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Evergrey – The Dark Discovery and Solitude Dominance Tragedy Review

Released by: AFM Records

Release Dated: December 1st, 201

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.evergrey.net/

 

 

The Dark Discovery Line Up

Tom S. Englund – vocals, guitar
Dan Bronell – guitar
Daniel Nojd – bass
Patrick Carlsson – drums
Will Chandra – keyboards

Guests:

Carina Kjellberg – All female vocals
Andy LaRocque – Guest guitar on “Closed Eyes”
Mattias IA Eklundh – Guest guitar on “When the River Calls”

 

Tracklist:

1.     Blackened Dawn  
2.     December 26th  
3.     Dark Discovery  
4.     As Light Is Our Darkness  
5.     Beyond Salvation  
6.     Closed Eyes  
7.     Trust And Betrayal  
8.     Shadowed  
9.     When The River Calls  
10.  For Every Tear That Falls  
11.  To Hope Is To Fear  
12.  Closed Eyes (Demo Version)  

 

Solitude Dominance Tragedy Line Up

Tom S. Englund – vocals, guitars
Daniel Nojd – bass, backing vocals
Patrick Carlsson – drums
Dan Bronell – guitars

Guests
Carina Kjellberg – female vocals, choir arrangements
Mercury-Choir (Courtesy of the Swedish Catholic Choir)
Erik Ask – harp
Stuart Wyatt – six-string violin
Zachary Stephens – keyboards

 

Tracklist:

1.     Solitude Within  
2.     Nosferatu  
3.     The Shocking Truth  
4.     A Scattered Me 
5.     She Speaks To The Dead  
6.     When Darkness Falls 
7.     Words Mean Nothing  
8.     Damnation  
9.     The Corey Curse  
10.  To Hope Is To Fear (Demo Version) * 

 

Evergrey fans will be getting a couple of early Christmas gifts this year (if you celebrate of course…I try to avoid it like the plague.) After years of being out of print, the legendary Swedish Prog Metal giants, through AFM Records, are re-issuing their first two albums on CD as well as available on vinyl for the very first time. This is incredible news for longtime fans like myself. Though line-up wise and stylistically the band has moved leaps and bounds from their early start, these are still very important albums to the shaping of this important band of the genre.

With their debut release, The Dark Discovery in 1998 Evergrey embarked on creating a new sub-genre in the Metal world with a darker yet melodic sound, melancholy lyrics and a vocal delivery that perfectly embodies this darkness with Tom Englund, not many (if any) bands at the time were creating such haunting music. As far as a debut goes, it has a rawer sound than what they would later implement, but the visceral rawness makes this album such a brilliant introduction to the band. Tracks like “Beyond Salvation,” “Trust and Betrayal,” and “December 26th” demonstrate such an immense talent at such an early stage, as well as setting their future path musically perfectly. Contained on this reissue is a bonus track of a demo of “Closed Eyes.”

The follow-up to this amazing debut is Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy proves that their first album wasn’t a fluke, that Evergrey was the real deal. A bit more polished, but not any less powerful, Solitude gets a bit closer to what would become their signature sound (a little less hard-edged on later albums, the band was never that heavy of a unit as some of their Swedish contemporaries were at the time.) Just like The Dark Discovery only kicking up the songwriting a few notches, Englund and company craft this haunting and dark sound that bands would soon begin to emulate. As a fan of melodic and dark music, the appeal of Evergrey’s sound was something I’d craved for some time- a band that could deliver heavier music without being too extreme while at the same time being melodic and accessible. Songs like “Nosferatu, “”The Shocking Truth,” and “Words Mean Nothing” have remained, all this time later, some of my favorite from this band. A demo of “To Hope Is To Fear” is available on this reissue.

These two albums have become so iconic for the fans, and it will be nice to finally add them to their collections where they may have been missing, For vinyl collectors, this has been a long time coming indeed. Neither album sounds dated. Re-visiting them again was a great treat for me, reminding me just how amazing this band was right out of the gate. Of course, if you’ve somehow missed learning about the band Evergrey, what better way to do it than how the world did with The Dark Discovery and Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

I give The Dark Discovery 8 out of 10 and Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy 9 out of 10.

 

 

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