Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Evergrey delivers their first album following a lineup change, the groups ninth overall. Hymns for the Broken is a 12 track thrill ride, boasting the classic dark metal essence that has kept fans in love for years.
The first musical track, “King of Errors,” opens with a gripping drum and piano intro that gets accompanied by a tasty guitar riff. About a minute into the track, we get the first lines from Tom S. Englund. He wastes no time showing his audience his exceptional Viking metal voice as he announces the crowing of the King of Errors.
About three-quarters of the way through the track, guitarist Henrik Danhage comes ripping into the headset with a fret melting solo. The solo gets the heart rate as Englund goes into his last bout with the chorus and keyboardist Rikard Zander and drummer Jonas Ekdahl take us out of “King of Error” much like how we got brought in. Watch the music video below.
Up next is “A New Dawn.” With the final light chords of “King of Errors” drifting away, this track comes crashing down with fat guitar and bass lines over bass and crash heavy drum fills that make you want to get up and open the pit.
Despite its heavy introduction, “A New Dawn” slips away softly, creating a perfect segue into “Wake a Change,” a track personified by emotion-filled piano and a simple yet driving drum fill in the back. As a whole, this track has a much more ballad-like feel to it as Englund sings of changing times and lost opportunities.
“Archaic Rage” builds itself from what was left from the gentle leftovers of “A New Dawn.” Contrary to what one would think from a song by the name of “Archaic Rage,” the song is soft and driven with simple drums, periodic blasts of crunchy guitar and a very Mudvayne type of clicky bass line.
“Barricades” opens with yet another tasty riff from Mr. Danhage but is soon replaced but a snare fill Englund’s vocals. Aside from the guitar from Danhage, the song kind of wanders and builds but never amounts to much. Compared to the rest of the album, this song is fairly weak.
The next track, “Black Undertow,” immediately delivers what “Barricades” was lacking. It has punch, hooks and riffs which were missing from “Barricades.” “Black Undertow” adopts a similar style to “Archaic Rage.” It’s another head bobbing song.
“The Fire” rips through the lingering seconds of “Black Undertow” with another fast and heavy guitar riff with yet another delectable bass line from Nieman. “The Fire” closes heavy and all at once, leaving you tingly and pumped up and then made more so when the title track kicks in with another furious splash of music that quickly peels back for Englund.
The title track takes several steps back as it nears its end until nothing is left but raw emotion and gentle piano, forming the opening to “Missing You.” For the first time during this album, as the audience, you’re somber. The weight of this song bears down on you and before you know it, the song drifts away and leaves “The Grand Collapse” in its wake. This is much like the track “Black Snow” from Triptykon’s latest album “Melena Chasmata.” And it works.
This one-two punch of “Miss You” followed by “The Grand Collapse” highlight of this album.
Thankfully, Everygrey lets you down easy, ending the album with “The Aftermath.” The song brings about a satisfying conclusion to the work.
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