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Released: 2017, Independent
Symphonic folk metal is obviously a genre nearing the saturation point, but is has a certain appeal when done right. Evenmore is just such a band, formed in Switzerland in 2011. LAST RIDE is the band’s debut full-length album and follows the 2014 EP THE BEGINNING. Led by the frontwoman Melissa Bonny, Evenmore is one of the most promising symphonic female-fronted bands I have heard recently.
The LAST RIDE will take some time to digest, as the deluxe version consists of 18 songs. The album is a concept album about a great a fantasy kingdom called Kheldenor and every few songs a spoken narrative helps to piece together the story. Evenmore’s ambition is contagious as “The Ride Begins” is the first real song after an instrumental intro and spoken piece. Bonny’s voice resides in the comfortable range, which helps keep the overall feel of the album grounded as opposed to another soaring operatic soprano. “Poisoned Thorn” shows the band has some bite as well, offering a dark and rhythmic tune with gruff vocals when needed.
Mixed in with the heavy riffs and keyboards are bagpipes and whistles, such as on the instrumental “Tavern.” The tempo of this song combined with the bagpipes is reminiscent of passages from The Dropkick Murphy’s until “Breaking The Silence” completely severs any connections. “Bitter Victory” is another highlight, a catchy and more upbeat song that effortlessly shifts to aggression and back to beauty without a hitch.
Evenmore’s ambition is further revealed in the guest appearances on the album, with former Eluveitie vocalist Anna Murphy guesting on three tracks. Henning Basse of Firewind also makes an appearance. While these appearances help to enhance LAST RIDE, the sheer quality of the entire album more than proves the band’s musical prowess. There is legitimate talent here and with a perfect combination of traditional metal riffing and sprinkles of folk music, this is a band that should be making an impact as more people discover them. Recommended equally for fans of bands from Epica and Eluveitie to Maiden, there is something here for a wide range of metal fans.
01. The Eternal Kingdom
02. The Ride Begins
03. Poisoned Thorn
04. In The Forest (feat. Anna Murphy)
06. Breaking The Silence
07. The Throne Room
08. Eleana (feat. Henning Basse)
09. Bloody Wedding
10. Bitter Victory
11. Will You Cry
12. Last Breath (feat. Anna Murphy)
14. The Quest
15. In The Forest (feat. Anna Murphy)
16. The Throne Room
17. Bloody Wedding
Florian Bard - Drums
Lionel Blanc - Keyboards
Matthieu Bopp - Whistles
Frederic Jorand - Bass
Landry Pernet - Guitars
Melissa Bonny - Vocals
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