It’s not about the destiny, it’s much more about enjoying the journey. This little sentence says a lot about “Escape of the Phoenix” and Evergrey, a band that I had the pleasure of meeting zillion years ago when the world was milk and honey – in fact, not so much. Eventually I heard a song from the band and I tries to get some more from the good old eMule – does anybody remember eMule? Yeah, I’ve just checked and the free peer-to-peer file sharing application still runs. Yeah, If my memory serves me right , and I know ity doesn’t, because I kind of wrote the same when I reviewed 2018’s “The Atlantic.” The thing is that the Evergrey that I liked in the good old days doesn’t exist anymore. Is it good or is it bad? Really don’t know.
Now that I got accomplished with what I wrote back then I noticed that “Escape of the Phoenix” sounds pretty much the same as “The Atlantic.” In fact, my feeling is that “Escape of the Phoenix” is a bit more of sadness and anguish. Phoenix means the bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again as the band does from time to time. Musicwise, the album does that as well as it goes changing moods from the first track to the last. There are great moments indeed as the inspired guitar solo duel in “Eternal Nocturnal” which makes Evergrey sound as in the past. Maybe I’m a little harsh with the band, because following, and title track, “Escape of the Phoenix” has a nice guitar solo using the whahmmy bar. And just when I listen to “You From You” there’s another inspired guitar solo… I guess I should keep quiet a bit.
“Escape of the Phoenix” bounces and balances better modern features with the punch of the Metal guitars. Here Evergrey found a fine balance of both which, by the way, it’s a tricky thing to accomplish. Opening track “Forever Outsider” and grand finale “Run” – hum, my copy stops here – explain a lot better than me the mood of the album. The melt in it shows exactly what I’m trying to say here. Both track have the ups and downs Evergrey just love with the touches of modernity packed with string guitars and once in a while a keyboard. From where I’m standing, it’s Tom Englund’s voice that equalizes everything in the album. The dude has the ability of keeping the faith in all tracks.
“Escape of the Phoenix” means Evergrey ready for some more.
Evergrey “Escape of the Phoenix” will be released on february 26th via AFM Records.
- Forever Outsider
- Where August Mourn
- A Dandelion Cipher
- The Beholder (feat. James LaBrie)
- In the Absence of Sun
- Eternal Nocturnal
- Escape of the Phoenix
- You from You
- Leaden Saints
- The Darkness in You
- The Darkness In You (Instrumental)
Watch “Forever Outside” official music video here: