Review Summary: Was Evergrey able to recapture the magic found in their early material? Unfortunately, the answer is still “no.”
Evergrey’s claim to fame was largely derived from their dark, atmospheric instrumentals that incorporated progressive elements to form a sound distinctive to them. Since the completion of their 4th record, In Search Of Truth
, Evergrey has begun a steady directional change away from where it began; unfortunately, this change has been more destructive than beneficial. Further adding to an inevitable change in sound was the loss of bass-player Jari Kainulainen, guitarist Henrik Danhage, and drummer Jonas Ekdahl prior to this album. Never the less, Evergrey’s style has morphed so much that they hardly resemble the band many once called the most underrated in progressive metal. Glorious Collision
is in no way a bad record, but it doesn't shock the listener and fill them with the sensation that they're hearing something truly great.
My initial observation is how compressed the sound is in comparison to previous albums; it lacks the depth of prime Evergrey, and the bombastic bass-heavy sound found on Torn
. "Flat" is the word. Observation number two is how one-dimensional the drums in particular sound. Lastly, the guitar work and solos are okay but uninspired, as is nearly everything else. So why the 3.0 rating you ask? There is one constant that keeps Glorious Collision
afloat and achieving some degree of success- the passion in the vocals of Tom Englund and his uncompromising ability to create catchy vocal melodies. Frozen
, The Disease
, and I’m Drowning Alone
all follow similar song structures and rely on the vocals for their worth - which do enough to keep the listener somewhat engaged. The songs have value, but mostly in a radio-friendly sense.
The highlight of the record is the final track,…And The Distance
, which features Englund’s wife Carina on vocals; the two combine brilliantly to carry the listener on a ride that begins with a slow, somber intro and culminates with an powerful finish to conclude both the song and album. Also note that included is a bonus track with an abbreviated version of the song with only Carina singing, that helps add additional character to the record. Glorious Collision
has its moments but the songs bleed together and lack individuality, which for me is a classic sign that the album is missing something.
Have Evergrey lost the desire to be in the upper echelon of the genre again? I’m not sure. What we know with certainty is they’re releasing only “good” albums as opposed to albums consisting of carefully constructed pieces capable of dropping jaws and creating fans with one listen. With all this said, Glorious Collision
is a “good” album that does have catchy songs and enjoyable melodies, but ultimately lacks relevance and is forgettable in the grand scheme of things - especially when compared to vintage Evergrey.