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.
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.