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From the intro notes on "Leave It Behind Us" to the closing of "...And The Distance" Evergrey's Glorious Collision is an incredible album. The writing, the performance, everything is top notch. I'll be honest, I didn't know quite what to expect from this album. Three fifths of the band left in 2010 and were replaced. The only original member left is vocalist and guitarist Tom Englund. There was some question in my mind as to if these replacements could and would hold up to the talent of their predecessors. There is no question. They are just as talented musicians and together have made what will probably become a classic of melodic prog metal.
Every instrument comes through crystal clear when it needs to. The bass is present as are the keyboards, two instruments that lots of the time get lost behind the vocals, drums and guitar on other metal albums. Englund's vocals are emotional and tight. He sounds just as good now as he did on 1998's The Dark Discovery. His vocals carry the music as much as the guitars. Speaking of guitars, the solos are exquisitely written and performed. There is always at least one solo in every song, sometimes two or even three. Unfortunately none are more than ten to fifteen seconds.
The drums are pretty standard fair. Nothing special, but they aren't bad enough to detract from the songs either. The keyboards add a melodic background to the songs that move the album into the truly sublime.
The album is masterfully put together. Fast tempo songs give way to slower songs and back to a medium-to-fast tempo song. It never seems forced or contrived. I, like some people, prefer the fast, pounding blast beat metal songs and get tired of slower songs. I never found myself getting tired of these. They work for the over all vibe of the album and never seem to slow the album down, and this is a long album, clocking in at an hour. Many albums start to wear out after forty-five or fifty minutes, but this one doesn't.
This isn't your average melodic prog album, but neither were any of their other albums. Evergrey are something very special and very different. They are heavy but emotional and meloncholy but somehow upbeat.
Standout tracks: Leave It Behind Us, Frozen, It Comes From Within
Written for: http://thebearcavemetalblog.blogspot.com