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Recreation Day
May 2003
Released: 2003, Insideout Music America
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

I became hooked on Evergrey with the release of the last disc IN SEARCH OF TRUTH. That CD was a tale of alien abduction wound around music that is hard to pigeonhole but could be described as progressive melodic powermetal with lots of dark and gothic elements. The gloominess and depressing atmosphere, which surrounded IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, has been toned down a bit for RECREATION DAY. Don’t get me wrong, this disc is still full of the emotionally pained voice of Tom Englund, but the band seems to let loose a little more than on their previous release.

Evergrey waste no time with frilly keyboard intros and instead choose to kick off the CD with the blazing track “The Great Deceiver”. The bar is set high early on with this explosive song. The lyrics start with “I am your damnation..” and with this Tom Englund lays down the gauntlet. IN SEARCH OF TRUTH seemed to me to be one of those albums that only comes along once, maybe twice in a bands career. They have attained a level of creativity and execution that most bands have trouble reaching the first time let alone for a second. The title track is a brooding piece of metal that is powerful yet melodic and touched by the band progressive edge to create one of the highlights of the CD. “I’m Sorry” is another slow melancholic piece that is highlights one of the strengths of Evergrey, the dynamic vocals of Tom Englund. Whether he is taking the aggressive path on tracks like “As I Lie Hear Bleeding” and “Your Darkest Hour” or crooning over acoustic guitars on “Madness Caught Another Victim”, Englund and his distinctive voice bring an added dimension to the unique sound that is Evergrey.

As with any Evergrey release RECREATION DAY requires more than one listen for the complex music to sink in. To me the best CDs are the ones that I don’t get right away. They need time to breathe and to find a way into my psyche. As I was delving deeper into this the thought behind this CD I found out that original Evergrey member Patrick Carlsson has left the band. Fortunately his replacement will have ample time to gel with the band before they hit the studio but its safe to say that they will have a tough time topping RECREATION DAY.

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