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Evership - Evership II CD (album) cover

EVERSHIP II

Evership

 

Neo-Prog

3.91 | 171 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 407

Evership is an American progressive rock band which is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Evership is a created project of the composer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Atkinson. Many of Evership's songs were written long before the project began. Some were between five and ten years old. The band had already enough material for some more albums. After choosing the material for their debut album, Evership ended up to release their eponymous debut studio album in 2016.

In recent years we have seen resurgence of the classic progressive sounds of the 70's, in many acts around the world. Almost all those acts drink their influences in the classic bands of the 70's. Evership started their journey from another angle. For them, it's more the prog of US rock scene that proves their base, Kansas, Styx, Boston and, of course, many British acts, like early Queen. But, what is most interesting in Evership's music is that they don't simply sound like they are trying to recapture the essence of that era, but they somehow manage to sound like they actually are from that era.

After the release of their eponymous debut studio album, the band was invited to perform at the prestigious 2017 Rite Of Spring (RoSFest), the progressive rock festival in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But, the beginning of life of Evership wasn't easy. Evership made a very long journey to be able to make their debut album. It took ten years in the making of it. But luckily, the band managed to release the successor of their 2016 album "Evership" in a much shorter time frame. What took ten years for the first album, took only ten months for the second. The album was simply called "Evership II".

So, "Evership II" is the second studio album of Evership and was released in 2018. The line up on the album is Beau West (lead vocals), James Atkinson (lead guitars), John Rose (lead, rhythm, classical and slide guitars), Shane Atkinson (vocals, keyboards, drums and percussion) and Ben Young (bass and Chapman stick).

The majority of Evership's material fits roughly into the time span of between eight to twelve minutes, which seems an appropriate length to develop their stories and musical themes. There are two main reasons that make the band hit their target on "Evership II", which are great performances and razor sharp song writing. The voice of West takes you deep into a kind of Steve Walsh. He's expressive, soaring, fragile, yet bold and capable of whisking you off to other lands at a chorus's notice. Flanked by the keyboards, drums, percussion and occasional vocals of the man who creates the music, on one side, and the fulcrum's brother, James on guitar on the other, the trio make a formidable force and one that is never over exposed. For unlike a lot of "modern" prog, the aim here isn't to dazzle and impress, it's to engage and excite. That means play music, know where the space should be and never overstep the mark into the leniency. A mark that the 70's prog artists seemed be able to live by in a way that many of those who have followed them couldn't.

"Evership II" has five tracks. The first track "The Serious Room", as I mentioned above, was taken from the RosFest prog festival of Gettysburg in 2017. It can be compared to the opener of their debut, "Silver Light". It's somber and moody. West's voice is powerful and expressive, and I particularly love the orchestral swells that compliment the solos as the song finishes out. The second track "Monomyth" is the first highlight on the album. It's a more driving number, a diverse piece of music with melodic lines over epic chords. Musically speaking the track includes both delicate moments and parts that are working towards nice climaxes. The third track "Real Or Imagined" is a great musical journey with an ephemeral acoustic intro, a midsection reminiscent of Rush, and a final section with big and strong melodies and a refrain that will be stuck in your head for weeks. The fourth track "Wanderer" is the introspective path that winds and curves to prepare you for the massive album's closer, "Isle Of The Broken Tree", which is a continuation of the track "Ultima Thule" from their previous debut album. The fifth track "Isle Of The Broken Tree" is the magnum opus of the album. It covers so much musical ground that it goes from rock to blues to prog, somehow managing to keep your attention with hooks and jams, without repeating itself. The build is slow, patient and rewarding, really. The Boston/Kansas hybrid that they create is utterly compelling. This is an excellent track to close this amazing prog work.

Conclusion: Evership have produced another thoroughly entertaining outing. It's epic in scope and showing all the virtuosity at their disposal, without being self-conscious. "Evership II" is one of those albums that just keeps revealing itself with every listen, and is a perfect worthy follow up to their debut. Each time I listen to the album, a new chorus gets stuck in my head, or a new section stands out to me. The two albums together cover such a wide range of musical and emotional ground that they act very well as complimentary albums. Evership is definitely a band to keep your eyes open to them. Evership isn't so well known, but they deserve to be, and this second outing only cement their growing reputation. This band deserves a bigger fan base and more attention for her beautiful music. It's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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