Evership -
The Uncrowned King, Act 2

(CD 2022, 57:55, Atkinsong Productions LLC)

The tracks:
  1- The Voice Of The Night(3:30)
  2- Missive Pursuits(8:30)
  3- The Law Of Ages(6:56)
  4- Coronation(8:22)
  5- The Voice Of The New Day(5:04)
  6- Nobody(7:31)
  7- Fading Away(5:59)
  8- Uncrowned(8:06)
  9- Pilgrim's Reprise(3:56)

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About the previous album The Uncrowned King, Act 1 (2021, see review) by this USA five piece band I wrote Evership its music is beyond original but it sounds very pleasant, especially if you like Seventies and Eighties Kansas, Styx and Journey. Well, during my first listening session of this new Evership album The Uncrowned King, Act 2, I notice that the band sounds more elaborate and less derivative than on The Uncrowned King, Act 1. The way they combine an accessible rock sound with strong vocal lines and inventive arrangements reminds me of Seventies Queen, but also early Saga. The 9 compositions (between 3 and 9 minutes) deliver a lot of variety, dynamics, tension and exciting musical ideas, it strongly appeals to the idea of a rock opera, embellished with tasteful work on guitar and keyboards, and topped with excellent vocals. My highlights.

First delicate classical guitar, then slow Minimoog runs join, blended with 'spacey' vocals in the spooky The Voice Of The Night.

A catchy beat with rock guitar, tight drums beats and powerful vocals, next the mighty Hammond organ and spectacular Minimoog synthesizer flights in the propulsive Missive Pursuits.

The Law Of Ages starts with tender piano, dreamy vocals and melancholy violin, then a sumptuous outburst with howling electric guitar runs, in a very intense atmosphere, and finally tender piano and vocals, violin and warm acoustic guitar, wow!

The Voice Of The New Day is a good example of the band's varied writing skills. First a cheerful climate with rock guitar, brassy synthesizer and powerful vocals (Michael Sadler from Saga), then the music alternates between mellow and bombastic, with a fine folky touch.

Uncrowned emphasizes the idea of a rock opera featuring a slow rhythm and bombastic climate with strong vocals, Hammond organ, propulsive rock guitar riffs and heavy guitar solo. Halfway tender piano, followed by flashy fat synthesizer solo and powerful drum beats, turning into an exciting sumptuous grand finale, wow.

The final track Pilgrim's Reprise is a strong goodbye. It opens with tender piano and soaring keyboards, then a slow rhythm and bombastic climate, with sensitive electric guitar, strong vocals and a propulsive rhythm-section. Finally a mellow atmosphere with fading synthesizer runs and chorus, simply beautiful.

My absolute highlight on this is album is the long and compelling ballad Nobody. First a dreamy intro with soaring keyboards, then romantic vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar, embellished mellow keyboards. Halfway the music turns into a slow rhythm, gradually the sound becomes more lush and powerful with intense vocals, a moving electric guitar solo and fat synthesizer flights. The final part contains first a mellow climate with tender piano, soaring keyboards, and dreamy vocals and electric guitar, then the mood shifts to more lush with powerful vocals, topped with subtle slide guitar, goose bumps!

What a stunning blend of Heavy Prog, AOR/melodic rock and Art-rock, highly recommended!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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