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Evergrey: Escape Of The Phoenix
Evergrey - Escape Of The Phoenix Album Art

Evergrey: Escape Of The Phoenix

Progressive/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Once more we meet Tom S Englund and Evergrey, the band he pioneered and has been leading since 1995 as vocalist, guitarist, composer, and principal lyricist. Escape Of The Phoenix, Evergrey's 12th studio album, was written during COVID-19 pandemic which, actually, offered Evergrey some positive benefits. With the lockdown, and unhindered by other, often demanding activities, Englund and company were able to be more focused on creating new music. Also, considering that Englund writes his introspective melancholic lyrics from personal experience, the pandemic likely gave him a great many matters to ponder.

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Evergrey

So then, musically speaking, Escape Of The Phoenix finds Evergrey at their finest, in their groove so to speak. Once more the band delivers expansive melodic power metal. As with past albums, the songs within are informed by modestly complex arrangements, dense and muscular textures from riffs and synths, spry guitar solos, and Englund's lead vocals and vocal harmony. While the singular musical framework may be heavy, dense, and sometimes fast music, all compositions offer strong song melody combined, often, with subtle rock rhythm and groove.

You'll hear this formula within Eternal Nocturnal, You From You, and the catchy opener Forever Outsider, a personal favorite. Alternatively, Evergrey dials things back for Stories. Led by Englund's voice over piano and synths the song expands to a dense and emotional ballad where the piano line continues and the guitar solo rises in Gilmour like fashion. Somewhat similar is The Beholder which features James LaBrie. It's another fine piano and vocal driven song which remains mostly soft and synth textured, but then gets dense and heavy with the strong guitar solo. Yet, Evergrey returns to things more heavy, dense, and rambunctious with Leaden Saint and Run, which finish the album. But, in the latter song, listen for the fine breakdown after the midpoint featuring a smooth guitar solo over synths and bass line before vocals rise again for a climactic conclusion.

By conclusion, Evergrey's Escape Of The Phoenix finds the band in fine form, once more offering fans well-crafted, passionate, and emotionally charged progressive power metal. Easily recommended.




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The Bottom Line

Evergrey's Escape Of The Phoenix finds the band in fine form, once more offering fans well-crafted, passionate, and emotionally charged progressive power metal. Easily recommended.

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