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Evergrey - Torn 4/5

Reviewed: 11-7-08


1. Broken wings
2. Soaked
3. Fear
4. When kingdoms fall
5. In confidence
6. Fail
7. Numb
8. Torn
9. Nothing is erased
10. Still walk alone
11. These scars

2 years since Evergrey’s last release (‘Monday morning apocalypse’), this long lasting metal band from Sweden have released their 7th CD, entitled ‘Torn’. Being one of the more emotional metal bands around, Evergrey have continued with their trademark progressive/power metal sound, fronted by one of the greatest metal vocalists around, Tom S. Englund.

‘Monday morning apocalypse’ may have been a change of pace, a break off the main road you might say, for Evergrey fans, however I found that CD to be just as good as their previous ones; matching the likes of ‘Recreation day’ and ‘In search of truth’. Evergrey have progressed in their own way over the years, and now sound quite different from how they were with their first few releases. Evergrey have always been typically labeled progressive metal with heavy metal/power metal influences; and that label was accurate in the early years. But with the progression I’ve seen and heard from Evergrey’s last few CDs, I feel that a different label is now in order.

One thing I’ve noticed about ‘Torn’ and also with ‘Monday morning apocalypse’ is that the level of intensity and ferocity has increased massively over their previous releases. Also, the progressive style in their music continues to drop in favour of a more power/traditional metal style. Instead of slow and calm passages, the use of piano and other prog-styled infusions, Evergrey now have harder, sharper and chunkier riffs, which reminds me somewhat of bands like Nevermore and Morgana Lefay. The guitars are more powerful and bombastic than before, giving off as much emotion as the lyrics do. And speaking of emotional lyrics, ‘Torn’ is abundant of them, to the likes of what was experienced in the early releases of Evergrey, which is a bonus.

Being a favourite vocalist of mine, Tom S. Englund is such an emotional singer and has been the face of Evergrey since the band came together. His performance on every CD has been nothing short of spectacular; to actually feel his words as they come from his mouth; for it to have such an effect as it does, really amazes me and is why I’m such a fan. Once again, Tom S. Englund is brutally emotional and brilliant on ‘Torn’, with heart-felt lyrics often tainted and dark; making you wonder what kind of experiences a mind like his has been through, where words like these evolve.

I must say that ‘Torn’ in my humble opinion, is arguably their most consistent release to date. On previous releases, there have always been a few tracks which weren’t quite up to par with the rest, but here on ‘Torn’, every track is impressive, powerful and emotionally driven. This is also due to the improved guitar work by Henrik Danhage and the excellent bass work of ex-Stratovarius member, Jari Kainulainen. Standout tracks on ‘Torn’ include the CD opener “Broken wings” (which you can currently see the video of, on, “Nothing is erased”, “Fear”, “When kingdoms fall”, “Numb” and the CD's title-track “Torn”.

Overall, ‘Torn’ is an impressive piece of work from these guys from Sweden. With almost “back to the roots” feel in terms of dark lyrics with their natural musical progression becoming more aggressive, I feel that this release is one of their best. Evergrey haven’t released a bad CD to date and ‘Torn’ is by far the least from it. Loyal Evergrey fans will be overjoyed once they wrap their ears around this release and even fans of European power/progressive metal should really check this out.




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