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Evergrey

Torn

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve had this disc sitting around for a while waiting to be reviewed. I keep wondering why I didn’t do it right off the bat. The truth is, as great a band as Evergrey is, this is far from their best work. It’s still quite a good disc, but these guys are capable of creating some really interesting music. It seems like someone (either someone in the band or someone in management or at the label) came up with the idea that they should focus on more mainstream, ultraheavy modern metal. The effect is a lot of individual tracks that are good, but when taken as a whole tend to bog down and feel way too samey. It’s a shame because the closing piece is the strongest on the set and the most like what I associate as being Evergrey. It’s just that by the time you get there it’s all so monolithic that you’ve kind of lost interest. Again, that all makes this a good album that could have been a great album with some more variety.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Broken Wings

It starts just a little tentatively, but then pounds out into metal fury. This is a real screamer. It does have a dropped down motif later, though.

Soaked
Somehow this one makes me thing of a much heavier Kiss. It’s another great tune.
Fear
This is a really ferocious piece. It’s powerful with overlying layers, too. It’s just plain mean. It almost feels like it runs straight into the next piece. 
When Kingdoms Fall
They bring this one in with a style that’s similar to the previous track, but it is a bit slower and more moody. They drop it way down to a dramatic, mellower metal ballad motif for the first vocals. It has quite a few changes and is really the first track here that I’d consider prog metal as it’s got plenty of interesting alterations to it. 
In Confidence
There’s a more emotional element here, but not at the expense of the metal fury. Indeed, this is a real screamer. It’s another that makes me think of Kiss just a little. 
Fail
Although this one starts off mellower, it quickly shifts out to some uber heavy sounds. This is another ferocious one. It has a mellower, slower moving section that plays a nice contrast, though. 
Numb
There’s a more modern metal element to this. It’s incredibly heavy and frantically energized and reminds me a little of something like Godsmack. We get a tasty melodic metal movement later. 
Torn
As the title track pounds in, there’s a feeling of, not another heavy onslaught – it’s all starting to sound the same. They drop it back to a moody melodic ballad approach for the verse, though – bringing some variety to the table. It powers back out for the choruses, but that intricate and mellower verse sets up enough contrast to keep it from being too monolithic. This is one of the highlights of the set. It’s another track that I would probably call progressive metal, but only barely so. 
Nothing is Erased
Another super heavy and ferocious track, this is much too much like a lot of the rest of the album. The only thing saving it (besides the mellower drop down with some cool keyboards) is the fact that we had a little variety in the last number to make this stand out a little.
Still Walk Alone
Guess what? It’s another super heavy tune. This is a great song taken by itself, but by this point it’s all starting to sound the same – and a little pedestrian for Evergrey. 
These Scars
By this point it’s just way too monolithic –at least for the bulk of the track. It’s a good tune, but it just doesn’t have anything to make it stand out from the rest. They include an almost progressive rock meets R&B motif later with some female vocals and that is really the most original and unique thing on the set. It’s too bad it went this late for any real innovation. It really works through some interesting territory from there. It’s just too late to really make much of a difference.
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