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Evership - The Uncrowned King - Act 1 CD (album) cover





3.70 | 79 ratings

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4 stars Stunning symphonic ear candy. The Uncrowned King is the first Act of a two album quest for truth. The music evokes Kansas's Leftoverture/Point of No Return sails alongside Styx Castle Walls. Beau West's soaring lead vocals and mastermind/keyboardist Shane Atkinson are guilty as charged.

Evership albums sound like 1976. That does not bother me. Progressive rock hurtles towards the same paradox that stagnates physics. It was easier to be a great physicist in Einstein's day. Theories could be proved in a high school experiment. Today, a humongous supercollider barely pushes physics further. Likewise, the lion's share of tuneful melodies and riffs were picked over years ago. The low hanging fruit is gone. Prog rock aficionados clamor for algebraic time signatures at warp speed shredding dissonance. That's cool. I like extreme metal, Zeuhl, and RIO/Avant bands. However, I prefer Hammond organs, mellotrons, and mid-tempo symphonic prog.

The Pilgrimage (10:38) An Asian desert eastern atmosphere sets fire to my spine courtesy of Shane's keyboard ensemble. Purple Hades and umber tones draped over a mystical setting. Keyboards and vocals reign supreme. Composer-keyboardist Shane Atkinson plays drums surprisingly well, approaching metal. Hints of a powerful drama reveal delicate silver latticed lyrics. Buckle up, accompany the pilgrim upon his mystic sojourn.

Voice Of The Waves (3:08) The shortest way home is the longest way around. Sink, drown, or swim past the riptide of a tsunami eureka epiphany? From beneath the rushing waves West's voice blends into a waterfall's mist. Basically a transition tune to prime the listener for an ear candy symphony.

(a) Crownshine / (b) Allthetime (10:50)- We meet the meat of the album. From here on out, we're treated to auricle delights. Glissading moogs dart and hover like hummingbirdz. A lead guitar sings a melodic pattern gavotting with West's golden vocals. More memorable hooks than a Hellraiser horror film. Choir passage and mellotrons. The end of the song had me anticipating the final like I was watching an Olympic ice-skater-duo finish an icy dance program. Majestic climax!

The Tower (9:47) piano conjures cappella vocal pyrotechnics, drums and bass thrum along. Lead guitar repeats a simple yet addictive pattern, dusky tones, winding up the tower's stairs. A Dennis DeYoung like Hammond swells and soars. Mellotron takes a breath as the vocals ascend anther story up the tower. Harmonies crescendo as The Tower reaches its epic heights, followed by a Klaatu descending exit.

The Voice Of The Evening Wind (4:23) I'm guessing Evership is a family affair too, since one of the lead guitarists shares Shane's "Atkinson" surname and a youthful androgynous vocal is contributed by "Poem Atkinson". Atmospheric... textured over broad acoustic brush strokes.

a) Yettocome / (b) Itmightbe (16:42) a piano shatters the misty opening. West's wizen vocals journey over a juicy guitar riff. Ooh my, I like that guitar riff. Feels like mescaline kicking in. Vocals fall through meters of velvet rose petals. Pause for ominous acoustic guitar, tension increases incrementally. Will nature betray me? "Am I an actor in a comic play?" At times West vocals evoke Geddy Lee's lower registers. Easily Wests most varied vocal performance. Plenty of diversity here. Thunderstanding truth is dangerous place. Ballad bleeds toward epic structure...chrysanthemum crescendos bloom like September maples aflame, aspens bathed in the sunlight of Shane's synths.

Wait (5:12) would have been a vinyl 45 if The Uncrowned King had been released in 1977. Feels like Camel at their most catchy. Top ten 2021 album. Highly recommended to Styx, Kansas, Queen, and Camel aficionados. Excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

omphaloskepsis | 4/5 |


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