Evergrey   “A Heartless Portrait… (The Orphean Testament) ”      Napalm   *****

CD Review

It’s always good to hear and see a band doing so well and that could be said about Evergrey, Gothenburg’s finest Prog Metal band what were formed back in 95 by guitarist & vocalist Tom S.Englund who is the only original member of the band. The band would record their debut album for GNW Records in 98 entitled ‘The Dark Discovery’, this was strong and pretty impressive debut album that was something different to come out of Gothenburg something that wasn’t Death or Black Metal back in the day.

The band would release their 2nd album ‘Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy’ which was also released on GWN Records back in 99, and this was a great 2nd album a much improvement from the debut which like I said was a strong debut. The band were starting to find their own roots, mixing the Swedish vibe with Prog Metal of such bands like Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater and much more.

The band went from strength to strength on each album and by the time the band would release their 3rd album ‘In Search of Truth’ 2001 the band would be signed to one of the top Prog Rock/ Metal labels ‘Inside Out’, a label that is still going strong. The band at that time would have line-up changes throughout their career up until Tom would find a steady line up been Henrik Danhage (guitars), Rikard Zander (keyboards), Jonas Ekhahl (drums) and bassist Johan Niemann who pretty much joined for the album ‘The Inner Circle’, which featured 4 of the current line up members.

A slight line up change would appear for the album ‘Glorious Collision’, with Jonas leaving to be replaced by Hannes Van Dahl, and Henrik been replaced by Marcus Jidell. This of course was a great album like all releases that the band have done. 2014 would see the return of the current line up wit the album ‘Hymns for the Broken’ which would be released on AFM, and this was a really good album, a slightly different approach with a hint of Kings X which in the bands favour really worked and I really do like this album. 4 albums would be recorded for AFM and for this new album the band signed to label Napalm Records.

This new album is a fantastic album still capturing the spirit of Evergrey’s sound and the ever moving forward approach with a strong vibe. Tom is on top form once again and been able to play guitar and vocals live that is done so well is something else. Both Henrik and Tom really do play well together and spin off each other like Judas Priest & Saxon. As for the rhythm section of Johan and Jonas they really are a great team indeed keeping the bands music on top form, whereas Rikards keyboard playing is really well put together as you will hear.

With the amount of quality solid albums the band have recorded this next album ‘A Heartless Portrait… (The Orphean Testament)’ is yet another step up the ladder for this Swedish bunch of top class Progressive Metal musicians. Evergrey are a Dark Progressive metal band with some elements of Gothic Metal mixed with Progressive Metal and for this band it really works well. This album comes with 10 well arranged songs that any of the band will really like, yes it has a lot of heavy parts but at the same time it also has some beautiful well put together tunes and with some geat vocals by Tom really does make this a great album for 2022.

Not sure who produced the album, but it really does sound great, all instruments shine through. Songs on the album that need to be heard are: Save Us, Midwinter Calls, Ominous, Call out the Dark, The Orphean Testament, Heartless, Blindfolded. This is a great album for any fan of the band and any fan also of Progressive Dark Metal.  Check out the band’s tour which is happening later this autumn. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *