Evergrey - The Atlantic
AFM Records
Dark Progressive Metal
10 songs (53'56")
Release year: 2019
Evergrey, AFM Records
Reviewed by Alex
Major event

It will probably be a shorter and more to the point review if I don’t start it by professing my neverending fandom of Evergrey. I have done it the last couple of times around, on Hymns for the Broken and The Storm Within – by describing how I own every album and the DVD, got to interview the band in person on their tour of the US, etc. And even though Tom Englund & Co have climbed back from having fallen off my personal perch, the last pair of albums receiving more air time in my player than the three before them, the early works by the Swedes, the triumvirate of Solitude Dominance Tragedy, In Search of Truth and Recreation Day remains unmatched.

When The Atlantic came out, and concluded the trilogy, I promised myself one thing. Deadlines be damned, I wanted to give it just one spin, catch the immediate first impression, and then put the album aside, to see if the hunger to come back to it will be gnawing me from the inside. Interestingly enough, The Atlantic eventually proved to be the last thing from a catchy singalong album. Yet, the hunger to unravel it, to understand it better was the driving force, ultimately proving the effort to be what it is – a strong album focused in equal measures on darkness, hope and a whole lot of progressive detail which makes it not easy to comprehend from the first go, but reveals an album to venerate nonetheless.

Evergrey is still the band searching, that is clear. They are not going to settle, to compromise and won’t release something which could be an easy way out. They will continuously challenge themselves to produce non-ordinary, and will make you work for the minutes you spend listening. They have their own patented idea of what pain, darkness, fear, faith, yearning, paranoia and confusion need to sound like, and they deliver it on The Atlantic, without opting for simple heavy riff/dark crooner melody contrast. To be certain, there is plenty of the aforementioned contrast between slamming grooves and softer melodies on Weightless or This Ocean, but Evergrey’s contrast is more of a whirlwind and a vortex. They pull you in, beat up, confuse, and only then throw out drifting on easing murky waves. For example, I wasn’t at first certain why The Silent Arc was chosen as an opener, but a pair of spin throughs provided an explanation how the song sets the mood for the overall album. Pummeling drums, snappy rhythms, captivating middle section which could have come from In Search of Truth – it is quintessential Evergrey, however of latter vintage.

Not an easy album to get into, The Atlantic still provided me with plenty a moment to either feel cleansed or depressed to no end, just like many an Evergrey album before it. There is trademark dark pressing syncopation, sometimes standalone (End of Silence) or following what is practically a savage riff (A Secret Atlantis). There are some moments, when the melody is more immediate, more inviting (Currents), or when the overall mood is quieter, more reserved, the music is less punishing (Departure), even if harmonies continue to press (All I Have). Creepy (All I Have) or riding the tragic waves of keyboards (The Beacon), Evergrey always knows how to make the mood they are creating denser. If I am to get relief and float away, I can be certain of that with the band, and if gloom is to set in, there will be no escape.

Final note, there is probably not another band which is as much a function of their leader’s charisma like Evergrey. Without Tom Englund’s pained voice nothing on The Atlantic would work. Thus Evergrey fortunes ride on Tom’s mood and brilliance, and with his obvious leadership the uncertain and fragile future, true for any metal act, has a chance, every time a new album is out.

Killing Songs :
The Silent Arc, Weightless, End of Silence, Departure, The Beacon
Alex quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Evergrey that we have reviewed:
Evergrey - The Storm Within reviewed by Alex and quoted 92 / 100
Evergrey - Hymn For The Broken reviewed by Joel and quoted 94 / 100
Evergrey - Glorious Collision reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Evergrey - Torn reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Evergrey - The Dark Discovery reviewed by Ben and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 11 reviews click here
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