And to think Tom Englund and Evergrey were going to throw in the towel, cease to be, expire and gone to meet 'is maker, rest in peace. Sorry. I couldn't help myself with the Monty Python reference. It's been only a short hiatus, and it appears inspiration has once more sparked the creative fire of the band.
Hymns For The Broken, whether by it's title or the content within, is classic Evergrey. Perhaps even the early and young Evergrey returning to sound more mature and, can we say, more energetic. The dark themes and dense arrangements return and remain with this work. Deep heavy riffs, swelled by symphonic synths and light piano in minor keys continue to bring a mixture of emotion and foreboding. Englund seems to be revived, given a second breath, for his vocals are equally emotional and passionate. His dark melancholy and pause seem to have received an adrenaline jolt (without turning him into some glossy melodic hard rock star).
But in all this, Hymns For The Broken has this bold and enormous sound which surrounds you, then alternatively seems to overwhelm or nearly crush you in its resolve. You'll certainly feel this way with Archaic Rage, the blistering Barricades, and the darker Black Undertow. Yet all these are laced with deliberate light moments, perhaps to ease the aggression to your ears. In The Fire, it comes with voices of a childlike choir, while still charging along. Some curious, somewhat different songs can be found. The title track tries to approach its name, but it's less 'hymn' and more a bristling heavy number wanting to sound epic. More akin to the 'hymnlike' quality might be found within The Aftermath, thanks to developing steady pace, gentle piano, and smoother focused vocals. Moving carefully and swelling to conclusion, there's almost Gilmour-esqe guitar line throughout. There is one peaceful moment within Hymns For The Broken with Missing You, where Englund's voice lilts over a delicate, yet lightly dark, piano.
Finally, of all the requisite elements necessary for another Evergrey album, I found one of the best elements was the guitar lines and leads throughout. From the bold and fiery lines in King of Errors, I looked forward to hearing more in every song and was not disappointed. While I can generally pass on the sadness and melancholy of dark melodic metal, Evergrey continue to be masters of their craft, and fans will be pleased. Recommended.
Hymns For The Broken, whether by it's title or the content within, is classic Evergrey. Perhaps even the early and young Evergrey returning to sound more mature and, can we say, more energetic.
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