Everlore – Everlore Review

Ah, an unheralded, unsigned power metal band from Finland. Experience tells me this will either be disastrously bad or shocking good. The craptacular cover art suggests the former, as does the fact that GardensTale claimed the promo then promptly hurled it back in the promo muck before running into the night like a cowardly shirker. Steel fears no power known to man nor beast, so this shall be reviewed nonetheless! Everlore have been toiling in the mines of Middle Earth these past few years, releasing singles and leveling up in anticipation of their inaugural full-length dragon flight. Their eponymous debut is a no-nonsense take on Euro-power with a surprisingly stripped down approach and few of the genre’s infamously ostentatious tropes. Their delivery hews somewhere between Orden Organ and early, non-symphonic Blind Guardian with hints of Rage and Tyr lurking around the fringes. That could prove a recipe worthy of wictory and glory if the Great Sky Worm, Vermithrax Pejorative wills it, so let’s roll the bones, consult the oracle and watch the skies.

A power metal album without an intro of any kind? Blasphemous, but so be it. Things get down to business with opener “Here Be Dragons,” which is a standard Euro-power cut done with exuberance and elevated by well placed vocal lines. It clicks all the boxes and is catchy enough to make you pay attention. The guitar-work is quite good, there’s a subtle undercurrent of folk and even some sweet bass lines. An auspicious start to be sure. By the time the righteous “Fear of Tomorrow” rolls along with a strong Orden Ogan vibe and a very catchy chorus, it’s clear the band is more than capable of delivering enjoyable power with technical chops and consistent writing.

Cuts like “Race for the Sun” and “Brighter Tomorrow” remind me of early Blind Guardian albums like Somewhere Far Beyond and that’s never a bad thing. Album stand out, “Bleeding Land” is a moody and effective power ballad that reeks of those Teutonic titans of Europower and there’s a bit of Tyr in the mix as well. The chorus is a big winner and I’ve been replaying this one quite a bit. The only song that doesn’t fully win me over is “Imaginary Throne.” It’s not a bad tune really, but Joonas Kunnela tries to do too much vocally and parts of his performance come across as silly and goofy. Said glitch aside, what greatly helps the material is the tight, concise writing. Most songs sit between 3 and 5 minutes and flash by in a lively blur. The 46 minute runtime is just right and the album concludes before I tire of the quest.

Guitar tandem Juuso Virnes and Samu Pettersson acquit themselves very well over the course of Everlore. They show a consistent ability to deliver driving riffs along with excellent solo and acoustic work. Better still, they pepper the songs with elegant, classy playing without bloating the runtimes with excess wankery. Joonas Kunnela is a good frontman and avoids the pitfalls of the stereotypical Euro wailer. He usually sticks to a manly mid-range delivery, sometimes recalling a subdued Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) and other times sounding like later era Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween). His vocal choices are generally appealing and he rarely over-sings the material. Ville Koskinen also deserved praise for his bass-work. He adds little solos and fills throughout the album that give the music a well rounded sound. The absence of keyboards is also noteworthy and to be honest, greatly appreciated, as their absence allows Everlore to avoid the usual pirate-beshirted frills and gaudy bombast of so many Euro-power fancy boys.

Everlore is a talented band, and their debut is a good start with very good moments. There’s plenty of room for them to develop as they get more experience, and I’m anxious to see where they go from here. When next we hear from them, I suspect they’ll be signed and hungry to usurp the territory of more established acts. Every now and then the hastily dropped promo isn’t a steaming pile of regret waiting to be triggered like a Claymore mine. This was one of those times.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Self-release
Websites: everlore.fi | everlore.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/everloreband
Releases Worldwide: June 5th, 2020

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