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(67:43 / Burning Star Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Pure Awakening 1:41 2. Another World 4:04 3. The Marching of Time 5:02 4. Like a Miracle 6:08 5. Run To My Fate 9:28 6. Unbroken 4:31 7. Behind Your Smile 2:39 8. Leaves of November 3:41 9. Prelude 3:49 10. Can't Rain Forever 4:12 11. Silent Wind 6:54 12. Days Of Eternity 6:16 13. The Trial 3:47 14. Escape To Death 2:06 15. Redemption 3:15 LINEUP: Balazs Koncz - vocals Ferenc Farkas - guitars Viktor Erdos - bass Tamas Szabo - drums Attila Tanczer - keyboards
Prolusion. "The Raven's Nest" by Hungarian quintet EVERGREY is a follow-up to their debut release "Mind Games" from 2005.
Analysis. Not too much to say here (especially if without resorting to those trite expressions that seem have been roaming all around the progressive rock press since its appearance on the Internet), because, well, these musicians have thoroughly examined the work of Dream Theater. Signs of the legacy of the most influential contemporary Prog-Metal band are to be found on most of this disc's fifteen tracks, precisely two thirds of those finding Everwood almost strictly following the blueprints laid down by their mentors in the early '90s (in other words on "Images & Words":-). Eight of the ten Dream Theater-style numbers, Another World, The Marching of Time, Run To My Fate, Unbroken, Leaves of November, Silent Wind, Days Of Eternity and The Trial, are creations of symphonic Prog-Metal, all steering roughly somewhere halfway between Call Me Under and Learning to Live, while the remaining two, Like a Miracle and Redemption, are both complicated ballads very much in the vein of Another Day. As the adherents of what is currently regarded as a model of classic contemporary prog-metal sound, Everwood have polished their craft quite well, building their songs with crunchy guitar riffs, lush keyboards, pounding drums, wailing vocals a-la James La Brie and so on. Of course, all the significant features determining the style are here in abundance also, e.g. frequent shifts of pace, theme and mood, complex stop-to-play movements, odd time signatures, extended instrumental sections with occasional semi-acoustic and keyboard-laden textures, and the like. The tracks on which Everwood reveal more identity to their sound are all somewhat less successful to my way of thinking. Of the three instrumental pieces, Pure Awakening is a brief keyboard intro to the album. The other two, Prelude and Escape To Death, both for the most part depict lushly orchestrated Pomp Metal with a 'requisite' heroic feeling. Can't Rain Forever is a simple, groovy ballad, although there is almost nothing besides acoustic guitar and vocals. Finally Behind Your Smile is a pretty straightforward heavy metal song, prog-tinged at best, a potential hit that should've been placed right after the short opening instrumental, and not somewhere in the middle of the disc where it comes across in many ways as a potboiler, compared to its next-track neighbors. While the heroes of this occasion aren't in every respect on a par with the standard-bearers of the style, far from it, they're still one of the most successful followers of Dream Theater. The instrumental performance is superb almost everywhere on the recording, the attention to detail is perfect, and the production is excellent. The problem is that it all has been done before, and they're certainly not the first continental-European band to sing in English, listening to whom making you wonder how much they comprehend what they are singing about.
Conclusion. If you like the brand of Prog-Metal established by Dream Theater and can tolerate the strongly accented vocals, then bravely check this CD out. Personally I'm more into, say, less digestible variations of the genre (Mekong Delta, Voivod, Watchtower, early Psychotic Waltz, Sieges Even, and the like). I appreciate Everwood's technical skill, but quite frankly, I've already tired of countless acts willing to imitate their idols instead of venturing on something demanding more creative energy and inspiration.
VM=Vitaly Menshikov: January 20, 2008
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