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Evergrey - The Dark Discovery  CD (album) cover

THE DARK DISCOVERY

Evergrey

 

Progressive Metal

3.06 | 45 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars A light in the dark

Hope. Fear. Dark. Light. Trust. Betrayal. A Dark Discovery... An exciting discovery.

Evergrey's debut literally opens Pandora's Box (implied in the cover) and unveils an amalgam of progressive metal, heavy/thrash crushing riffs, atmospheric keyboards and top-class vocals all laid in a dark/gloomy background perfectly mastered by Andy LaRocque. The influence of this gifted guitarist (and producer here) is obvious, bringing his ''a-la King Diamond'' feeling to this work.

Although this is a clearly progressive metal record in terms of compositional approach, variation, virtuosity etc, the main influences of the band appear to come from traditional heavy/thrash sources such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate etc. The spine of this work is based on the excellent rhythm guitar/bass guitar section which produces a remarkable number of riffs of top quality. The speed of execution combined with the skilled drumming can be overwhelming at times, especially in the opening tracks, but this is balanced later on with beautiful acoustic guitar passages (i.e. As Light is our Darkness).

As mentioned by other reviewers, the outstanding feature of this band is the voice of Tom Englund which is dominant, and can be both aggressive and melodic at the same time, providing the right feeling for the music. While difficult to describe, there is a distinct ''Scandinavian'' feeling in this work that separates it from progressive metal works of that time. The balance between the dark atmosphere, the samples, the heaviness and the melody is maintained throughout the 48 minutes of this excellent debut. The production is generally ''rough'' and might be ''burying'' the sound of guitars at times, but this creates an atmosphere of its own.

Although closer to American power/prog metal forms (rather than European), the sound rarely resembles to Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensryche - bands like Hades or Eldritch are more likely to come to fans' minds. Last but not least are the physical contributions of Andy LaRocque in Closed Eyes and of Karina Kjellberg, which lends her ethereal voice and impresses in For Every Tear that Falls.

Summarising, the debut work from Evergrey is the closest to progressive metal they have created and finds them at the peak of creativity with an abundance of ideas and inspiring heavy riffs; particularly recommended to fans of heavy-edge, guitar-based progressive metal. The non-polished production might dissapoint some listeners and annoy others. I personally consider this a gem that is often neglected and possibly underrated. The tiny flaws, imperfect production and similarity between some tracks can only change my mind by half a star.

If you are looking for challenging, creative and slightly ''gloomy'' progressive metal then look no further.

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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