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Everwood - The Ravens Nest CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.39 | 8 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Playing within the frame, creating some bends but not breaking it

I received this promotional album from this Hungarian band, since I was intrigued about them after reading some favorable reviews, saying that they were the hope of progressive metal and reading good reviews of their previous album "Mind Games".

This album is made up of three stories written by the keyboard player, Attila Tanczer: The White Angel (tracks 1-4), Quiet Valley (tracks 5-8) and The Raven's Nest (tracks 9-15). When you put the CD in your computer, you can read those stories while listening to the music. I will not tell the stories here and let the people who get this to discover it themselves.

The band plays power/symphonic prog-metal with clear vocals seems to be the order of the day with some nice additions of the keyboards putting in some electronic sounds and other more exotic sounds. The songs are not too complex (and I am not sure they aimed to do so anyway), but they do deliver a dynamic experience, with the pulsating riffs and the melodic vocals and keyboards.

While they keep the structure of their songs in the usual frames, they do "go about" and let the instruments perform a solo or toy a bit with the music. But as a whole, it is tightly controlled, and they might consider allowing more room for development, more space to let the songs grow and break out of the mainframe, going beyond the pre-structured mold. Where it seems they let it "break out", it is not really the case, since it is a sort of pause allowing one of the instruments to have its solo spot; there is no real break or change in the format of the song.

Another thing is that there seems to be at times, some sense of repetition, as if I've heard this same riff and same musical passage in the previous song. That is, there should be more emphasis on the individuality of each particular song. This is not a major problem, but a minor issue which seemed to come back from time to time.

One more thing I find lacking is the bass which is too "hidden" from hearing and I could only make it out well in a part of Silent Wind where it had a nice line. The bass, when "let loose" can do wonders and add so much to the music, rather than just accompany it.

A nice feature I like about the band, apart from their catchy melodies, the playfulness and experimentation of the keyboards and their vigorous approach, is the richness of their sound, the volume of the music as it reaches my ears, which is something that is shared with other symphonic metal bands, as they're often called.

It is obvious that they know their stuff and what they like, but where the band truly shines is in tracks like Prelude which is the first part of "The Raven's Nest" story. This is an instrumental intro, which shows both their influences but their own sound as well. This shows more than in any other song, their progressive tendencies, their eagerness to go beyond the frame and boundaries they seem to be playing inside of in most of the other tracks.

Now, my view of this album is that it is good but nothing too special to make me recommend it wholeheartedly or with too much enthusiasm. I can recommend it specifically to people into this particular type of metal and maybe to several metal heads, given that they are inclined to this style. If someone asks for a recommendation for a symphonic/prog metal band, I'll probably mention them though not as first choice but otherwise if asked for prog-metal, this will not be the direction I will be thinking of.

Yes, it has its interesting features in each song, and some are better than others ("Run To My Fate", "Unbroken", "Can't Rain Forever" and "The Marching Of Time" are good examples), but that is just it. I find it to be a good album, but not much more. I can't say it's a great album, an excellent addition to your collection or anything of that sort. I can enjoy this, but it is not memorable. I am sure some will say this is an excellent and accomplished prog-metal, which I can understand, but not share the impression. What I can say is this: The Raven's Nest is a more than decent album, nicely executed, melodic and with high energy and it will appeal to fans of power/progressive metal. I might return to listen to it several more times in the future.

avestin | 3/5 |


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