A Decade And A Half



by Kris/KJ USER (37 Reviews)
August 18th, 2017 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A barely satisfying compilation of the titans of dark, power prog.

A Decade and a Half is a 2-disc compilation summarizing Evergrey’s career, which up to this point spanned eight full length albums; it includes two live versions of songs, as well as two other previously unreleased acoustic versions. The compilation is reflective of Evergrey and gives listeners a satisfactory journey through their catalogue, but falls victim to some key omissions and strange inclusions.

A Decade and a Half does not proceed in chronological order, and instead skips around in undiscernible fashion; for the hardened fan who is used to hearing songs in a specific order, this deviation is actually nice. The glaring omission of the album is maybe the group’s best song- “Mark of the Triangle,” which is also a mainstay of their live performances. I cannot for the life of me fathom why it would be excluded. Also perplexing, “I’m Sorry,” the highly popular heavy ballad from Recreation Day, which even had a music video, is also nowhere to be found.

“For Every Tear that Falls” and “Blackened Dawn” are included as live tracks extracted from the A Night to Remember DVD. Both of these are old songs from Evergrey’s 1998 debut record, and we can only speculate as to why these were put on as live tracks; it may be that the band wasn’t pleased with the production of their first record (which I would disagree with since the rough yet dark, cavernous sound of that album is awesome) or it could be as simple as a potential licensing issue. I can’t find any literature specifying. In similar fashion, the two acoustic tracks, “Wrong” and “Frozen,” are both from Evergrey’s oft-criticized album, Glorious Collision, which has notoriously flat production. In this case, the band includes both the original recording and the live acoustic version. Performing these songs in the acoustic manner was a wise choice as it enhances the songs and allows Tom Englund’s morose vocals to really shine through.

No compilation record can put out a perfect track listing that will appease all listeners, but there also has to be a point where common sense reigns supreme. I understand the urge to include multiple tracks from all their albums--even weaker ones like Glorious Collision and Monday Morning Apocalypse—but doing so while snubbing iconic staples like “Mark of the Triangle” isn’t really defendable. And we know it’s not a licensing issue since other songs from In Search of Truth are included here. Further still, why a relatively more bland song like “Fear” - that was never even used as a single, mind you - is here is yet another question. Why not opt for an “As I Lie Here Bleeding”, “Nosferatu”, or the unheralded gem of “Different Worlds”? Quality should always come first.

The record probably did what it was intended: create some revenue for the label, although not much else. A Decade and a Half had the potential to be a juggernaut of Evergrey’s best work, but it doesn’t do the kind of justice that one of the most passionate, deep, thoughtful bands ever deserves. In essence, Evergrey are Evergrey--which alone makes the album highly enjoyable--but listeners can gain far more going through their discography album-by-album. The old iceberg analogy sums this up- there’s much more substance beneath the surface than what this compilation can offer.

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user ratings (4)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 18th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

The more I think about it, omitting "Mark of the Triangle" and "I'm Sorry" is pretty egregious for any reason.

August 18th 2017


Cool read. Nowadays it's just easier for curious people to check various singles on YouTube and then hear the actual albums based on what they liked more.

Digging: Conception - State Of Deception

August 18th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Evo. That is true and it's unfortunate since half of the art is how the album meshes together as a whole. People miss a lot of the art in that sense.

Cheers m/

I think this finishes all the Evergrey albums that need reviews....except the From the Discovery...to the Recreation bonus disc that has an Yngwie Malmsteen cover song haha.

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