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Evergrey
A Decade And A Half
February 2012
Released: 2011, Steamhammer/SPV
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Evergrey is a long time favorite of many Metal Rules staff, and SPV has released A DECADE AND A HALF, a best of for the band closely following 2011’s GLORIOUS COLLISION. For those not familiar with the band, Evergrey hail from Gothenburg, Sweden but do not play the death metal style often associated with the city. Instead, Evergrey are a progressive power metal band with more emphasis on the power metal and not of the frilly style often associated with the Italians. No, Iced Earth would perhaps be a better comparison, but Evergrey does not hit with anything remotely approaching the ferocity of Iced Earth. However, in the last 6 years the band has released a live album in A NIGHT TO REMEMBER and now a best of compilation. These types of releases usually coincide with turmoil, and Evergrey has certainly seen that in the form of an ever shifting lineup, singer/guitarist Tom Englund being one of the few constants. The evidence of that search for elusive cohesion is never more present than on A DECADE AND A HALF, an album of grandiose pinnacles and inconsistent styles all housed under one roof, representing the bands first 15 years.



The dedicated fans will find reasons to quibble over the track selection (the questionable inclusion of “For Every Tear That Falls” for instance), but for the most part the best tunes from each album have been culled and included, making this an ideal introduction to the band for newcomers. For a glimpse of the band’s more progressive style check out “A Touch Of Blessing”, from the excellent INNER CIRCLE album and one of my favorite songs from the band. Compare this to the sound of “The Master Plan” and you can see the progression and improvement in production from early Evergrey to their middle period. However, since these songs have been previously released, the completists will no doubt want to hear about the unreleased songs. There are in fact, two previously unreleased songs, the first being an acoustic live version of “Wrong” from the GLORIOUS COLLISION. This is actually well done, even though it is a slower and more emotional song and it sounds great. The other is another acoustic unplugged song, this time the tune being “Frozen” also from the GLORIOUS COLLISION which does not work as well. My own personal opinion is that these two tracks are not worth grabbing the entire album for, but each person can decide their worth for themselves.



In sum, this is an excellent introduction for curious fans that never explored Evergrey. My main complaint is that too many live tracks were included when the studio tracks for each of those songs is far superior. Considering that this is double CD set consisting of 24 tracks, there is good value here, and the quality of the songs from start to finish hammers home the point that these guys should be huge. Alas, the world has not seen it that way but for those of us in the know, the songs on here are a worthy representation of the best the band has to offer.
Track Listing

CD 1
01. The Masterplan 04:46
taken from "In Search Of Truth"

02. Blackened Dawn ( Live ) 04:04
taken from "A Night To Remember
"
03. Rulers Of The Mind 05:57
taken from "In Search Of Truth"

04. A Touch Of Blessing 05:50
taken from "The Inner Circle"

05. Frozen 04:57
taken from "Glorious Colission"

06. For Every Tear That Falls ( Live ) 05:22
taken from "A Night To Remember"

07. More Than Ever 04:13
taken from "The Inner Circle"

08. Blinded 04:34
taken from "Recreation Day"

09. Faith Restored 03:53
taken from "The Inner Circle"

10. These Scars 05:51
taken from "Torn"

11. Broken Wings 04:42
taken from "Torn"

12. Words Mean Nothing 04:11
taken from "Solitude, Dominance & Tragedy"

13. Wrong (live) 03:12 (unplugged - previously unreleased)


CD2
01.The Great Deceiver 04:19
taken from "Recreation Day"

02. Monday Morning Apocalypse 03:10
taken from "Monday Morning Apocalypse"

03. Wrong 05:07
taken from "Glorious Colission"

04. Waking Up Blind ( Live ) 04:05
taken from "A Night To Remember"

05. Solitude Within 05:32
taken from "Solitude, Dominance & Tragedy"

06. Recreation Day 05:21
taken from "Recreation Day"

07. Still In The Water 05:17
taken from "Monday Morning Apocalypse"

08. Leave It Behind Us 05:09
taken from "Glorious Colission"

09. Fear 04:15
taken from "Torn"

10. When The Walls Go Down ( Live ) 05:28
taken from "A Night To Remember"

11. Frozen (live) 03:14 (unplugged - previously unreleased)

Lineup

Tom S. Englund - vocals, guitars
Marcus Jidell - guitars
Johan Niemann - bass
Rikard Zander – keyboards
Hannes van Dahl – drums


Next review: » Evergrey - A Decade And A Half
Previous review: » Evergaze Eternity - Uninvolved

Evergrey
A Decade And A Half
February 2013
Released: 2011, Steamhammer
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Early in the year can be a bit of a slower time for releases and I’m going to take the time to get through a bit of a backlog of five releases that in my estimation are not quite as important, but still worth discussing for the fans. I’m speaking specifically of a batch of five, double-disc compilations (Collections, Greatest Hits, Best of’s, contractual obligation albums, whatever you want to call them) by some veteran Metal bands; specifically Angra, Circle II Circle, Evergrey, Fair Warning and Royal Hunt. I’ll be blunt, I only have the digital copies of these collections. Everyone knows the true value of these types of collections is found in the presentation (packaging, essays, liner notes, photos etc) and of course, the amount of rare or unreleased material such has new songs, live songs, rare songs, bonus videos or even DVD’s. So, in one sense, these quick reviews are incomplete, public service announcements because I’m only basing these reviews on the digital copies. Please enjoy all the five reviews in this mini-feature but take into account my rating is not necessarily just for the music but the execution of what is essentially re-releasing old songs.



It’s always seemed odd to me when these anniversary collections come out that are not released at a logical point in a bands timeline. Eg. 10th anniversary, 20th anniversary etc. As the title implies A DECADE AND A HALF covers the bands first 15 years and eight studio albums (sort of) and their magnificent live album. It seems their current label, Steamhammer was unable acquire the right to issues the bands music from the first album which means this collection is a bit incomplete. What they have done is include the songs from the first album they could not get the right too and used live tracks from A NIGHT TO REMEMBER to represent THE DARK DISCOVERY. The cover artwork is awesome, a collage of the previous album covers. The double-disc set is about two hours long and has 24 songs. There are a pair of live unplugged songs from the torn album that I can’t figure out where they are from so they could be legitimate unreleased but for the most part there is nothing new or rare on this collection.



The track breakdown is as follows.



THE DARK DISCOVERY (0 songs)

SOLITUDE DOMINANCE TRAGEDY (2 songs)

IN SEARCH OF TRUTH (2 SONGS)

RECREATION DAY (3 songs)

THE INNER CIRCLE (3 songs)

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (4 songs)

MONDAY MORNING APOCALYPSE (2 songs)

TORN (3 songs)

GLORIOUS COLLISION (3 songs)



This collection seems a bit premature and is lacking in execution. Six live versions of songs already released? That seems a bit weak. The songs are all over the map in terms of track sequence. I suspect the band had very little to do with A DECADE AND A HALF.
Track Listing

Disc One

1. The Masterplan
2. Blackened Dawn (live)
3. Rulers of the Mind
4. A Touch of Blessing
5. Frozen
6. For Every Tear That Falls (live)
7. More Than Ever
8. Blinded
9. Faith Restored
10. These Scars
11. Broken Wings
12. Words Mean Nothing
13. Wrong (live unplugged)

Disc Two

1. The Great Deceiver
2. Monday Morning Apocalypse
3. Wrong
4. Waking up Blind (live)
5. Solitude Within
6. Recreation Day
7. Still in the Water
8. Leave It Behind Us
9. Fear
10. When the Walls Go Down (live)

Lineup

Various


Next review: » Evergrey - A Night to Remember
Previous review: » Evergaze Eternity - Uninvolved





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