Album: The Storm Within
Release Date: September 9th, 2016
Evergrey is one of my all-time favorite bands. Their discography has so many great tracks, it makes one wonder why the band is not more popular. Well, that is a matter for the PR and marketing guys to discuss. We are here to talk about their latest effort, The Storm Within.
Now, this may differ for every listener out there but for me: the best Evergrey album was The Inner Circle, their 2004 release. That having been said, you can always find people putting Recreation Day or In Search of Truth into that winning spot. It is acceptable and understandable and it is also what makes Evergrey unique. Hymns for the Broken, their 2014 release was a contender for the top three in my book. It had brilliant tracks, lots of sweat and love spent in its creation, and a beautiful single track, King of Errors. That album was a product of the “prog-dark metal band Evergrey” rather than the “pop-rock” version. After staggering for a while with mediocre releases and member changes, the return of Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl (although their leave was brief) gave a fresh perspective. Hymns for the Broken was also a hard album to follow with its success and hype.
The Storm Within feels like a b-side of ideas to Hymns for the Broken, where the 2014 released ditched the “pop” ideas for “innovative metal” ones, the leftovers of that era are stacked into this one. It feels like the record label pushed the band to produce another CD before the carrying winds of Hymns for the Broken died. I cannot be sure if that is the case or if the band themselves wanted the use the force of their 2014 release, but it resulted in creating a bland, aimless album suffering from an identity crisis. There are good ideas here and there and the sound is alright but after a few spins, you start to realize that there is nothing with the appeal of a complete song, no immediate hooks or tracks to grab you. Even Monday Morning Apocalypse had a few of those (and I even liked that disc for a while, although it is one of their worst).
I cannot say if you will enjoy the album or it will be a total letdown like it was for me, but if you enjoyed Hymns for the Broken, be ready for a tasteless surprise. That said, there is also an Evergrey classic called My Allied Ocean on the same disc; a track that jumped from the days of In Search of Truth. The same can be said for the first single, Distance, although that one represents a more recent era of Evergrey. Sadly, the rest falls short. Not even the guest appearance of Floor Jansen saves the day.
Sad to say, it is one of their worse albums. It lacks spirit. Needs more passion and less formulation.
Tom S. Englund – vocals, guitar
Henrik Danhage – guitar
Rikard Zander – keyboard
Jonas Ekdahl – drums
Johan Niemann – bass