Everon - Venus

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Mascot Records
Catalog Number: M 7030 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:35:00

Venus is the third album from the German progressive rock band Everon. Like many bands they were caught up in events surrounding the collapse of the Dutch prog record label SI Music who had handled their previous two albums Flood (1993) and Paradoxes (1995). Although at the time they came close to breaking up, they have since focused their attentions into the composing and recording of Venus.

The band consists of Oliver Phillips on vocals, keyboards and piano and lead guitars, Christian "Moschus" Moos on drums and percussion, Schymy on bass and Ralf Janssen on guitars. All songs are written by Oliver, who sings in English. Without having seen the guys play, I image that Ralf provides the powerful riffing guitars with Oliver switching between lead guitar breaks and keyboards while handling all the vocals; no mean feat! The album was recorded at the band's own Spacelab Studios in Tonisvorst in Germany and produced by Oliver and Christian.

The title track "Venus" opens the album. This is a short instrumental with soaring guitars and full keyboards. It drips class and quality and sets the stage wonderfully for the rest of the album. "Venus" flows straight into "Missing The Last Train." This shows the rocky foundations of Everon. Strong riffs, bass and drums over-laid with keyboard decoration. In saying that, this is not dull, unimaginative metal riffing, this has changes in tempo and key to match the best proggers. Oliver's vocals are mildly accented with his English almost too true to be native. There are hints of a Scorpion-like Germanic hardness too, and it fits very well with the tough guitar sound. "Real Me" is more mellow; still a full sound though with Oliver's ivory-tickling being particularly effective.

"Information Overdose" is a real discovery; a superb progressive track for the Nineties. It has a superbly powerful and catchy chorus which really lays into those of you "entangled in the world wide web." The whole song has excellent lyrics with one of my favourites being: "your girlfriend lives in New York, you got to know her in Cyberspace. You say that you're in love but will you ever meet her face to face." And the line which struck home to me was "technology saves time they say, so who took all the time away" - that sounds too familiar to me! "Restless Heart" is more of a standard rock ballad. There are some nice uses of melody and counter-melody, and a great guitar break in the middle section.

"What Do We Know" is another complex heavy prog track. Changes of moods, key and tempo abound - and yet the whole track seems to drip power and aggression. It is a track which takes a while to get into - at first it seems quite simple, but after a while you begin to appreciate the depth and complexity. "Meteor" opens what would be the second side of the album (if this wasn't a CD) with a true metal guitar riff before the rest of the band pile in. Another instrumental, it fairly rocks along powered with the twin guitars of Oliver and Ralf while the rhythm section thump out the beat. In saying that, Schymy gets to put together a great lead bassline in places.

"Reply" is other real powerhouse track on the album. Several months ago, I really slated the Credo track "The Letter" on the Cyclops Sampler 2 which I described as "a good track destroyed with a rambling lyric." Well "Reply" is written about the same subject - being dumped without having the chance to get your own side in. It has happened to us all one time or another. In "Reply" what Everon have managed to capture is that pain, hurt, shock and anger - in the lyric, the way the song is sung, and in the music. It is a powerful song which encapsulates the whole range of emotions, and leaves you all cried out with the final chords.

"Not For Sale" is another cracker. After a heavy opening, the lyrics are almost low-key to begin with - although they build up to be the focus of the track. I am reminded of the REM video where everyone climbs out of their cars; this is the same idea; Oliver sings about being fed up of being "a little wheel inside a big machine." The whole lyric is great, and deserves to be written out in full - maybe you'll find it at the band's website... Another track which leaves you exhausted at the end. "Until The Day Breaks" is a strange track to end with album. I would have through either of the previous two would have been better. "Until The Day Breaks" is much more mellow with a soaring chorus carried on strings and full guitar chords. It is a very smooth track flowing from verse to chorus and back. It is another track which belies its complexity and takes a while to get into.

This is my first experience of Everon so I have little to compare it with. Oliver though tells me that the album is more intense that its predecessors - heavier and more aggressive in places, darker and more mysterious in others. With Venus, the band feel that they have produced their strongest album to date. Certainly this is a very strong album. The band have combined the power and glory of a heavy rock band with the complexity, lyrical grace and compositional creativity of a prog band. The result is true prog rock - with equal emphasis on "prog" and "rock." Venus is a great album - the album is worth it for "Information Overdose" alone, and therefore superb value when you listen to the rest of the tracks - and more than that the whole things fits together to form a great album rather than just a bunch of tracks.

This review courtesy Frank Blades and Alternate View, an ezine that has disappeared sadly (as of August 2005) -ed

Venus (1:31) / Missing The Last Train (6:15) / Real Me (2:33) / Information Overdose (5:04) / Restless Heart (4:29) / What Do We Know (7:01) / Meteor (4:19) / Reply (7:43) / Not For Sale (6:37) / Until The Day Breaks (8:24)

Oliver Philipps - vocals, keyboards, piano, and lead guitars
Christian 'Moschus' Moos - drums and percussion
Schymy - bass
Ralf Janssen - guitars

Paradoxes (1993)
Flood (1995)
Venus (1997)
Fantasma (2000)
Bridge (2002)
Flesh (2002)
North (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Frank Blades

Artist website: www.everon.de
Hits: 1993
Language: english


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