‘Escape of the Phoenix’
FFO: Symphony X, Dream Theater, Kamelot, Michael Romeo, James LaBrie
Whenever generic lists are published of ‘the best prog metal bands ever’, Evergrey are sorely overlooked; but the fact of the matter is that the Swedes have developed an influential career of seminal progressive metal that has been adored by critics and fans alike. This year has Evergrey following up their seminal 2019 album ‘The Atlantic’ with their latest opus ‘Escape of the Phoenix’.
Once again, ‘Escape…’ is the sound of Evergrey on top form; this is an album which sonically continues Evergrey’s recent excellent form. Much like its contemporary predecessors, ‘Escape…’ is a warm and inviting album, it is easy to get dragged in and really appreciate what this band has done as once again, this is a musical masterclass. ‘Escape…’ has the feel of a band happy in their place and their stride which causes the band to sound so good; the musicianship here is second to none and obviously this is aided by the talismanic Tom Englund who’s voice once again guides the Evergrey ship through some plain sailing weather. Tracks such as ‘Forever Outsider’, ‘Where August Mourn’ and ‘Leaden Saints’ stand tall as some of Evergrey’s most enjoyable work whilst ‘The Beholder’ features an excellent duet with none other than James LaBrie as the Dream Theater man sounds more fired up than he has been for years.
With this latest offering, ‘Escape…’ shows that Evergrey are still on top of their game, we may only be in February, but once again the Swedes have dropped an excellent album raising the bar high and laying down the gauntlet to all the other bands. Any challengers?