EVERGREY – A Night To Remember

EVERGREY - A Night To Remember


Release date: March 15, 2005

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Through several downright astounding albums, Swedish Prog/Power/Goth (or something) act Evergrey has established a solid fan base throughout Europe, and some of those fortunate enough to experience this very special occasion – Evergrey live with a choir and string quartet – a bunch of true gems on the setlist and sufficient amounts Scotch to make things really cozy.

Musically this is pure show-off throughout. The setlist is a nice mix between the last four albums (out of the total five), and there are no weak points to be found whatsoever. This is probably due to the fact that the band hasn’t really recorded any weak songs in several years. This is, of course, not a bad thing, rather the contrary. The stop-writing-bad-songs strategy is rather unusual these days, but it’s definitely recommended for more bands to try out.

Still there are highlights – the opening quartet with “Blinded,” “End of Your Days,” “More Than Ever,” and “She Speaks to the Dead” sets the standard, along with songs like “As I Lie Here Bleeding,” “Harmless Wishes,” and “Nosferatu” before “Recreation Day,” the beautiful “For Every Tear That Falls,” “Touch of Blessing,” and then “Masterplan” closes the set in a way very few bands can cope with these days.

The sound quality is always a concern with live recordings, but actually the live sound, which, of course, is more raw and unpolished than usual, suits the material in excellent fashion, and songs like “End of All Days” and “Mark of the Triangle” actually sound better than on the studio albums, and the fact that the choirs are live gives the soundscape another dimension. Carina Englund, wife of band front man Tom S. Englund, and first lady of the choir, has an awesome voice, which definitely helps songs like “Blinded” and “Nosferatu” become what they are, and her duet with her husband, during “For Every Tear That Falls,” redefines the expression “beauty in darkness.”

Playing-wise this is brilliance through and through. Guitarists Englund and Henrik Danhage suit each other perfectly – the former with a more picking-oriented, Neoclassical Malmsteen-like approach, and the latter with a fluid, legato-based style. Englund also delivers a vocal performance, which easily competes with the best Metal singers out there today. The drama, emotion, and sheer temper of his voice is marvelous, and his voice IS this band. Combined with some great guitar chops and extraordinary song-writing skills, this man is a unique creation.

Bassist Micke Hakansson lays down the grooves in an impeccable manner, and also joins the two axemen in some flashier runs from time to time, and drummer Jonas Ekdahl has all the punch and chops needed to provide a groovy, yet still creative, backbone to the (at times) quite technical music. Keyboardist Richard Zander is also a very large contributor to the Evergrey sound, and his ingenious synth lines fill out and add atmosphere and melody to the very heavy backing.

This is the best live album released in a long time, and simply should be owned by everyone.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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