Album review: EVERGREY – Hymns For The Broken

Evergrey - Hymns For The Broken

www.afm.de AFM Records [Released 26.09.14]

First off fans of the band should be glad main man Tom S. Englund kept the band going as at one point he had seriously considered calling time on the band. However having two returning band members, Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) will have helped (both left the band back in 2010). The album not only benefits form a more stable line-up but has the production/mixing talents of Jacob Hansen (Volbeat/ Primal Fear).

Overall I’d say this album isn’t as heavy as previous outings, although the band still has that dark, brooding menace that pervades their melodic sound. This is helped not only by the distinctive vocals of Tom S. Englund but also the keys/synths of Rikard Zander who eschews the symphonic bombast of many progressive metal bands for a more subtle, darker style of playing.

A good example of this is on the lead song ‘King Of Errors’, a classic Evergrey song if ever there was one. Mind you ‘A New Dawn’ sees the keyboards to the fore before a soaring guitar solo pops out at the listener.

‘The Aftermath’ slows it down a pace and the song’s second  half is all instrumental, a little curveball from the band as you’re expecting the vocals back again. Mind you ‘Missing You’ is a wonderful piano led ballad, allowing Englund to really put the passion in his vocal delivery.

Evergrey are a perfect foil for the many progressive and symphonic metal bands out there who think throwing everything into a song makes it better, it doesn’t as less is more and quality shines through as Evergrey prove on this album. Essential listening. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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