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Evergrey Hymns For The Broken album cover
3.86 | 104 ratings | 8 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Awakening (1:40)
2. King Of Errors (5:41)
3. A New Dawn (4:35)
4. Wake A Change (4:48)
5. Archaic Rage (6:26)
6. Barricades (4:57)
7. Black Undertow (5:01)
8. The Fire (4:10)
9. Hymns For The Broken (4:58)
10. Missing You (3:25)
11. The Grand Collapse (7:46)
12. The Aftermath (7:25)

Total time 60:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Tom Englund / vocals, guitar
- Henrik Danhage / guitar
- Rikard Zander (not confirmed)
- Johan Niemann / bass
- Jonas Ekdahl / drums

- Chris Roy / backing vocals (12)
- Salina Englund / chorus vocals
- Felicia Grundell / chorus vocals
- Fredrik Skoglund / chorus vocals
- Klara Hanehöj / chorus vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Marcus Körling

2xLP AFM Records ‎- AFM 501-1 (2014, Germany)

CD AFM Records ‎- AFM 501-2 (2014, Germany)

Thanks to Second Life Syndrome for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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EVERGREY Hymns For The Broken ratings distribution

(104 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

EVERGREY Hymns For The Broken reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars Preparing to write a review for an Evergrey album is something of a ritual for me. I mean, this is EVERGREY, for Pete's sake. This is one of the first bands that I ever truly loved. Indeed, I am a fan for life. So, after waiting for what seemed like a decade for the band to release another album after "Glorious Collision", I am thrilled to be able to review "Hymns for the Broken", especially since Evergrey, one of my all-time favorite bands, was almost dead a few years ago.

Evergrey has always been a band of emotion, darkness, and relation to their listeners. Though dark, there is always hope. Though emotional, they are always profound. Relating to their listeners, then, is immensely important to them, and they have certainly done it again. "Hymns for the Broken" is an ode to all those fallen, imperfect humans out there that are tossed to and fro by the waves of insecurity, sorrow, and fear. Yet, we are never alone, are we? We all experience the pain of not being who we want to be, but we can be strong knowing that we are not alone. Evergrey had definitely made an album with a positive arc lyrically.

Evergrey has a strange fan base. Though labeled as "dark, melodic metal", the band enjoys support not only from the metal crowd, but also from the progressive community, mainly due to some of their older work. I've often heard some reviewers pining for them to return to those more progressive days, and so I find it interesting that "Hymns for the Broken" is basically right in the middle of the two genres. It's far more progressive than their last few albums, especially on the tracks "Black Undertow", "The Grand Collapse", and "The Aftermath", but the focus on melody and metal is still there, too. This is really smart, and the results are spectacular.

Of note here is the fact that the core group of Tom Englund on vocals/guitars, Rikard Zander on keys, and Johan Nieman on bass have been rejoined by Evergrey-alumni Henrik Danhage on guitars and Jonas Ekdahl on drums. What this means, then, is that the band has regained some of their older sound, especially with Henrik's signature solos and Jonas' strangely technical-but-not style of playing drums. Ultimately, though, the band sounds amazing. They've regained a fervor that I didn't think possible again, and they've tried some new things, even though the foundation of this album is certainly the Evergrey I love so well. Indeed, there are plenty of Evergrey-isms, especially in Tom's vocal melodies, but there are definitely some new ideas at play. Speaking of Tom, there's a reason he's one of my favorite vocalists. He really outdoes himself here with immense range, even the amazing lows of "Black Undertow". His signature emotional style is intact, and he simply sounds great. I'm seriously impressed.

Being a big keyboard fan and also being a fan of Rikard's atmospheric style, I quickly noticed that "Hymns for the Broken" has a great deal more keys on it. Either that, or the mix is just way better. The mix is certainly way more professional and crisper than their last couple albums, but I think that Rickard has really gone out on a limb here with wild keys on such tracks as "Barricades" and "A New Dawn", and he is simply more present from beginning to end.

Yet, the dual guitars sound as great as ever. Tom and Henrik lay down some incredibly heavy riffs on a few tracks, such as "A New Age", "Black Undertow", and especially the middle of "The Fire". All the riffs are really, really clean, and Jonas' drumming around them is sensational. Johan's bass, too, is utilized in new, atmospheric ways, and I also noticed an electronic element showing itself now and then. Overall, the Evergrey sound is here for sure, but there are some new variations that keep it completely fresh.

So, what more can be said about this album? It's Evergrey at their best, really. Although I still like "The Inner Circle" better (and also "Recreation Day"), I think "Hymns for the Broken" could be in the top three best they've made. It certainly does remind me of "The Inner Circle" at points with some of the choirs bits, the barren atmospheres, and the heavy guitars fronting a crystal clear background of keys. Yet, it's very much a different album than anything they've done. Honestly, I only have one complaint: no Carina on the album. I always look forward to hearing Tom and Carina sing together, but it wasn't to be here, and I'm sure there's a good reason.

Overall, then, "Hymns for the Broken" has something for Evergrey fans of every stripe. Whether it's the melodic metal of "King of Errors", the addictive nature of "A New Dawn" (second best track), the dark yet hopeful "Black Undertow", the emotional ballad "Missing You", the incredible instrumentals of "The Grand Collapse" (my favorite), or the funky sound of "The Aftermath", Evergrey hasn't missed a beat or made a bad track on this album. I'm sure glad they are back. This is already one of my most played albums of the year, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Review by 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.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Evergrey is just one of those bands that recently seems to make music that always good, but never truly great. Their brand of dark, emotional, energetic, heavy prog-metal on Hymns for the Broken is almost impossible to criticize objectively; it's well-played, full of excitement, and thoughtfully composed, but there remains some missing spark to make it fully connect with the listener. Still, Hymns for the Broken is a great collection of metal music that will greatly appeal to fans of the band, and probably win over more mainstream metal heads to more progressive leanings.

This time Englund and crew are chugging out loosely connected songs about unity, acceptance, and the struggle to give live meaning. At least that what's I read into it. The cover and surface of the songs give these themes a motif of a civil revolution, but this is only skin deep. The lyrics aren't quite as depressing as Evergrey's standard fare, but Englund's vocals are just as good as always. Everything this guy sings is full of emotion and power. He never phones it in, and seems to strive to reach new heights with his range, and just nails it. His masculine vocals are still one of the highlights of the band and probably the best thing about Hymns for the Broken.

Musically the band is playing in very familiar territory: five minute songs, heavy chugging supported by keyboard textures, juxtaposed by the occasional dynamic or tonal shift to something down-tempo but not-quite-mellow. One thing I like about Evergrey is the exposed and straight-forward guitar soloing. More and more I hear modern prog metal bands creating such layered overdubs that sometimes soloing becomes lost or too busy to enjoy; not so here. While the group's performances aren't the most creative, they are just plain rock solid, which is refreshing.

But like I said before, Hymns for the Broken lacks that "spark" that really captures me. It's fun for a heavy, badass bit of crunchy metal, but it lacks the depth and variety to sustain it's 60 minute run time. There are no real stand-up-and-shout moments, just massive, dark, epic chugging. Sometimes that's just what you need, and Evergrey delivers. Recommended for fans of the band or if you need something heavy for your collection that features clean vocals unique among all the growling and soprano sustains the genre is known for.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Swedish band EVERGREY have been a presence in the metal circuit since 1998, with nine studio albums to their name at the time of writing. "Hymns for the Broken" is the most recent of these, and was released through German label AFM Records in the fall of 2014.

I understand that the circumstances behind the creation of this album wasn't the easiest, and that the line-up of the band was revamped while this CD was recorded. The members who left have been replaced by old hands though, so as far as line-up alterations goes these ones presumably weren't the most dramatic as such, at least not for long time fans of the band.

I'm not overly familiar with the past exploits by this band, but did encounter what appears to have been one of their weaker albums a few years back, a production called "Monday Morning Apocalypse", and while not what I'd describe as a bad album as such, at least not these days, it is a CD that y and large left me a bit indifferent. This time around I'm rather more impressed on this band's take on what I think might be described as an accessible variety of progressive metal.

Relatively short and tight songs appears to be a specialty of this band, at least in their current line-up, and they use a select few approaches and arrangements to very good effect throughout. Generally speaking, the songs will have an opening section, either gentle or more in your face, and an intermediate build-up and transition phase may also appear prior to hitting an initial verse section, which will often be relatively gentle, in the context of that particular song. A chorus section follows, at times with a transitional phase leading into it, and the chorus section will by and large be honing in on a more majestic arrangement, at times fairly grandiose at that, where guitar riffs and riff barrages, surging, floating or orchestral oriented keyboard textures and a wandering piano motif is paired off with the powerful, emotional lead vocals of band leader Tom Englund. Usually we'll have another transition phase back to the verse again after this, and the second and following verses tends to be harder edged or more majestic in construction than the initial ones. Some interludes and usually one or more breaks are then tucked into appropriate places in between whatever verse and chorus sections remains, and the compositions then ends in some manner or other, with everything from gentle lead outs and sudden stops to transitional phases into the following track and elongated fadeouts employed.

A key feature throughout are the emotional lead vocals of Tom Englund, who is a quality powerful singer, but a more subtle recurring detail is the elegant use of the piano to add a gentler and delicate touch to the proceedings, functioning at times brilliantly as a contrast to the more powerful sounds that dominates the greater majority of the compositions.

While I do find this album to be an enjoyable and solid one throughout, with only a token few creations not quite as interesting at the others, the most impressive composition has been tucked in towards the end here. The Grand Collapse is the name of this particular song, and besides using the aforementioned elements to a higher level of superiority here, this is also a creation that sports a more liberal use of instrumental passages, some extremely effective gentler, atmospheric laden interludes but also a piece that sports perhaps the most majestic, dramatic arrangements on this CD as well. Stronger contrasts, more focus on instrumentation and perhaps even a stronger focus on the dramatic and majestic too. Whatever the more appealing elements may be if this song is broken down and analyzed is hard to place, and for me it is the grand totality, all these elements combined in just this manner, that makes the end result here as impressive. As far as individual tracks go, this one is high on my list of favorites from 2014.

All in all, a rather impressive album by this Swedish band, a solid quality production with a fdew weak spots and a potent, vital breath of fresh air thrown in towards the end. Those who have a tendency to enjoy dramatic, majestic and accessible progressive metal, arguably with half a foot or so inside a power metal or symphonic metal sphere of reference, should most likely treasure the contents of this production.

Latest members reviews

4 stars One of the stronger Evergrey albums, "Hymns For The Broken" is what one expects from Evergrey--dark progressive metal that doesn't get too technical, doesn't break any new ground, yet still delivers some fantastic music. Fans of '90s style progressive metal will find a lot to like here. The f ... (read more)

Report this review (#2902732) | Posted by Idaho | Thursday, March 30, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For my first review, I've decided to write about my favorite release of 2014: Evergrey's Hymns for the Broken. The truth is, this was my first time listening to Evergrey. Sure, I'd heard of the Sweden-based band. I just hadn't listened to them. For whatever reason, they were never recommended by ... (read more)

Report this review (#1327887) | Posted by Mebert78 | Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Since Thomas Englund discovered his vocal abilities go beyond dark baritone croon about alien abductions and doomsday cults towards an anthemic emotional experience, Evergrey has joined the burgeoning ranks of radio-friendly prog-lite metal bands. Rarely has a title like Hymns for the Broken ref ... (read more)

Report this review (#1289206) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, October 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is one of the best of the year! All the classic elements are here Dark Themes about the struggles we battle within ourselves as humans and Tom Englund knows how to relay that to his fans, his emotional singing grabs you with every note the Keyboards give that atmosphere of doom and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1288724) | Posted by metalrob4662 | Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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