Evergrey has evolved into a progressive metal band, leaving behind the traditional heavy/power metal character of the first albums. “Escape of the Phoenix” is the band’s twelve studio album, another one milestone in Evergrey’s series of excellent music works. The style of the Swedish belongs to the emotional school of progressive metal – Evergrey’s songs are more sentimental, dark and melancholic, rather than technical and complicated. Once you understand the melodies, the atmospheres and the feelings of the new Evergrey songs, you will get connected with “Escape of the Phoenix”. There are times that Evergrey sounds heavy and aggressive, times that the tempo slows down and times that the songs combine the heavy and the slow paced style. Tom Englund and co. know how to compose intriguing songs, how to create captivating soundscapes and how to keep our interest undiminished until the last note. There is so much passion and energy in here, “Escape of the Phoenix” is an enchanting progressive metal masterpiece, which speaks to the heart of the listener, a selection of songs, crafted with finesse and inspiration. The melodic hooks will stick with you for a long time, the vocal work of Englund culminates in the wonderful refrains and the guitar solos are the zenith of the complex guitar phrases. Evergrey isn’t only a perfectly-working prog metal machine, but a living organism, which breathes, grows, matures, feels, gives, smiles and cries. That can be heard on “Escape of the Phoenix”. Are you going to witness this prog metal triumph?

♦ 8/10

Dimitris Zacharopoulos