Evergrey // Glorious Collision
Rating: 3.5/5.0 —May cause suicidal thoughts and general misery
Label: SPV Records
Websites: evergrey.net | myspace.com/officialevergrey
Release Dates: EU: 2011.02.21 | US: 02.22.2011

Doom metal is theoretically designed to make you feel sad and sorrowful. Some of it does the trick, some doesn’t. Oddly, the band that always manages to kill my happy happy joy joy moods completely and utterly isn’t even a doom act. Instead, its “dark metal” masters  Evergrey. These guys have made their bones writing increasingly depressive, raw and emotionally crippling music and here on their eighth album, the sorrowful Swedes still haven’t picked up their prozac prescriptions. Yes, Glorious Collision is another massive dose of buzzkilling, fetishistically downcast heavy metal that will make you feel bad about yourself, others and life in general. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? Well, I doubt anyone will ever argue that Evergrey makes good times music and no, they aren’t much fun to listen to. They are however, very good at what they do and they craft some excellent and beautifully tragic music with powerful feelings.

Continuing the basic sound and style from 2008’s Torn, but with slightly more punch and heft to the guitars this time, Tom Englund and crew return with thirteen tracks of personal misery and woe. Although that may be too much to take all at once, for the most part, the tracks are solid, vintage Evergrey through and through. Songs like “Leave it Behind Us,”  “You” and “Frozen” work very well due to the amazingly haunting, anguished vocals of Englund backed up by heavy riffing from Englund and Marcus Jidell. On less traditionally heavy tracks like “Wrong” and especially “Free,” Englund largely carries the show with his vocals and ensures things are manically depressing and morose (“Free” especially). There are several potential highlight cuts but my personal favorite quickly became “Restoring the Loss” due to the thoughtful (and of course, angsty) lyrics that paint a picture of someone feeling used up and stretched too thin. Fun fun right? No, not only is it not much fun, at times listening to these guys feels voyeuristic, as if you’re watching someone self-destruct or reading someone’s private journal. It’s kinda too much to take at times.

Everygrey 2011

Although there’s a lot of indisputable quality on Glorious Collision, the sheer ponderous weight of the subject matter starts to wear on the listener after awhile and it gets arduous over the long length of it. Also, a few songs, although decent, could have been left off without hurting the album any (“The Disease,” “I’m Drowning Alone”). Also, the album is pretty front loaded with the first five tracks being the strongest and the second half being less powerful. However, it all sounds great (especially the guitar tones) and has a full, balanced sound that allows the negative emotions to flow downhill unobstructed.

If you’ve appreciated what Evergrey has done in the past, there are no surprises here and you can buy with confidence. It’s another successful fusion of metal and group therapy and it’s better than their past few albums . These guys have songwriting chops and Englund can make Dr. Seuss sound like Edgar Allen Poe. It might not work for me in anything but small doses but I can’t fault the quality of the music and the rawness and authenticity of the feelings being conveyed. If really depressing shit is your “thing” then you can’t do much better than this. Enjoy and consider seeking professional help. I’m gonna go listen to Korpiklaani and lighten the fuck up.

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  • I’ve always been on the fence with Evergrey, as their albums are either good or kinda-crap. I liked Recreation Day, but didn’t think too highly of Monday Morning Apocalypse or Torn. I’ll give this one a listen eventually, but I’m in no rush nor have any real expectations. Which is what I’m picking up from your review, so good on you there

  • Steel Druhm

    It’s not on par with Recreation Day but I would say its slightly better than Monday Morning Apocalypse or Torn. It feels too long though.

  • johan

    This album is a step in the right direction, it sucks that half the band had to go to get some of their sound back, Jonas was a really good drummer. Recreation Day and The Inner Circle were fantastic albums but Torn and MMA were so terrible I had almost given up hope with this band, it’s good to know they are still capable of making decent music.

  • Steel Druhm

    While I didn’t hate MMA like most Evergrey fans did, I felt that it and Torn were lesser (but still solid) albums than Recreation Day and The Inner Circle. I agree this is better and hopefully they keep things moving in that direction.

  • Ernesto

    I’m a huge Evergrey follower. Like others said, Monday Morning Apocalypse it’s by far their weakest effort, but I myself find Torn a very very good album. In fact, I think it’s just a stp above Glorious Collision, which it’s alzo an indredible album. I was kind of affraid since the departure of DAnhage and Ekdahl, who contributed richly in the writtings of many Torn songs. But Tom Englund somehow manages to steer through this line up changes and always come back with a great album.

  • Steel Druhm

    I liked Torn as well, I think this is slightly better though.

  • Bogdan

    Torn was a pretty decent record, but this is much better.

  • Hey thanks for the review. I can’t say that I agree with the average comment, but that is because this is the first time I ever heard Evergrey. I guess I have been living under a rock for a little bit, but my horizons are expanding exponentially since I got stationed in Europe. I thought the album was pretty good and little similar to Kamelot. Based on Glorious Collision though, I will start to backtrack and see the history of Evergrey you are referring to. Any particular album you recommend? Thank you.

  • Steel Druhm

    Well, IMHO their best albums are Recreation Day and/or The Inner Circle. After that I would say In Search of Truth, Torn and Monday Morning Apocalypse (Some despise MMA but I think it’s decent).

  • i just wonder why you rated it 3.5 out of 5

    • Like I pointed out, its overlong, the first half is much better than the back half and a few songs feel like filler. 3.5 is very good, and it is, but it isn’t great.