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Evergrey - Hymns For The Broken CD (album) cover

HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

Evergrey

 

Progressive Metal

3.78 | 89 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Evergrey is just one of those bands that recently seems to make music that always good, but never truly great. Their brand of dark, emotional, energetic, heavy prog-metal on Hymns for the Broken is almost impossible to criticize objectively; it's well-played, full of excitement, and thoughtfully composed, but there remains some missing spark to make it fully connect with the listener. Still, Hymns for the Broken is a great collection of metal music that will greatly appeal to fans of the band, and probably win over more mainstream metal heads to more progressive leanings.

This time Englund and crew are chugging out loosely connected songs about unity, acceptance, and the struggle to give live meaning. At least that what's I read into it. The cover and surface of the songs give these themes a motif of a civil revolution, but this is only skin deep. The lyrics aren't quite as depressing as Evergrey's standard fare, but Englund's vocals are just as good as always. Everything this guy sings is full of emotion and power. He never phones it in, and seems to strive to reach new heights with his range, and just nails it. His masculine vocals are still one of the highlights of the band and probably the best thing about Hymns for the Broken.

Musically the band is playing in very familiar territory: five minute songs, heavy chugging supported by keyboard textures, juxtaposed by the occasional dynamic or tonal shift to something down-tempo but not-quite-mellow. One thing I like about Evergrey is the exposed and straight-forward guitar soloing. More and more I hear modern prog metal bands creating such layered overdubs that sometimes soloing becomes lost or too busy to enjoy; not so here. While the group's performances aren't the most creative, they are just plain rock solid, which is refreshing.

But like I said before, Hymns for the Broken lacks that "spark" that really captures me. It's fun for a heavy, badass bit of crunchy metal, but it lacks the depth and variety to sustain it's 60 minute run time. There are no real stand-up-and-shout moments, just massive, dark, epic chugging. Sometimes that's just what you need, and Evergrey delivers. Recommended for fans of the band or if you need something heavy for your collection that features clean vocals unique among all the growling and soprano sustains the genre is known for.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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