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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Evergrey 'Escape Of The Phoenix' Album Review By JD Rich
Evergrey 'Escape Of The Phoenix' Album Review By JD Rich


Escape Of The Phoenix

AFM Records

February 26, 2021

Album Review By JD Rich

Boston Rock Radio




We are in the dark days of winter now my friends, and there is no better way to warm up than with a fiery blast of hardcore Swedish Prog Metal. Grab your snödräkt (snowsuit), we’re heading for Det Avlånga Landet (The Elongated Land) for a deep dive into the 12th studio release from Evergrey, Escape Of The Phoenix.

There are a few silver linings on the cloud of this Coronavirus fiasco. One is that musicians have been able to hunker down and fine-tune their material with extra precision. Another plus is the inspiration fueled by this global debacle, allowing songwriters to tap in and turn their catharsis into an elevated art form. There are the usual combustible riffs and rapid-fire double-bass drumming characteristic of Prog Metal, just shy of Thrash or Death Metal. There are also the mysterious elements of introspection of a damaged psyche. Fans of this style love the relentless fury. Those who lean toward the more intellectual side of music can appreciate the poetic construction.‚Äč

Evergrey digs in and builds on their style, going further into the abyss. They’ve taken lessons learned from their previous works and went bigger with their sound, making it more fluid and expansive. Escape Of The Phoenix is a remarkable turning point in Evergrey’s journey to amplify their collaboration in a musical purgatory while the rest of the world is on hold. Almost as if the universe was sending a message, saying (among other things) now is the time to focus on what you have and make it better. It can’t just be “good enough,” it has to be outstanding. Apparently, the guys in Evergrey got the memo and took it to heart, their own phoenix rising from the ashes. It’s not that the phoenix escaped, as many of us wish we could. Rather, this phoenix was sent to pull Evergrey (and the rest of us) out of our own/their own ashes.

Even with perceived metaphors, the EP contains Prog Metal easy to keep up with. It doesn’t devour itself in unnecessary showboating. Musical structures are set with the fullness of a big-budget production. Everything is about going above and beyond: pacing, lyrics, content, skills, you name it. Even though Escape Of The Phoenix can not be captured until its official release date on February 26th, you can get a little bitty taste of what’s in store with the video for one prominent track, “Eternal Nocturnal," ready for viewing HERE.


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