In 2013, a young German band by the unassuming name of Evertale took the power metal world by storm with an independently-released firestorm of a fantasy power metal debut in Of Dragons And Elves. The band was hurriedly signed to NoiseArt Records and the album re-released, much to the relief of international fans. It’s been nearly a four-year wait, but a follow-up in the German’s signature power metal style is finally here. The singles have been respectable, if not mind-blowing; the cover artwork solid; the theme appropriately within the realm of epic, easily-digestible fantasy and science fiction; and by all appearances, it seemed as if the band was on track for minimal changes to its sound for The Great Brotherwar. I was expecting this album to hit like a truck upon first reception, but unfortunately, some of the band’s magic seems to have worn off.

In terms of general sound and style, The Great Brotherwar is a direct continuation of the band’s debut. Evertale plays a texturally heavy brand of (dedicatedly) keyboard-free Germanic power metal akin in general sound at times to bands like Blind Guardian and Savage Circus, but while Matthias Graf’s vocals are nearly as distinctive as those of Hansi Kürsch to my ears, his throaty, gravelly tenor is of a decidedly different timbre. Dual lead guitars, frequent drum fills, aggressively sung/spoken verses, and frequent, amply layered vocals dominate the band’s sound. This time around, we are mercifully spared from a ridiculously overlong album (Of Dragons And Elves clocked in at over 82 minutes, which is longer than the new double LP from Threshold, for reference), but unfortunately, there’s more filler to be found here.

You see, Evertale’s delivery can (and does) get fatiguing, and when a strong vocal melody is lacking, the group’s uptempo tracks can definitely bleed together. Despite the absurd length of the debut, I found it sprinkled generously with big hooks. In comparison, I assess The Great Brotherwar as sorely lacking, with only two genuine standouts in the energetic “The Journey To Iskendria” and the Elder Scrolls-inspired “And The Dragons Return” — neither of which hold a candle to the likes of “As Tarsis Falls,” “The Crownguard’s Quest,” and “The Last Knight.” Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm is in part due to the shift in source material (the debut drew inspiration from the Dragonlance universe, as opposed to Warhammer 40k and a smattering of one-off songs), but I think it’s quite clear that despite consistent quality, there’s just a whole lot less variety and evident songwriting creativity.

Disappointment is a tragically familiar sensation when it comes to German power metal, but its claws are especially sharp at this juncture. Prior to the last few weeks, I probably would have said The Great Brotherwar was my single most hotly anticipated follow up from the German hall of the genre — heck, one of the most promising, period. A quality, mature fantasy concept album is something that is rarely accomplished, but base video game and metal worship acts are a dime a dozen, and witnessing a band of Evertale’s undeniable potential engage in faffery like this (“Chapter 666?” Really?) without producing a host of infectious choruses is a crying shame. Now, perhaps ironically, there’s a buried treat here: a cover of Van Canto’s “Take To The Sky,” which happens to be one of my favorites from that “a cappella” metal act. Granted, Evertale’s cover isn’t as good as the original, but a conventional metal act covering an original song by a band that is essentially a glorified gimmick which became known for covering songs by conventional metal acts is… not something you see every day.

I can’t look down my nose too harshly at Evertale. By most standards, The Great Brotherwar is a meaty slab of quality metal, if a certain, sizeable step back from the band’s bold beginnings. For those unfamiliar with the band, lines can be drawn to many aggressive, guitar-driven German acts like those mentioned above, as well as Solar Fragment and maybe even Paragon. Anyone not familiar with the band who enjoys what they hear here should most certainly continue to look back to the debut — and thank me later.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
Label: NoiseArt Records
Websites: evertale.eu | facebook.com/evertaleofficial
Releases Worldwide: October 27th, 2017

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  • Nukenado

    That album cover does not look keyboard-less.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      No.
      It looks like they would have many keyboards.

      • Nukenado

        With five keytarists.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          Yep.
          Many much of both

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I look at that cover and all I can think of is “Andreas Marschall”. So I checked the Metal Archives and of course, he did it.

      • Nukenado

        Hmm, I’m less familiar with him.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Vardan will release a triple album in November. Can we expect a review?

    • Not likely.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        …please?

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        What do you mean? We are not going to enjoy of deep review of triple album? Hey, if Vardan releases a triple album is is MANDATORY that AMG eviews it!

        • Maybe each disc is reviewed by a different AMG reviewer to save everyone some time.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            By time you mean pain?

          • Exactly, the pain was implied.

        • Eli Valcik

          How about we wait a few years, let Vardan release another album and then have a quintuple review AMG extravaganza!!!!!

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Wait a few years? I do not enjoy of deep patience required for that?

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Actually Vardan already released 2 albums this year. So the time is now.

          • It’s Vardan, dude. If we wait a few years, he’ll have 43 new albums.

        • Enjoy of deep falsehood.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Enjoy of deep triple album

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Cool.
    Another entry for the PM Hunger Games. ….

  • The song is okay and the singer reminds me of Pharaoh’s Tim Aymar. It sounds like I should check out their previous album before investing much time in this one, though. However, if this album has inspiration drawn from Warhammer 40K, this nerd may need to listen to it. Blood for the blood god and all that jazz.

    • Swordborn

      The first half of this album or so is 40k inspired. The rest is a smorgasbord.

      I really dig Pharaoh and see the vocal resemblance. This reminds me that it’s been too long since I listened to The Longest Night…

  • Feytalist

    Their first album was probably the best debut I’ve ever heard. This… could have been better.

    But I’m still happy anyway. The music’s decent, the vocals are great, and the source material is always a welcome sight.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      Creed?

      • Feytalist

        Just as planned.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Quick, top metal bands and the fantasy books that inspired them……..

    • Iain Gleasure

      Blind Guardian and LOTR> Everyone Else> DragonForce

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Well.
        That ended abruptly.

      • Nukenado

        Hmm, I really don’t get the hate for DragonForce. They are uber-cheesy, but there’s way worse, and they’re one of the only power metal bands that got heavier with time.

        • Iain Gleasure

          To be honest I don’t even hate DragonForce. I just thought it was a funny comment. (shrugs)

          • Nukenado

            Eh. No offence taken anyways.

    • Swordborn

      Tolkien – basically every band
      Domine – Moorcock
      Lucid Dreaming – Lloyd Alexander
      Manticora – Dan Simmons
      Arkngthand, Seven Kingdoms – George RR Martin (though these are commonplace these days)

      These are a few overt examples of which I am aware.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        No Terry Brooks yet eh

        • Swordborn

          Yes, and some of us are fans of the original Shannara trilogy and have long been waiting!

    • I would posit Arcane Existence for consideration amongst these angry metal nerds, symphonicish black metal in the vein of Dimmu whose lyrics are all inspired by… wait for it…
      Tv’s Once Upon a Time.

      • Nukenado

        Goddamn you Drew how do you keep on finding these bands?! A BM album with a pink cover no less?!

        My corner of nerd metal is mostly video game related, so Soulmass and Shadow of Intent (who are great)
        Also Hoth, but they’ve been reviewed here already.

      • Nukenado

        BTW, have you checked out the new Kroh?

        • I didn’t even know that there was old Kroh. If they’re not power metal, I’ll check them out.

          • Nukenado

            Female fronted doom. Not sure if it’s your thing or not.

          • Totally is, I’ll definitely check that out, thanks for the suggestion!

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Cool!

  • DR 0?

    • Nukenado

      Swordborn probably just doesn’t know about the house protocol of DR taking.

    • Swordborn

      Color me ignorant!

      • Color me curious: are you the brains behind Nerve Salad? You’d mentioned before that this isn’t your first reviewdeo, I’ve been on the hunt for your origins ever since.
        I will find you, and I will review with you.

        • Swordborn

          I have a fair few of my reviews cross-posted at the Metal Archives with the alias analogkid (Rush is my childhood sweetheart) as well. Some of those are early and crappy, so I may be airing my dirty laundry by saying that. XD

          • Good Jorn, you’re like the fuckin Fenriz of power metal. I’m in awe, and slightly horrified.

      • Tim

        I just gave a listen to their debut on youtube. It immediately brought me back to the time and place when the Gods of Metal saw fit to summon me to their illustrious hall. Trve quality.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Dude in the upper left….same look my wife gives me when I crack inappropriate jokes when the in laws are visiting.

  • Eli Valcik

    My copy of Midnight’s newest just arrived in the mail, the first 10 seconds guaranteed it a top 3 spot for my end of the year list!

  • WhamBamSam

    I have a theory that the EU has a facility somewhere where the majority of power metal singers are cloned in a big sci-fi vat. The promise of a distinctive vocalist is enough to at least pique my interest. The embedded track is indeed pretty generic, but maybe I’ll give Of Dragons and Elves a shot.

  • I see. Solid credentials f’sho. I got thrown by the flower metal line, my tiny stoned little brain told me that must mean you were the one lauding The Botanist and linking their review site on Bandcamp. Either way, sounds like you got this haha

  • h_f_m

    We are the finest of the best