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Evership - Evership CD (album) cover

EVERSHIP

Evership

 

Neo-Prog

4.01 | 192 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 478

The American Nashville based progressive rock band Evership is the brainchild of the songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and producer Shane Atkinson. Many of Evership's songs were written long before the project began. Some were between five and ten years old. So, the band had already enough material for four or more albums. After choosing the material for the debut album of Evership in 2009, life circumstances halted production until 2013, when Shane closed the music production company to focus on the release and production of the album. At that time Shane met Beau West, the lead vocalist. On the album Shane plays drums, keyboards, and a variety of other unusual instruments. Most of the electric, acoustic and classical guitars were played by the classically trained guitarist Rob Higginbotham. Shane's brother, James, played almost all the acoustic and lead guitars. Finally, the bassist Jaymi Millard completed the tracks.

So, "Evership" is the eponymous debut studio album of Evership and was released in 2016. The line up on the album is Beau West (lead vocals) and Shane Atkinson (vocals, keyboards, drums, percussion, Theremin, chapman stick, dulcimer, experimental guitar, sound design and orchestrations). The album had also the participation of many other musicians, Mike Priebe (backing vocals), James Atkinson (acoustic and lead guitars), Rob Higginbotham (classical, acoustic and electric rhytm guitars), Dan Smalley (classical guitar), Brandon Vestal (electric guitar), Jaymi Millard (bass), Nicelle Priebe (violin) and choir director Charles Heimermann and the singers of the Nashville Symphony Choir.

"Evership" consists out of five long tracks, each around ten minutes long and a concluding section of two minutes. It's a 70's inspired American prog album. Still, throughout this album, it never sounds like Evership are trying to emulate the great bands from the past. Instead they sound exactly like they are one of those great bands from the past. Kansas being the most obvious touching point, but Styx also enters the equation, as do early Queen, and to give an indication of just how strong the vocal and guitar melodies and many of the harmonies are, so do Boston. The performances are engaging, constantly drawing you into its enigmatic tracks. The music is brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed, unpredictable and engaging with its symphonic melodies with soaring vocals and complex energetic instrumental displays. The arrangements, the spiralling keyboards, driving guitars and buoyant bass lines are solely the instruments to convey the fragile beauty of the harmonies wrapped into the lyrics sang by West, who nails the vocal parts with a fantastic delivery. The juxtaposition of many synths leads and the choruses on it accentuates its magnificent sound.

Thus, about the six tracks, "Silver Light" sets the things up well with its sweeping keyboards and a fine solo guitar line before the vocals from West are introduced. With its excellent dynamics and the good use of the keyboards throughout, this is a great opening track. "A Slow Descent Into Reality" is divided into six parts, "Everyman", "A Slow Descent", "Wisdom Of The Ages", "Honest With Me", "The Battle Within" and "Anyman". This is a strong piece with echoes and stylings of Kansas in the era of the classic "Point Of Know Return", especially in the keyboard and guitar passages. West does a great job here. With its multi-layered harmonies, this is a very impressive piece. "Evermore" is divided into two parts, "Eros" and "Agape". It's a very well crafted love song, opening with more fine guitar lines before the delicate vocal emerges, accompanied by a piano melody. It has a gentle and heartfelt vocal. This is a very emotive song with some great harmonies, another strong piece on the album. "Ultima Thule" follows with a fine acoustic guitar and piano segment adding to West's voice. This piece develops into a beautiful ballad like song with great vocal melodies. I also love the keyboard parts and the choir in the end. "Flying Machine" is divided into three parts, "Dreamcarriers", "Dream Sequence" and "Lift". It's another epic with a fine vocal and some very interesting sounds in the background, adding emphasis and tone to a great track. Lovely piano and keyboards throughout and a gentle acoustic guitar add more Kansas touches, the song moving into a heavier section with a strong guitar rhythm and more keyboards supporting the vocals. "Approach" is a short closing to the album with a low rumbling noise, a curious ending for this great album.

Conclusion: "Evership" is a magnificent album full of great melodies and beautiful vocal lines. The sound has some AOR influences but with the violin I had to think strongly of Kansas really, which isn't a strange thing. Also the names of Queen, Boston and Styx crossed my mind, which isn't a strange thing too. But, it's much more than that. The music sounds fresh and uplifting to my ears. The style is bombastic in places yet moody and quiet in others. The singer Beau West impressed me with his vocal qualities. West has a great voice for this style of music and turns in some wonderful performances. The use of the choir on some of the pieces is very nice too. This is an album with no weak points. If you enjoy well crafted intelligent prog rock with a touch of romantic classical music, this album could be the right up to you.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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