01.Leave it Behind
05. Restoring the Loss
06. To Fit The Mold
07. Out of Reach
08. The Phantom Letters
09. The Disease…
10. It Comes From Within
12. I’m Drowning Alone
13. …And The Distance
I am a huge fan of Evergrey; always have been. Their mix of beautiful singing from Tom S. Englund and the epic music behind him has always captured me. Recreation Day and The Inner Circle are without question two of my top 50 records of all time. And yes, I did post something saying you should listen to Evergrey on this very website. However, I came into this review like anyone should: completely free of bias. So expect a completely fair and honest opinion, and one that I have been working quite a bit to perfectly state my opinion.
The album opens with “Leave it Behind,” and as soon as the band kicks in, you feel like you have heard this before; and you basically have. The tempo, chord progression, and feel is exactly like Bullet For My Valentine‘s “Your Betrayal“. It does it’s job as on opener, however, as it is a strong track, with Tom’s voice soaring over the mix.
Unfortunately, the next track, “You“, is mostly forgettable, with a forgettable chorus and forced vocals (though the last minute and a half of the tune is great). And this is a theme with Glorious Collision. For every 2 or 3 great tracks, their is that track that’s there for filler purposes. Tracks like “I’m Drowning Alone“, “Free“, “…And the Distance” are nowhere near the quality that Evergrey is known for. They could’ve easily been omitted these tracks, as the album runs an hour long. Also, maybe it is because they have 8 albums under their belt now, the album occasionally sounds like a “best-of” compilation, rather than all original tunes. I would’ve loved to see a bit more evolution.
Tom’s voice is obviously what most people (including me) will be looking for. And as much as it pains me to say, the vocal quality has gone down since previously releases. His range has noticeably gone down, and when he tries to reach the high notes, like in “…And the Distance“, it just sounds bad. And even when sticking in his most comfortable range, it occasionally sounds off. While he is still a very good vocalist, the decay is just setting in.
Musically, there is improvement. The guitar playing is definitely impressive, going absolutely nuts in some solos. The bass is strong in the mix. The drumming doesn’t really do much to impress, which is a bummer, but it does keep a powerful beat. The production is very good. The guitar tone is VERY heavy when it wants to be, like in “Out of Reach“. The drum tone also feels pretty organic. The bass drum doesn’t sound triggered at all, which I love.
Lyrically, it’s pretty standard fare. Self-realization and truth. However, one lyric from “To Fit the Mold” stands out.
“We’re on a constant search for someone to walk us through the storm, to help us when we are lost, to understand we are not alone.”
This lyric explains the feeling we all have been through at least once, and you connect with this lyric. It’s lyrics like these that make the entire song great.
What bothers me most about this album is that it took multiple listens to get into it, rather then clicking immediately like in previous Evergrey releases. It was hard to not just click stop and go to the new Amia Venera Landscape record. After three or four listens, though, the album does click with you.
This is a quality album, but this Evergrey fan is disappointed. It doesn’t show the quality that Evergrey is known for. This isn’t another Recreation Day or The Inner Circle, where every track is brilliant. But what I am most afraid of is this: this may very well be Evergrey’s last quality album. The decay is setting in in Tom’s voice, and the tracks, while strong, have a sense of unoriginality to them. So drink it in, Evergrey fans, for we may end up having to listen to Recreation Day to enjoy great Evergrey. Very soon.
Evergrey’s Glorious Collision gets…