Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Margarita Khartanovich (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
The country ruled by Pop, Sweden, has also become home for a very special, melodic sound of death, progressive and black metal. There is some particular “aftertaste” left in your ears when you listen to In Flames, Katatonia, Opeth, Pain of Salvation or Evergrey. You must agree that the tunes created by Swedish metal bands cannot be mixed up with those from Germany, Finland, the USA or the UK. They might be not as strong technically but melody-wise they definitely stand out.
And they all have their own trademark element in the music. For example, Evergrey is a master of deep, very personal lyrics, which on the one hand open the wounds of the listeners’ soul and rub salt in to them but on the other hand cure them providing with a certain relief of being understood, encouraged and “you are one of us” feeling. As vocalist Tom Englund said in his interview to LoudWire, “We make music for a certain percentage of the people of the world that are intrigued by the lyrics. We write about the humans struggling, so many of our fans that have gone through the same stuff we have, or are doing it right now. At the same time you can use these words, say the word “Broken” is like the outside world’s word for us who are in this circle of trust. People can apply my words to their own lives. Whether they be in a war or in a divorce or whatever, I think the words are to bring encouragement, or divide burden into smaller pieces — for people having the burden being easier to bear.”
Founded in 1995, Evergrey has long become a well-established band with a solid baggage of albums to tour with and a fanbase of very devoted metal-lovers. Their 9th album Hymns for the Broken can be called the essence of what Evergrey is about – traditional metal with progressive and goth rock elements, therapeutically beautiful tunes and moderately dark and emotional lyrics. On March 29th the majority of the songs they performed were from this album but the most recognized singles from the previous albums were carefully selected and included in the set as well: King of Errors, Recreation Day, Leave it Behind Us, I’m Sorry (Dilba cover) and a few others.
To be honest, for a band like Evergrey the venue they played in might feel as a bit of downshifting after performing at Download Festival, for example, as Klubi fits less than a thousand of people and there were hardly 200 people at the gig that day. I was genuinely surprised when I came to a bigger part of the venue Pakkahuone (for a few thousands of people) to find it closed and no queues or loud sounds detected. I thought the gig might have been cancelled or something. My “Dark Discovery” was that Evergrey were playing in a smaller part of the venue.
Of course, the greatness of a band is not measured with the amounts of people coming to see them play but rather with the quality of their fans’ devotion, and that night you could definitely witness this strong connection between Evergrey and the audience. “We enjoy your company!” exclaimed Tom during the gig and added: “It is Sunday – a horrible day to play. Do you have work tomorrow? I don’t feel like working – rather drinking”. He would always turn to the public with comments like that and throw in a few jokes: “I think I’m sick now. Can you sing this song for me?” Or when they failed to start one of the songs right all together, he faced the audience with a smile and said: “Thank you and goodnight”. Everyone burst into laughter, and after supportive applause they band performed the song brilliantly and with inconceivable joy.
Evergrey and Finland have a special story connecting them: Jari Kainulainen, a Finnish bassist best known as the former bassist of Finnish power metal band Stratovarius, filled the role of a bassist in Evergrey in 2007. Even though he left the band, for a lot of Finns it became one more reason to treat Evergrey a bit differently as other Swedish bands. Perhaps, due to a short hiatus in 2010 and 2013 caused by “problems working together and interacting with each other” Evergrey lost some unity element as they are trying to restore now. But from what was clear from their gig in Tampere the guys are passionate about making music and performing it together as never before. And this might be an important milestone in their career – little by little, gig by gig, single by single rebuilding an ever-stronger musical and human cohesion.
King of Errors
Leave It Behind Us
Monday Morning Apocalypse
Mark of the Triangle
Wake a Change
A New Dawn
I’m Sorry (Dilba cover)
When the Walls Go Down
A Touch of Blessing
The Grand Collapse