversify itself enough, into a different, more lively and evocative piece. This is dramatic, while the previous two songs were mellow-dramatic, so to speak. The keyboard and guitar solos take it to some bizarre territory, before in fades out, making way for “The Tidal”, a rather odd synth piece that seems to also feature whale’s or dolphin wails thrown into the mix of all things. It segues almost seamlessly into the “End of Silence”, a piece that begins life a spartan orchestrated number with Englund being the star of the show over random keys are distorted guitars, but quickly comes together into a more involved prog piece, with noteworthy solos.
“Currents” is another interesting track, where the guitars become a lot more prominent that before, leading to some rather interesting moments. It also has a more immediate vocal performance.
“Departure” signals a turn into more familiar waters, with the more laid back style that characterizes much of the band’s songs making an obvious return.
“Beacon” has some interesting moments and an OK chorus, but some extended and processed vocal ad-lib prior to it, is probably a little on the annoying side. Too bad, since it has a rather nice solo, way more interesting than the rest of the track is.
“The Ocean” is the albums tumultuous closer, with lashing heavy riffs, drowning out most else and a rather “prog” ending.
The band has never done a “bad” album; I mean after their first few, they become tamer and less intriguing and indeed quite a different band was assembled around Tom Englund, which after a short hiatus and with few shifts and changes still is with him. So, if you enjoyed what the band has been doing these past few albums, there’s no reason why you’d be dismissive of “The Atlantic”, which in fact might be the better overall album and a marked improvement over its predecessor, “The Storm Within”, purely unable to surpass “Hymns” just because it doesn’t have something as immediate-a-hit as “King of Errors”. Still it’s an album that shows that the Swedes can navigate the treacherous prog waters without getting too self-absorbed for their own good. A worthy addition to the canon…