Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix (2021)


Originally not big fans of the band, with their last few releases they have converted us thanks to their engaging Power/Progressive Metal with somber undertones and the fantastic voice of Tom Englund. In “Escape of the Phoenix”, the band builds up on the success of their previous album and delivers nearly one full hour of high-octane music with tons of mood changes and soaring vocal melodies.

The release opens strongly with the heavy guitars of “Forever Outsider”, a track that nicely sets a very dynamic mood thanks to the funky keyboards. One of the first heavy hitters is the very melodic and catchy “Where August Mourn” and its dreamy atmospherics paired with Tom’s emotive vocals. This track has some nice Dark Tranquillity vibes to it as well. After the power ballad “Stories”, the album’s best song “Dandelion Cipher” delivers waves of soaring vocal arrangements, heartfelt lyrics and very explosive instrumentation, making it an instant epic.

Not being fans of James LaBrie, “The Beholder” is a track that had better potential. Other tracks in this release like “Eternal Nocturnal” and “Leaden Saint” have a certain Soilwork-esque feeling to them, as they are quite fast, feature heavy guitars and crafty drumming, while the clean vocals brings them back to Evergrey territories, we kind of like this dynamism in the band’s sound. For the fans of power ballads, “You From You” and “In the Absence of Sun” we get Tom’s talents shining at their best.

As the release signs off with the brilliant “Run”, we are left quite satisfied with how diverse, heavy, and yet melancholic “Escape of the Phoenix” is. Evergrey continues to refine their sound over the years and with this one they reach near perfection as they balance all their influences, styles, and elements very well around Tom’s singular vocal talents. If you like Power/Progressive Metal with soaring vocals, atmospheric keyboards and a good dose of heaviness, you can’t miss out on this great release.

Band: Evergrey Album: Escape of the Phoenix

Label: AFM Records

Release: February 26th, 2021

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Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 95/100

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