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NORTH

Everon

Heavy Prog


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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

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#173165)
Posted Friday, June 06, 2008 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In one of my earlier reviews of an Everon album I said that the reviews of this bands albums could be quite short because there is a very obvious Everonsound that shines through on all of their albums. And it's more a matter of like it or not that will determine ones rating more or less. Maybe that's the case with more bands but I feel it's very much a feature of Everons music.

And that's also the case with their latest North. It's almost as if I'm listening to one of their previous albums especially if you listen superficially. Of their predecessors I believe Venus and Flesh were a bit more out of the ordinary but North is one of those very recognizable ones like the others. But that doesn't have to be a problem or point of criticism of course because if you like their sound: why bother ? Many proggers feel that originality and innovation are important factors in progressive music and they are probably right but what's wrong with a feeling of coming home with a certain album and say: yes, this is my thing, I love it. And that is the case with Everon for me, you know what you can expect from these guys and there is nothing wrong with that. If you want something new or different: there are some 3700 other bands and artists on this site !

Right now I'm listening to the entire album once again and arriving at track 9 by now it's all very familiar but just as I say this track 9 is actually different because a lady called Judith Stüber does a very nice vocal job here, great ballad. The other 9 songs are simply Everon, a very good Everon that is. 4 stars.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#181109)
Posted Saturday, August 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars After you listen to Everon you won't be able to know why they are so unknown, even in the prog world. Everon is not only a typical progressive band. It's impossible to tell which is their style: sometimes it's neoprog, but then you can hear a lot of classical progressive rock influences with plenty of heavy metal riffs. The best part of this, is that Everon is not another Dream Theater rip off; it's unique, both melancholic and dynamic. North is their latest album, and after a long hiatus they came back with the same old power and a new freshness.

The CD begins with Hands a powerful and bombastic song with a great chorus leaded by Phillip's magnificent voice and feeling. From the beginning you can hear the Everon's trademark sound: heavy riffs yet a very melodic atmosphere and an outstanding feeling.

One of the highlights of the album is, without a doubt, Brief encounter. A dramatic song filled with a gorgeous orchestration.

From where I stand and Test of time both begin with a cello, but the first one is a symphonic ballad and the second is an step forward on Everon's evolution to a lighter sound. Maybe From where I stand is a more complex song, more mature and intimate, but Test of time is far from being bad.

North has a great atmosphere, sometimes sad and full of uncertainty. A perfect mixture of feelings, which take place in one of the best songs on the album.

While North was kind of typical for Everon, South of London is very different from the whole album. The sound is modern and it incorporates some electronic elements. Some say it's popy, and it's usual the eternal complaining from die hard prog fans, but the song itself is great.

Wasn't it good is another intimate song, probably the most emotive track on North. The orchestra is another highlight in this song.

Woodworks is joyful instrumental track that leads to Islanders, which is, in my opinion, the weakest track on the album, but again it's very good. Judith's voice fits perfectly the song. North closes with Running, probably the most progressive song we hear in this

Defining Everon is difficult, but maybe the word brilliant could describe best their music and, obviously North which is one of the best CDs of 2008.

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Send comments to Cronosmu (BETA) | Report this review (#184509)
Posted Thursday, October 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Hard to believe it's been six years since their last album. I know it sounds cliche but this is a more mature effort this time around. For me that's not a good thing. Haha.This isn't as emotional or powerful as my two favourites from them "Fantasma" and "Bridge". The cover art though is A+ along with the pictures in the liner notes.

"Hands" is such a cool song lyrically and instrumentally. My favourite. Maybe not surprisingly it's the most powerful song on here as well. The best part of the album for me is when it kicks in with sheer force early before settling down quickly. Those emotional vocals come in and it all sounds so good. More heaviness before 3 1/2 minutes to end it. "A Brief Encounter" opens with drums and a relaxed guitar solo before vocals and piano take over. It does become fairly powerful as the drums return. Nice guitar solo 4 1/2 minutes in. "From Where I Stand" features piano and guest cello before vocals and drums take over. It does become more passionate as the contrast continues. A guitar solo after 4 minutes. "Test Of Time" opens with cello then the song kicks into gear before a minute. More powerful 2 minutes in as the contrast continues. The guitar lights it up 4 minutes in.

"North" opens with the sound of water as piano comes in. Vocals and drums join in. Again they contrast the heavier and lighter passages well. Water sounds to end it. "South Of London" is different, almost experimental with some processed vocals. Good tune. "Wasn't It Good" puts the focus squarely on the vocals and lyrics. Cello before 4 minutes. Lots of piano in this one. "Woodworks" is the only instrumental and one of my favourites on here.The sounds of a chainsaw can be heard in the intro and outro and inbetween. This is uptempo with prominant piano and some good guitar 2 minutes in. "Islanders" features a guest female vocalist (Judith) who does a fantastic job on this song. This is another highlight for me. I'm not a fan of the intro on "Running" but it changes to a better sound. The contrast continues though.

Good album but not one of my favourites from them.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#192492)
Posted Tuesday, December 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was my introduction to German band Everon. I had read reviews of their albums before listening. The overwhelming consensus was that everyone has a hard time labeling their style of progressive music...Were they neo prog? Were they heavy prog? Were they symphonic? Metal? No one seemed to know. After getting familiar with most of their albums now, I can see how labeling this band into a specific genre is impossible. When listening to North, my first thought was Enchant but that wasn't entirely accurate...then I thought of Rush...then Sylvan...and on the 8th instrumental track, my first thought was Neal Morse with the piano sections. So it's evident that Everon has created their own brand of progressive rock that lands all across the board. This is one of the main reasons why their music does not grow stale. Then there is the actual music itself...

Oliver Philipps is the mastermind behind Everon. He is the vocals, keys, guitar and composition of the music. Some reviewers have given less than favorable reviews based on his German accent. I completely disagree. From first listen I felt his German accent only adds to the emotion in his voice and seems to fit his style of music perfectly. He is able to tone his voice down when needed but can also belt it out with power too. He has amazing range and the vocals were the first that stuck out.

The rest of the music is also outstanding. The keyboards are very present but the heavy guitar parts are the most noticeable. The songs are well constructed and have the staying power that only helps certain sections build on repeated listens. I have probably listened to this album 30 times and I am not tiring on it at all. North was my #1 pick for 2008 album of the year and have enjoyed their back catalog just as much. Not sure why Everon is not as well known in the progressive rock world, but I hope more proggers start taking notice because this is high quality music! 5 stars and one of my favorite albums in the last 10 years! Well done!

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Send comments to cutsofmeat (BETA) | Report this review (#215716)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unbelievabe and insanely surprising catchy music and hooks that sneak up on you with a few listens.....and then it hits you....the emotion, the detail, the layers, and the production of this music is utterly fantastic! I think many who come upon Everon in general will never have heard of them before, let alone listened. So, if you are like myself and stumbled across this band, let me give you a few words about this body of work.

How Everon is not a top internationally recognized Band, up there with Rush and Saga, is beyond me. Trust me....you have just found an treasure trove of amazing music! If you are a Rush fan, then you have just found heaven!

Everon truly surprised me......I listened to a few tracks from a few albums and was absolutely not sure about it at first. But there was enough interesting elements of the production and the music to make me keep listening here and there for a few days, even though I was not sure and it was not clicking for me. It didn't at first seem to have the edge, or the technical chops that I usually crave. But, here and there it was interesting enough. Actually, Reviews on this site led me to listen to Fantasma first and foremost, which in the end is not my favorite album, though it contains some excellent songs. But anyways, it was a few days later that all of a sudden one morning it hit me. I was singing these songs in my head! And not just one or two....but there are a couple dozen unbelievably catchy hooks and choruses and elements that just stick themselves in your head. And then it started to get good to me...and l listened more intently, and realized the emotion and detail in these tracks. And then I knew......I had found a top band and a body of work that is for the ages~!!!

One of the things about Everon is that each track is a very well constructed self contained song. And most of these songs build up with an emotional intensity that just grabs you by the end and won't let you go. So if you just quickly listen to the tracks, you are likely to hear some simple, slower, piano based ballad type material, especially up front, that does not seem to be at all prog or even rock, but more Pop, and certainly not what is likely to excite you at first. But what you need to do is TRUST that this music is so well constructed, and that these intros and interludes are all part of a emotional package that will build and lead you exactly where you want to go, and that these slower, simpler sections actually balance and compliment the overall song in a beautiful and perfectly wonderful way.

My advice: Keep Listening, give it several spins, and TRUST. This is very complex, detailed, and well constructed music, and this is an example of songs you can listen to over and over and over again and continue to realize new elements and hooks and details that are deeply buried into these tracks. Much in the way that I have enjoyed Rush over the years....there are endless hooks and layers to discover.

If you are just starting with Everon, and or if you are a Rush fan or Saga fan, then I suggest you listen to Venus first and foremost. This is a complete album that flows perfectly in every sense of the word, and is most like a Rush album (circa Presto, maybe Hold Your Fire). This is not necessarily Everons best album, but for a Rush or Saga music fan, Venus will give you comfort and grab your interest the easiest. But if you want to jump in and trust me to the best of Everon, I suggest Bridge and North. These two albums will ultimately rock your world, and have Everons most emotional and intense and catchy pieces.

North is a spectacular production, on which 80% of the songs are eventually hook grabbers. In other words, they will grab your imagination after several listens. I immediately was grabbed by Brief Encounter, even though I didn't fully get it until several listens and looking up the lyrics. Which is another thing, Everons lyrics are insanely good and smart! But it was the subtle elements in Brief Encounter, such as the tasty and judicious use of goth vocal elements, truly thick and tasty guitars, and a hook of a chorus that will sneak up on you and grab you in time.....this is a great song. Hands, the opener, is easily catchy and a great song. But songs like From Where I Stand and North at first was blah to me. So simple and pop-like that it didn't interest me. I didn't get it, until all of a sudden to my surprise, it grabbed me, and I listened a few more times and said to myself....how the hell did I miss this! This is a truly fantastic song, and I cannot get it out of my head! And then you go back and catch all of the detail and song structure, and wow....awesome. North, Wasn't it good, Running....all similar experiences for me.

But you cannot just look at Everon as one album or another. It is a body of work. Songs on Bridge, Flesh, Venus, and Fantasma, all fit a certain style and production quality to be heard as almost one big album. And taken together, it adds up to over 4 hours of utterly catchy and deep detailed music that will satisfy your brain for months and years to come.

Top things about Everon: The Lyrics are exellent and smart! The vocals are fantastic. One review on this site complains about a german accent. I don't hear it, even a little bit, and really do not agree at all. The vocals are fantastic, fraught with emotion and intensity, and sheer smooth excellence. Perfect for this music. And the occasional goth elements may at first be off-putting to the casual listener, until you listen more carefully and realize that they are simply creative elements which enhance the overall detail here. Then you love it! The Guitars...WOW....this is where Rush fans are likely to be in love. Very thick and detailed multi layers of guitars, with excellent and tasty leads and soundscapes. The drums and percussion are outstanding. I notice the Neil Peart is a friend on Everons MySpace page, and rightfully so. Clearly hear Peart influences on the percussion of Everons music abound. And finally, it is the overall production details, layers, and song structure. I love music that must be absorbed as peeling layers from an onion, and this may be the best example of this I have experienced since Rush or Saga. It stands on its own, in its own style, without being a clone of anything. But has the same depth and creativity and production quality of either of those artists.

I have now purchased all of Everons CD's. Venus through North are fantastic, and as I said, might have come from the same "album" at first listen. Wonderful to mix and match in a playlist. My playlist puts together my ultimate Everon tunes in a great order, and its 3 and a half hours of mind blowing catchy music! Paradoxes and Flood are different albums, more like early Rush albums, where the technical and musical elements are all there (great production quality too), but the music is not as well constructed or mature. Still....the Rush fan will LOVE these two CD's, but they will not grab you by the gut in the same way. I think this has more to do with the vocal performance being more crowded, and not as maturely delivered. But the musical chops are still excellent, so I still love them greatly.

I guess you can tell I am a great Everon Fan now. Cannot wait for more releases from this pitifully underrated band.

Top Everon songs in my playlist: Brief Encounter, From where I stand, Hands, North, Juliet, Not this time, Wasn't it Good, Driven, If you were still mine, Running, Back in sight, until the day breaks, perfect remedy, Bridge Theme and across the land, black river, reply, What do we know, harbour, ten years later, carousel, and the rest of the Venus album (there's not a bad song on Venus. In fact that album is best taken as a whole end to end listen).

Enjoy!

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Send comments to RGF (BETA) | Report this review (#216222)
Posted Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars North is their seventh studio album from 2008. Everon needed 6 years to release this album and to tell the truth is not better then the predecesors, but not weak either. Something worth mentioning is that Everon release albums with a constant quality, I mean every single album is good and has something to offer, one of those bands that realy knows to make the listner stays with ears opened all the time. This band don't have highs and lows, Everon has only highs from the beggining, well of course their albums never reaches the masterpiece status in my opinion, but for sure all are good and worth investigated by everybody intrested in good music. North is again well made with tipycal Everon sound, nice vocal parts made by Oliver Philipps , I think the cherry on the cake in this band, great vocalist, nice passages close to neo prog in places not far from Galleon , but aswell with some heavier sections like Enchant for ex. They are more up tempo and full of energy band then many of their field. Not a weak piece here, but not one is outstanding, only pleasent. So, I don't think North is their best album, to me the best and the most pleasent of all is Venus from 1997, I don't know realy why but to me is thier top of their career, anyway each album I've rated so far from Everon catalogue is 3 stars, nothing more nothing less. Great band that for sure needs a wider recognition by prog listners, neo or hevy prog alike. 3 stars, a good album but totaly non essential.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#243465)
Posted Wednesday, October 07, 2009 | Review Permalink

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