Evergrey -
Hymns For The Broken

(CD 2014, 60:56, AFM)

The tracks:
  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(6:27)
  6- Barricades(4:57)
  7- Black Undertow(5:01)
  8- The Fire(4:11)
  9- Hymns For The Broken(4:59)
10- Missing You(3:25)
11- The Grand Collapse(7:46)
12- The Aftermath(7:25)

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I've always been a fan of the music of Evergrey mainly due to the wonderful, dark and melancholic voice of Tom Englund (read the interview). Sad but true the band never really made a commercial breakthrough and for a while it seemed that Glorious Collision (2011) was their swan song. Luckily that didn't happen and recently Evergrey released Hymns For The Broken, in my opinion their best album to date.

This new CD contains twelve great songs having amazing melodies, catchy choruses, heavy hooks and riffs, superb guitar solos and last but not least: breathtaking vocals by Englund. The album starts with the dark, instrumental piece The Awakening, which is in fact a kind of overture for King Of Errors, one of the highlights of this new record. It's also the first single of Hymns For The Broken, an amazing song which I can't get out of my head for a very long time. Archaic Rage is another highlight and The Fire is a remarkable song with its power riff and beautiful children's choir. Evergrey have saved the best songs for last, because the two epic pieces The Grand Collapse and The Aftermath are perfect examples of how progressive metal should sound like. Both songs have great melodies, lots of variation and are flooded with atmospheric keyboard patterns and grinding guitar sounds and solos.

However, above all there is that melancholic, deep and melodic voice of Tom Englund who sets the standard for this sort of music; very impressive. Hymns For The Broken is as good as it gets, being a metal roller coaster of very high quality. So, check it out and you won't be disappointed! Be sure to play this record at maximum volume, so that you can enjoy it even more. Evergrey is back and as far as I'm concerned with their best album ever!

****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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