Evergrey - In Search Of Truth

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: IOMACD 2025
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:22:00

Evergrey (© Evergrey)Though I had seen Evergrey live at Progpower USA this past February, and had, of course, read LarryD's reviews, what I hear here on In Search Of Truth, their third release, is not what I expected at all. I am not disappointed mind you, far from it. What I was expecting was something much darker musically, Tom S Englund's vocals harsher. Here, too, I am far from disappointed. He does have a very engaging, comfortable voice. It fits perfectly with the music, neither taking away from nor being overshadowed by the instrumentation that surrounds him. Evergrey remind me a lot of Vanden Plas. In trying to pinpoint exactly why, I realize it is in the use of keys (Sven Karlsson), especially on "Mark Of The Triangle." Karlsson duets with Englund on the two mainly low-key tracks, "State Of Paralysis" and "Different Worlds" (though this does have the rest of the band come in for a powerful conclusion). Evergrey are a very dynamic band. The juxtaposition of the light keys of Karlsson and the heavy guitars of Englund, Henrik Danhage and Michael Häkansson (bass) gives the band a sense of depth - a three dimensional feel, that also can be attributed to the production by Andy La Rocque and Englund. Add into this mix the big drum sound from Patrick Carlsson. The band are quite tight, a point proven by the precise pauses during "Misled." The contrast between "State Of Paralysis," which is a reflective track that moves as much as it stays still (effectively evoking that state of paralysis) and "The Encounter" is dramatic. Lyrics of the one are carried through to the other, and but for the briefest of breaks, could be one track. Carlsson uses the "double bass effect" sparingly and to good effect.

Evergrey are a dark band -- their name alone should tell you this. Their brand of metal is melodic and memorable. Here the concept follows the story of a man who is either on the edge of complete insanity, is on the verge of being driven there, or truly on to some conspiracy. Despite the gloomy topic, I am thoroughly enjoying listening to this CD. In fact, it has just ended for the third or fourth time today, as I write this, and darn if I don't want to fire it up again. It's that good. There are moments of great beauty -- vocals here, guitar leads there, etc. -- and, moments of tension ("Different Worlds," where you expect that at any moment that everything will explode). There is an edginess to the music, and, in some ways, a cinematic quality. Not so much feature length, but vignettes -- videos, essentially. There is a visual element that underlies the music, not that having visuals are necessary to dramatize the story, but that a visual component wouldn't be out of place. The images would be cast in shadow, made abstract by shadings of dark and light -- much as the album cover artwork is and the illustrations in the booklet -- photographs that are impressionistic, glimpses (hmm...the early episodes of X-Files come to mind).

Without compromising integrity or true metal grit, In Search Of Truth is an accessible album. I don't necessarily mean "radio friendly" in the derogatory way it is meant, but that's exactly it. By those same stations that gave airplay to Soundgarden and other metal bands (that, by dint of which state they were based, were lumped into the grunge category), this would have found a home. Radio (that is, US radio) has changed so much, that it may not be the case today. Shame, as this is so much more interesting than some of the so-called metal that does get the airplay -- without naming names.

Most of this review was written prior to their appearance at Progpower USA 2.0, and I can tell you that they brought the house down. They were billed as co-headliners, and if Kamelot, who followed them, were any less of a band, Evergrey would certainly have stolen the show -- well, Saturday's show, at least. My cohorts Larry and Keith have also already reviewed this title, and I join them in telling you that this is one of the essential releases of 2001. It is at the top of my list for the year, that much is certain. At various times over the past several weeks, bits and pieces of this album come back to me, playing over and over again in my head, mainly "The Masterplan." If I gave out ratings, it'd be a 10 of 10, without question.[And later we did and still do and as you can see, I wasn't lying... full marks at 5/5]

Evergrey at Progpower USA 2.0, November 2001 (© Stephanie Sollow)
Evergrey at Progpower USA 2.0, November 2001
(Photo: Stephanie Sollow)

The Masterplan (4:46) / Rulers Of The Mind (5:57) / Watching The Skies (6:16) / State Of Paralysis (2:13) / The Encounter (4:38) / Mark Of The Triangle (6:22) / Dark Waters (6:02) / Different Worlds (5:29) / Misled (5:59)

Tom Englund - vocals, guitar
Henrik Danhage - guitars
Michael Hakansson - bass
Patrick Carlsson - drums
Sven Karlsson - keyboards

The Dark Discovery (1998)
Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy (1999)
In Search Of Truth (2001)
Recreation Day (2003)
Inner Circle (2004)
The Dark Discovery - Special Edition (2004)
Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy - Special Edition (2004)
A Night To Remember - Live 2004 (2005)
Monday Morning Apocalypse (2006)
Torn (2008)
Glorious Collision (2011)
Hymns For The Broken (2014)
The Storm Within (2016)

A Night To Remember - Live 2004 (DVD) (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: December 7th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.evergrey.net
Hits: 1425
Language: english


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