Evergrey managed to ensnare me with their dark and rich sound with the Solitude + Dominance + Tragedy album back in 1999. Their Recreation Day (2003) and The Inner Circle (2004) made a huge impression on me. I wasn’t too keen on the stripped down approach of Monday Morning Apocalypse (2006) and Torn (2008) had its moments, but it wasn’t the great return to form it initially seemed to be. With the recent departure of Henrik Danhage (guitars), Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Jari Kainulainen (bass) in mind, I didn’t hold my breath with the arrival of Evergrey’s latest album, entitled The Glorious Collision.
With a completely revamped line-up Tom Englund and Co managed to make quite a comeback album with The Glorious Collision. From the opening seconds of Leave It Behind Us the band try to convince their audience that they’re back with a vengeance. This message is further conveyed in a string of excellent tracks like You, Wrong, Out Of Reach, The Disease... and I’m Drowning Alone.
The general atmosphere on The Glorious Collision is one of relieve and hope, but with the signature Evergrey grimness. Another change of pace is the increased presence of semi ballads, such as To Fit The Mold, The Phantom Letters, Free and …And The Distance. On one side it brings more dynamics to the record and it works rather well within the musical context of the record. On the other side it slows the album down needlessly.
Another point of critique is the album’s relatively long length and the amount of songs crammed into that time slot. For the overall balance it wouldn’t have hurt to skip one or two songs from from The Glorious Collision. On a positive note, the production of this record is great as ever, thanks to Evergrey’s own Tom Englund.
With The Glorious Collision the band seem to be back on track again. It’s certainly a more inspired effort than the two previous records. Besides more minor inconveniences it’s the best Evergrey release in several years. Well done!
Written by Raymond Westland