"The Storm Within"

By Colonel Angus

To say that I have been anxiously awaiting this new Evergrey release is like saying that a five year old is excited about Christmas.  Their last disk “Hymns for the Broken” was my album of the year in 2014 and it has been in heavy rotation in the Angus household.  Having to wait for two year for “The Storm Within” was pure torture but well worth the wait.  The band continue on with a similar template as their last release.  The songs range from heavy to catchy, melodic riffs to epic soundscapes.  Although I like pretty much everything Evergrey have put out, I am especially a fan of their material that has been spread out over the last three albums starting with “Glorious Collision”.  Each of these disks have taken the listener on a journey with great variation between each of the tracks.  Heavy tracks like “Astray” placed right before "The Impossible" is a great example of just how wide the pallette of sounds that Evergrey deliver.  Right after that you go straight to the heavy riffing of "My Allied Ocean" but before you know it, you go right back into a more commercial side of Evergrey with “In Orbit”.  The song feature a nice vocal interplay between Tom Englund and Floor Jansen (from Nightwish).  Even though some might say that tracks like "The Paradox of the Flame" is a little too soft and not very metal, I think that songs like that are specifically what makes Evergrey special.  Carina Englund’s vocals work very well with Tom’s and I look forward to those tracks as much as all the others.

“Monday Morning Apocalypse” was not very well received by the Evergrey fans that I have spoken with so I would say they should get “The Storm Within”.  There is a commercial accessibility to many of the tunes but the production is much better.  While I like “Monday Morning Apocalypse”, the songs here are better and I feel the playing is better as well.  All the members put in great performances but I have to give an extra mention to the guitar solos especially on “Passing Through” and “In Orbit”.  My only complaint, is the inclusion of “Paranoid” as the bonus track on the digipack.  While I like this version of the Black Sabbath classic, I feel it is unnecessary.  That being said, the band make the tune their own by really changing this up.  It is not a straight cover version and for that I will give them credit.  There are a couple of more months before this year is over and it has been a great year for music.  Records by Denner/Shermann, Wolverine, and Diamond Head are just a few that have really stood out but I will be surprised if within the next two months there will be a release that knocks” The Storm Within” off the top spot for my album of the year in 2016.