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Evergrey - Hymns for the Broken CD (album) cover

HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

Evergrey

 

Progressive Metal

3.77 | 86 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Hymns for the Broken" is the 9th full-length studio album by Swedish heavy/power metal act Evergrey. The album was released through AFM Records in September 2014. It's the successor to "Glorious Collision" from 2011. The last five years have been very troubled for Evergrey, who has seen quite a few lineup changes (and a near split-up), and again on "Hymns for the Broken" there have been a couple of changes to the lineup compared to the lineup who recorded "Glorious Collision (2011)". Drummer Hannes Van Dahl has left to join Sabaton and is replaced here by Jonas Ekdahl, and guitarist Marcus Jidell has also left to be replaced by Henrik Danhage. Both "new" members left Evergrey in 2010 during the first round of lineup turmoil, and had both been part of the band for a longer period before the breakup. So in that respect "Hymns for the Broken" is sort of a reunion album.

Stylistically the music on "Hymns for the Broken" is Evergrey like we know them. Dark/melancholic, epic, and heavy power metal with Tom S. Englund's characteristic sounding voice and vocal delivery in front. Keyboards/piano share an equally important role in the music as guitars, bass, and drums. The music isn't build around riffs or focused on instrumental performances though (although Henrik Danhage as usual plays some great melodic solos), but rather around the vocal melodies, which means that there aren't that many killer riffs on the album (or at least not riffs that are out of the ordinary for the style), but instead some pretty intricate arrangements.

The material on the 12 track, 61:13 minutes long album is well written and relatively memorable, but a bit more variation in atmosphere and pace could have elevated the album to a higher level. As it is now it's a bit one-dimensionally heavy and mid-paced, with some relatively generic soft/heavy dynamics, and a couple of faster paced or maybe more progressive oriented tunes would have made wonders for the overall flow of the album. The two closing tracks "The Grand Collapse" and "The Aftermath" are actually quite progressive in sound, but it's a bit too little too late. On the plus side the music is skillfully played/sung and the album is also very well produced, featuring a clear, and powerful sound production, which is a perfect match for the music. So despite a few issues in the variation department "Hymns for the Broken" is still a quality release on most parameters and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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