The Atlantic



by Scheumke USER (15 Reviews)
January 28th, 2019 | 60 replies

Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mature and adventurous, Evergrey's best record yet!

Evergrey’s career has been one of ups and downs. Never really getting the appreciation they deserve, they have always been one of those bands who couldn’t quite get on the power-metal hype train that contemporaries Kamelot and Sonata Arctica started in the early-to-mid 2000’s. Their music has always been a little more serious and a little more mature, their emphasis leaning more to the progressive side of the spectrum and less on the ‘silly’ or ‘cheesy’ aspects of the genre.

In a lot of ways, Evergrey’s discography is eerily similar to that of Soilwork. They both started their career with a couple of very strong and promising records, before falling from grace with multiple very mediocre ones. Yet recently both bands found renewed vigor and released their best material to date. For Evergrey, this came with 2014’s Hymns for the Broken. It was a concept record full of fresh ideas and a more mature vision to their songwriting. They then showed that this was not a one-time resurrection with 2016’s ‘The Storm Within’. It seems to me that this is where the similarities between Evergrey’s and Soilwork’s careers end though, because where Soilwork just released a record that, though consistent, was a slight letdown in comparison to their most recent outings, Evergrey releases their best music to date!

The Atlantic is, once again, a concept record. ‘Hymns for the Broken’ was the start of the story, focusing on uprising, anger and fire. ‘The Storm Within’, subsequently, was all about the storm and it will come as no surprise that ‘The Atlantic’ is all about the water. It’s a concept that is felt throughout the entirety of its 54 minute run-time. The best example of this is the bridge of ‘Weightless’. As the guitars slow down and the drums slowly start building, you can almost see the storm coming right towards you in your ship. It builds and gets more intense with every beat until the storm starts hitting, but you’re not quite there yet. The wind is there and rain starts pouring, but your ship is still steady. A dissonant guitar solo then gives way to the climax where you get pummeled by wave after wave, accentuated with deep drum hits and guitar riffing that is almost Slipknot like in its delivery.

Evergrey have at times been struggling with the amount of ‘metal’ they wanted to incorporate into their music. Although they’ve always clearly been a metal band, some albums are definitely more heavy than others. On ‘The Atlantic’, Evergrey have made it no secret which side of the coin is opted for and every sign points to this being the right choice. ‘A Silent Arc’ kicks out of the gate with the heaviest intro Evergrey has ever put on display. The almost desperate voice of Tom Englund carries the song before it gives way to a more melodic pre-chorus and chorus. Its subdued singing gives it a melodramatic vibe that complements the heaviness very well. It’s a juxtaposition that is implemented in a lot, if not most, of the songs on ‘The Atlantic’.

The instrumentation of Englund & Co. has always been airtight, focusing more on the bigger picture and giving every member small moments to shine, instead of putting their skills on a silver platter for all to taste. This has not changed, and though every member is pulling its weight, none of it is ‘in your face’. The drums are interesting and inventive when there’s room for it, but very functional most of the time. The rhythm section is tight and layered enough to keep it interesting and prevent the music from becoming just another riff-heavy metal band. The keys are there for the atmosphere mostly, but even it gets it time to shine when called for. The guitar solos are gorgeous and emotional and reflect the music very well. A special shout out is needed to Tom Englund’s singing though. He has always had a very distinctive voice that is a little bit love or hate, and can definitely get tedious after a while, yet on ‘The Atlantic’ he is more versatile then ever. He uses his entire register more and to better effect than on previous outings, giving depth and emotion the upper hand. It gives the impression that he feels that he has nothing to prove to anyone, and it makes the deliverance that much more self-assured.

Though the first half of the album has some of the best songs in Evergrey’s discography (A Silent Arc, Weightless and A Secret Atlantis are all top 10 Evergrey songs material), the second half loses a little bit of its focus. ‘End of Silence’, ‘Currents’ and ‘The Beacon’ are just a slight cut below the other songs on here. Luckily these three are broken up by the fantastic semi-balad ‘Departure’. The album also ends on a very high note with ‘This Ocean’. Where the heaviness of the first songs feel like the angst of the unknown future, the heaviness of the album closer is the pummeling of self-confidence and battle readiness. It’s the ‘FREEDOM’ or ‘LEEROOOYY’ of facing the waves head on and it makes the entire album a true journey to enjoy, rather than a collection of songs.

With ‘The Atlantic’, Evergrey show that they are more alive than ever. They have created a journey that is mature, very well thought-through and has everything fans could want. Will it bring them the praise they deserve? Who knows? I surely hope it will, god knows they deserve it.

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user ratings (72)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

This deserves much love. Give it to em, this here is great!

January 28th 2019


Hey, pretty great read Scheumke. I love the attention to detail throughout the review! I like your writing style.

Just a couple edits:
Starting their career with a couple of very strong and promising records before falling from grace with multiple very mediocre ones.
*fragment, consider revising to "They started their career..."
key’s // solo's
*these do not need apostrophes
Thought the first half of the album
‘End of Silence’, ‘Currents’ and ‘The Beacon’ are just a slight cut below the other songs on here. Luckily these three are broken up by the fantastic semi-balad ‘Departure’. The album also ends on a very high note with ‘This Ocean’.
*Consider in the future elaborating a bit, because it's easy to say a song is "good" or "bad", but readers will want to know why.
Also, just a suggestion:
Use [ i ] text [ /i ] (without the spaces around the i's) to italicize certain text. This comes in handy when trying to distinguish between song titles, album titles, and lyrical quotations so that you don't need to rely on " or ' for everything. And this is no fault of yours again, just another suggestion, perhaps copy/paste full-width question marks (?) where you would normally place them, because this site is buggy unfortunately and it converts ? to ".

I pos'd though, this was a solid review and an entertaining read. I've never listened to this band before but the album art captured my attention and I'm planning to start here.

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

January 28th 2019


Still yet to listen to this album in full but I love evergrey's previous 2 releases.

January 28th 2019


Good review too. Have a pos.

January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

Hey man, thank you so much the read and the feedback! Will edit it right away. The ? and italicize options are very handy to know . Appreciate stuff like this a lot! I'm pretty new to writing so all help is welcome.

January 28th 2019


You're welcome! A lot of it is just getting used to the outdated site code and its many bugs, so cheers for putting up with it!
I'll listen to this sometime this week, I can't resist a good concept album.

January 28th 2019


the band's instagram followed me but then unfollowed shortly thereafter so i was kinda skeptical about checking this cuz they did me dirty like that but i ended up enjoying it somewhat so yea whatever

January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

My first feature. Thanks guys! Love you all.

January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

I gave up on Evergrey after "Monday Morning Apocalypse". Glad they have returned to form. Nothing will ever top "In Search of Truth" for me, though.

January 28th 2019


Damn that album art is power metal as fuck lol. I'll check this

Digging: Ultravox - Vienna

January 28th 2019


I think I’ve only ever heard “In Search of Truth” from these guys. May check this thanks to your enthusiastic review

January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album gets better with each listen.

Have a pos

Digging: Humanity's Last Breath - Abyssal

January 28th 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

this was so boring, sigh

Digging: Joni Mitchell - Song to a Seagull

Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2019


Great review man! Nice to see you writing often. I wasn't too excited about the singles but I'll give it a whirl. Pos'd!

Digging: Cross Record - Cross Record

January 29th 2019


dang this is better than in search of truth?

January 29th 2019


might check

Digging: Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

January 29th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

@Source: To me it is, but I guess just give it a whirl and see for yourself :P.

Thanks for the pos' guys!

January 29th 2019


Band rules, super excited to listen

January 29th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

Overall good review and I pos'd, but "A Silent Arc, Weightless and A Secret Atlantis are all top 10 Evergrey songs material" is crazy lol. Those songs albeit good arent even remotely close to tracks like Solitude Within, Mark of the Triangle, Different Worlds, etc.

January 29th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

I love Torn... prob my fav Evergrey album...

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