ARTIST:

EVERGREY

(SWEDEN)
TITLE:

A HEARTLESS PORTRAIT (THE ORPHEAN TESTAMENT)

(2022)
LABEL:

NAPALM RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Groovy
"In lack of inspiration, Evergrey disappoints on this "A Heartless Portrait (The Orphan Testament)" without soul nor originality"
PROGRACER (12.05.2022)  
2/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Since the relative success of "Escape Of The Phoenix" in 2021, Evergrey's albums are no longer as expected as before. It is even with a little apprehension that this "A Heartless Portrait (The Orphan Testament)" were awaited.

The album starts with two tracks unveiled before the release of the album presenting some qualities such as the sharp sense of melody and the bewitching voice of Tom Englund, but also a lot of flaws. Starting with a very muffled production where the bass is boosted and the resonance of the keyboards and the choirs is pushed into an exaggerated reverb. Is the goal to amplify the epic side? If so, it's a failure. It only gives a grandiloquent cathedral effect. The one-note riffs are useless and the robotic drum fills are invasive.

At this point, a question arises: are these two tracks representative of the whole album? Almost. The whole first half of the album suffers from the same flaws and no track raises the level. Even if none of them is bad and each of them individually shows successes  such as Henrik Danhage's inspired solos or heavy dynamics, the whole listening is still painful. The mid tempo 'Ominous' and 'Call Out The Dark' are unfortunately no exception to this rule. As for the adjective "progressive" traditionally attached to the metal of the Swedes, it can now be withdrawn because this aspect has completely disappeared from their music for two years.

Some passages save the album like 'The Great Unwashed', in the tradition of the last magnificent trilogy completed with "The Atlantic" in 2019 with great vocals and varied and skilfully chained atmospheres. "Heartless' also stands out thanks to the same assets as the previous track, a catchy chorus, a Dantesque solo and a writing with palpable emotion. It is important to note that these few catchy tracks return to a more inspired and traditional writing of the band and that their production is less grandiloquent. This surely explains the less aseptic and more authentic impression.

For the reasons mentioned above, Evergrey disappoints once again and gives the impression of having botched this album without soul nor originality, made of bits and pieces taken from the recent discography of the Swedish band. The result is a boredom that invades the listener from the first minutes and that no spark really comes to fade. A rethinking is necessary to reverse the trend, and quickly.


More informations on http://www.evergrey.net





TRACK LISTING:
01. Save Us
02. Midwinter Calls
03. Ominous
04. Call Out the Dark
05. The Orphean Testament
06. Reawakening
07. The Great Unwashed
08. Heartless
09. Blindfolded
10. Wildfires

LINEUP:
Henrik Danhage: Guitares
Johan Niemann: Basse
Jonas Ekdahl: Batterie
Rikard Zander: Claviers
Tom S. Englund: Chant / Guitares
   
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