Evergrey-Escape of the Phoenix

I have a feeling that this is going to come across as a negative review and I promise it is not intended in that way at all. Evergrey is such a polished and professional musical group that it almost feels like their music comes slickly packaged out of a factory. Look, this is a very solid album. But it kind of feels like the band is a bit on autopilot at this point. The songs are quality. The vocals are soaring and tremendously emotive. The guitars are blistering. The keyboards are wistful. The drums are cannoning thunder. All the things are there, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be able to distinguish the songs on here from those on The Atlantic or The Storm Within a year from now.

OK, that did sound pretty harsh. It’s still a damn fine album and there are some really standout songs on here. I guess, in a way, I’m comparing these latter era Evergrey albums to the groundbreaking albums from their early career where it really felt like they were pushing boundaries and creating something new. Hell, I kind of wish they would get back to lyrical content of worldwide conspiracies, alien abductions and terrifying religious cults. Those albums gave me goosebumps. These latter albums, including this latest one, haven’t had as deep of an impact on me even though they are still fine albums. I will say that I think this latest platter is a step forward in quality over The Atlantic or The Storm Within. It’s just not in the same ballpark as The Inner Circle or In Search of Truth.

3.5 flip flops out of 5

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