Evergrey – Glorious Collision
Sweden’s Evergrey are widely touted as being at the forefront of the current progressive metal movement, but Glorious Collision leaves me wondering how much longer fans will be patient following a string of less-than-stellar albums. This latest album has its moments, but it’s difficult for any band to maintain a high level of consistency over 13 songs in 60 minutes. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll state my problem with too many albums—they’re too long and have too many songs. Glorious Collision is a textbook example of the failure of bands to put forth the best 8 songs for an album. Throw out the weakest songs here – “You”, “Out Of Reach”, “The Disease…”, “Wrong”, and “I’m Drowning Alone” – and immediately this would be a superior record. The biggest doubt with Glorious Collision was how extensive personnel changes would affect the album. The songwriting core of the band is intact, however, and the new members do a great job. “Leave It Behind Us” starts the album acceptably, but things quickly go south with “You” and “Wrong”. Only when “Restoring The Loss” and “To Fit The Mold”, the best songs on the album, kick in does my attention pick up. The rest of the album then continues to meander through mid-tempo melodies that feature great vocals and some solid playing, but there’s simply too little that’s compelling. Another problem is the placement of the vocals waaaaay too far up in the mix. I love Tom Englund’s voice, but hearing it so prominently throughout gets tiring on these ears. I wish I could find more to like here, but multiple listens have failed to spark the love I used to have for Evergrey. Fan reaction to Glorious Collision seems to be very much split, so you’ll probably still want to give this a spin if you’ve read this far.
Evergrey performs tonight, Tuesday, September 27 at Station 4 in St. Paul with support from Sabaton, Blackguard, Powerglove, and The Absence.