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Everon - North CD (album) cover

NORTH

Everon

 

Heavy Prog

3.71 | 74 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After 6 years of long waiting... The new Everon's album is here! And it's just another wonderful piece of prog music!

But the first thing I have to say is... Everon are not Neo-Progressive!!!!!!! I think they have nothing to do with this style of music. Maybe their first two albums were a bit influenced by neo-prog in the sound of keyboards. But the rest of their discography is really different from bands like Marillion, Pendragon, IQ, Collage... Everon are just not Neo-Progressive, and I think that every prog fan who knows what this kind of music is about, will be agree with me.

If I have to give Everon an style, I think they play some kind of symphonic hard rock, with a lot of AOR influences... The keyboards are very present in their music. The piano has also a lot of protagonism building melodies in their songs... And sometimes, they use some cellos and classical guitars. They have also some powerful guitar riffs, but not in the same way of progressive metal. Maybe Saga comes to my mind when I hear this great german band, but also AOR bands like Asia, Journey... But with more complex structures in their songs, mixing a lot of mellow moments with some bombastic ones. So maybe Heavy Prog is the best name I could give to Everon. But never Neo-Progressive!

So speaking about North... If you have heard the last two Everon's albums, the wonderful Bridge and the equally great Flesh, you should know that North is like a kind of mixture between them. The rockier side of Bridge is here in songs like Hands and South of London. But the mellow melodies and symphonic elements of Flesh are back in Islanders and Wasn't It Good... But there are also some parts wich make me remember earlier Everon's efforths, like the fast verses of Running, or the Fantasma- similar Woodworks... So I must say that North is like a kind of summary of the entiere Everon's career!

But what a summary... The lyrics are the most mature that Oliver Phillips has ever written, in my opinion. They speak about very different matters: religion (Brief Encounter), nostalgia (Wasn't It Good), politic (South of London), the stress of ordinary life (Running), solitude (Islanders), broken relationships (From Where I Stand)... The usual Oliver's writing is back, but maybe more mature and deeper. The classic love matters are also here, but mixed up with other things... It's a real pleasure to read this wonderful lyrics!

The music, like I said, is not really different to the later Everon's albums... And this is the only problem I find in North. If you've heard the previous Everon's releases, you will be hardly surprised with this new album. Because the style is really similar... Maybe in the verses of South of London Oliver makes a surprising guitar work, with distorted vocals. The rest is not really new. The songs are a bit more piano oriented, and the keyboards have even more protagonism. The structure of the songs are also a bit more variated than before, because the mood of the songs is always changing, while in older albums the tracks were a bit more focused in mellow or hard ones... But North is more of the same anyway.

But the quality of the music is first class, as always... And so is the brilliant production and sound. Being Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos producers, and having recorded North in their own studio... The sound is impressive. The layers of keyboards are really well implemented, Oliver's voices sounds even better than before, more mature... His guitar playing is really talented, detailed and original. In North, he specially shines in the guitar solos... They make me have goosebumps! And of course, the drum sound is incredible. Moos is maybe my favourite drummer, and his distinctive playing is so outstanding as always!

So this is what you'll find in North... Great production, marvellous and touching lyrics, and a bunch of wounderful songs, made with real good taste, full of details and very catchy. It's a real pleasure to notice the Oliver Phillips's ability to build songs... They are really coherent, they flow naturally through your speakers... But they have also a lot of complexity! This is just good songwriting... And Everon's music is full of it!

Best tracks: Hands (one of the most catchy songs... I love the hard guitar riff, and the lyrics are very ingenious), Brief Encounter (the most complete song of the album... Deep lyrics, catchy chorus, great instrumental interlude, fine solo... A prog classic), From Where I Stand (similar to Pictures of You, from Flesh... Not so good, but still very nice), North (my favourite track of the album... The piano guides the whole song, making really touching melodies. Oliver give the whole soul to his singing here), South of London (very dynamic track, with some original guitar melodies in the verses... Perfect for be played live), Wasn't It Good (one of the best lyrics that Oliver has ever written... Another touching song), Woodworks (pleasant instrumental track, very similar to Battle of Words, from the album Fantasma...), Islanders (Judith Stüber came back to sing this beautiful song, the true ballad of the album... In the same style of other Everon's songs like Already Dead or The River), and Running (the frantic verses drive to the best chorus of the album, giving North an epic and brilliant ending...) The only song I didn't mentioned was Test of Time... It's not bad, but I think the repetitive chours is not in the same level of the rest of the album!

Conclusion: except the lack of evolution since the last two albums, and the weak chorus in Test of Time... North is another wonderful album made by this criminally underrated band, wich is one of the most touching and catchy prog acts out there. I really don't know why Everon is so unknown, having such a great production, being their music so accesible and in the same time, so deep and satisfiying for prog lovers. Everon is a hidden jewel... And I think I have a lot of luck, bacuse they've given me some of the best moments I've had with music in my whole life... And North is not an exception. One of the best albums in 2008 for me, without a doubt, although the pair of fails that it in my opinion make this album not plenty worthy of the five star rating.

My rating: ****1/2

The Crow | 4/5 |

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