Evergrey, ‘The Storm Within’ – Album Review
If you’re looking for a shiny, happy album, Evergrey won’t be your go-to group. The Swedish band specializes in records that are emotional, often melancholy, and have a lot of depth. That’s the case with their latest effort The Storm Within.
Beefy guitars, a memorable melody and the passionate vocals of Tom S. Englund get the proceedings off to a strong start on “Distance,” which is also the album’s first single and video. Evergrey have some power metal in their DNA, evident in the soaring “Passing Through.”
Lyrically, Englund calls The Storm Within the band’s first “love” album. "As usual, the lyrics are based on someone or some event in my life," Englund says. "When we were making this album a lot of these relationship issues were going on around me; people losing a partner or a loved one and grieving. The Storm Within is about a search for identity, trying to make yourself full when you feel half empty, and I placed that storyline in an interstellar world."
The Storm Within is an album of contrasts. The mellow and subdued “The Impossible” is followed by the ominous and bombastic “My Allied Ocean,” the heaviest song on the album. The guitar work from Englund and Henrik Danhage is especially strong on the more intense songs.
There are two songs on the second half of the album featuring guest female vocalists. Nightwish’s Floor Jansen has the pipes that won’t be overshadowed by Englund, and the two sound great together on "In Orbit." The other guest vocalist is Englund’s wife Carina, who has appeared on previous Evergrey albums. Her voice is very expressive, and is well-suited to the ballad “The Paradox Of The Flame.”
While nearly an hour long, there really isn’t much filler to be heard. The front and back halves of the album are equally strong. The title track wraps up the album, an epic and cinematic song that’s diverse and atmospheric, much like the album itself.
For two decades Evergrey have been delivering consistently good albums. They have developed a strong and loyal fan base, but still remain one of metal’s most underrated bands, at least in North America. While there’s plenty of clouds and rain on The Storm Within, it’s not all sadness and depression. There’s also the hope that when the storm finally passes, the sun will shine again.