EVERWOOD – The Raven’s Nest

EVERWOOD - The Raven's Nest
  • 6/10
    EVERWOOD - The Raven's Nest - 6/10
6/10

Summary

Burning Star Records
Release date: June 6, 2007

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While it’s true that Hungary produces its fair share of Metal bands, and it’s also true that very few of them seem to make it abroad. Here is another band with yet another concept album that is fairly new and willing to give it a try. Maybe new is not quite the right word to use, since Everwood does already have one release to their credit. Their debut album titled Mind Games was released in digipak format in February 2005 after signing with Burning Star Records in December 2004. It just so happens that the album’s debut was also the label’s debut!

The birth of Everwood is based on a childhood friendship between Attila Tanczer (ivory) and Viktor Erdos (low end). Even before they had instruments, they wanted to play something. Eventually, they formed a band in 1997 under the name of Neverwood. After years of changes in the line-up, the band was finalized in 2005 after Tamas Szabo (sticks) replaced drummer Tamas Rabel. The other members are Ferenc Farkas (high end) and Balazs Koncz (throat). The band also changed its name from Neverwood to Everwood right after signing with Burning Star Records. The Raven’s Nest is a concept album, 15 tracks long, containing three short stories, clocking in at 67:41. The genre that this band falls under can be labeled as Progressive/Symphonic or Melodic Metal. The band is completely made up of Hungarian musicians.

The one nice thing about the overall sound of this band that sets them apart from other bands is the singing voice of vocalist Balazs Koncz. His accent, which is ever so slight yet distinct, gives him a great advantage especially in the sense that it would be very difficult to copy him. Double-bass drumming is used in excess, though. Tamas needs to tone it down a bit. Regarding the bass playing of Viktor Erdos, it sounds up to par and is right on track when audible. It seems that the recording level of the bass is too low on every track. Whether or not the recording engineer realized this or purposely set the levels to produce this effect is unknown. The bass is drowned out on just about every song. The only person other than the singer who sounds good on every track is the guitarist, Ferenc Farkas. He produces some real interesting sounds with his guitar. His level is just about right, but could be a slightly higher, especially on some of his solos. It would have been nice to hear him let loose with some extended solos so he could showcase his talent. The keyboards are a bit strong on occasion, but have a nice sound to them on this album.

The Raven’s Nest consists of three stories; The White Angel, Quiet Valley, and The Raven’s Nest. Within the first story, the second track titled “Another World” is probably the heaviest track on the entire album. Ferenc Farkas takes command with his guitar onslaught (which has an incredible sound to it in this tune) and Tamas Szabo attacks his drum-set like there is no more tomorrow — double-bass, cowbells and all. However, the bass is drowned out by the drums and overpowering singing voice of Mr. Koncz.

The overall album consists of three ballads, three instrumentals (two of which are used for openings to the short stories), two heavy tunes, six average tunes, and one above average tune. The ballads are titled “Like A Miracle,” “Behind Your Smile,” and “Redemption.” The instrumentals are “Pure Awakening,” “Prelude,” and “Escape To Death.” The third track, “The Marching Of Time” follows the heaviest tune on the album and can be categorized as the same. The one above average tune is track 8, “Leaves Of November.” The remainder should be labeled as nothing but average tunes.

The album takes some time to get used to … the more listens the better it gets for some reason. Not every album can say that for itself. The LP is nothing more than an average (maybe a bit more) Progressive/Symphonic or Melodic Metal album. It isn’t in the league of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Symphony X, or Evergrey, but not too many bands are, especially when they are starting out. Give them credit for sticking with it and improving even if it is in small amounts. Everwood has the talent to become a very good Progressive band, but it will take time. It will be interesting to see where they will be in five or ten years.

Author

  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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