Evergrey
Recreation Day


4.5
superb

Review

by KjSwantko USER (37 Reviews)
March 5th, 2012 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Evergrey's growth continues - this time with added harmony and power.

Evergrey’s Recreation Day is a dark, melodic progressive metal album that doesn’t fiddle around with the dizzying time signatures & bizarre complexities that we've been accustomed to from similar bands. Recreation Day takes a relatively bare-to-the-bones approach that emphasizes a mammoth atmosphere and songwriting that is easily digestible yet unconventional enough to slide in under the “progressive” title. If all aspiring groups took a page out of Evergrey’s book here, the genre wouldn’t be as stale and played-out with musicians battling one another with emotionless compositions built on mathematics and pointless 20 minute epics that could easily be trimmed down to 6 minutes.

As stated, the production and atmosphere of the record is perfectly done. Many of the songs have orchestral accenting in the background which contribute to the sheer power of the album as well as the aforementioned atmosphere. Much of the album's riffing is based on chugga-chugga variations that manage to come across as surprisingly enjoyable and fresh. The Great Deceiver wastes no time kicking off the record with a blazing solo and double bass rhythm before eventually moving into one such open chord sections after the verse (2:30) that gives a flash of brilliance from the band. I would usually categorize this riff section as "lame prog" due to the unnecessarily long, meandering riff, but the reality of it is that the song brings the metal hard and is virtually guaranteed to get heads bobbing in unison. Frankly, there's something to be said for raw, unaltered metal.

When it comes to ballads, the litmus test has always been how well it grabs us at our soul and evokes some feeling, whatever it may be. I’m Sorry was originally recorded by Swedish pop star Dilba, and Evergrey's heavier version passes the test while maintaining the simplicity of the original. It starts off with a simple piano melody before erupting into a hauntingly powerful chorus where Tom Englund serves us a relatable chorus- And I’m sorry, this illusion has caused you a lot of pain. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry… Again, the sound production is stellar and you’d be hard pressed to find something more grandiose that retains clarity. I'm Sorry is evidence enough of Englund's ability to take bland lyrics and carry them to distances far more vivid and interesting solely by drawing focus to the convincing pain and sorrow in his voice.

Recreation Day offers a lot in terms of variety. We've touched upon the raw heaviness and powerful choruses, but there is also an acoustic piece (Madness Caught Another Victim), touching piano work (Your Darkest Hour 3:23), and even an epic titled Trilogy of the Damned which extracts memorable melodies from previous Evergrey records and twists them into an entirely new sobering experience. One of the best things Evergrey did on this record was the inclusion of more piano work and pieces that do not have distorted guitars. This aspect has always been a part of Evergrey's identity, but here they expanded their horizons and took it a step further - with successful results.

Dynamic. Authoritative. Ornate. Choose your own adjective, but if you fancy progressive metal, power metal, or just quality heavy music in general, I recommend Recreation Day because it stands above the majority of comparable albums. While many of the songs on here are crushing and overachieving, there are a few weak links that prevent Recreation Day from being a perfect 5. Never the less, these minor blemishes are easily overshadowed by some gems that are at times nothing short of mesmerizing.



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user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
KjSwantko
March 5th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sup

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2012


8053 Comments


Good review, pos.

How come this didn't have a review?

Inner Circle continues to be my all time Evergrey favorite.

KjSwantko
March 5th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was surprised it wasn't done yet either, I've already done 2-3 of the other Evergrey reviews too. I seem to be the resident Evergrey expert around here.



I remember you saying you liked Inner Circle best, which is funny because it's like my 4th favorite album of there's. Still great though.

YouGotLucky
March 5th 2012


972 Comments


it's ILLUSION not solution

very underappreciated band btw

TheNotrap
March 5th 2012


9418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Enjoyable album indeed.



Nice work man, have a pos.

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

KjSwantko
March 5th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Trap.



@ yougotlucky, yeah you're right I did slightly combine the main chorus and the altered chorus towards the end of the song. Fixed.

macadoolahicky
March 5th 2012


1835 Comments


It's a good thing you reviewed this, because I knew I was going to review it soon if nobody did, and you're much better at reviewing than I am.

Great review. I think I like this a bit more than the album before it. Both are two of my favorite albums though.

KjSwantko
March 5th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. And I'd recommend giving In Search of Truth (the one before this) another spin because I think it's their best overall work. Cheers bro m/

macadoolahicky
March 6th 2012


1835 Comments


I've given all Evergrey albums a fair amount of spins, they were my favorite band for quite some time at one point. I have days where I want to listen to ISOT over this, but Recreation Day is just most certainly this band's most powerful release.

KjSwantko
March 6th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the more powerful record no doubt about it. Songs like Mark of The Triangle and Different Worlds still blow my mind though and keep me partial to that album



Either way they're both awesome.

Shuyin
March 10th 2012


13379 Comments


you seem to like this band alot, ima check'em out someday

got tons of new stuff now tho, so may take awhile :D

macadoolahicky
March 10th 2012


1835 Comments


This band is the shit.

You have your everyday average Joe shit, then you have Evergrey's shit.

Shuyin
March 10th 2012


13379 Comments


and then you have cannibal corpse m/

macadoolahicky
March 10th 2012


1835 Comments


Of course you would Shuyin xD

Yah, maybe I exaggerated a bit... but their shit's still the shit

Shuyin
March 10th 2012


13379 Comments


m/


i dont listen to prog metal that much but ill give this a spin, soon

tiesthatbind
March 10th 2012


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember not thinking too much of this the first time around, but this is growing on me now.

KjSwantko
March 13th 2012


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shuyin it's not overly-prog with gay time signatures....yeah give it a spin bro

CK
March 22nd 2013


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is actually unique to some extent. The keyboards aren't stereo-typical prog-metal bullshit and melodies are amazing. Tom Englund is probably my favorite clean vocalist in metal (cum@me)

tiesthatbind
March 22nd 2013


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The title track is soooooo good.

CK
March 22nd 2013


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The whole thing man, the whole thing. My favorite has to be End of Your Days or As I Lie Here Bleeding



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