In a restless world which demands permanent innovation and at the same time the preservation of tried and tested ideals, Evergrey are among the few bands who have succeeded in performing this difficult balancing act in artistic terms. Their intelligent dark melodic metal is marked by high compositional skill, their very own signature and a diversity which never ceases to amaze their audience. The songs by the band from Sweden are never one-dimensional or indeed predictable, but always accessible and based on clear concepts. As confident as we have known Evergrey for more than ten years, as convincing do the band present themselves on their latest album, Torn: dynamic, powerful, and always haunting.

Torn consists of eleven compositions, described by singer/guitarist Tom S. Englund as a "modern mix of In Search Of Truth and Recreation Day". "The tracks are all guitar-oriented and very atmospheric. They have exactly the sound that our fans expect from us." The Evergrey mastermind can look back at a relaxed recording process during which the band allowed their creativity to run riot, avoiding any kind of calculated considerations. "This is 100% the music which we wanted to play. We didn't take into account any radio listening habits or the feasibility of performing the tracks live in our shows. The atmosphere was similar to our debut album, when the material almost wrote itself, no matter whether the tracks were dark or optimistic, sounded tough or rather emotional."

According to Englund, the slightly more experimental direction of Evergrey's previous release, Monday Morning Apocalypse, has given way again to old strengths and virtues. "Two years ago we needed an album with a slightly different approach and an expensive producer, just to find out how that sort of thing works. It was the right album at the time, but now we have returned to our typical trademarks." This is one of the reasons why the tracks on Torn were self-produced by Englund together with drummer Jonas Ekdahl. In addition, the band has a new bassist, Fredrik Larsson having been replaced by former Stratovarius member Jari Kainulainen. The convincing result proves the Scandinavian band right: the powerful and extremely spirited production is a perfect reflection of the tracks' dynamic orientation.

Between typical Evergrey numbers such as ┬┤Broken Wings` as the album's accomplished opener and the final ┬┤These Scars`, which sees the band cite all their popular trademarks, there is a whole range of new arrangements which suit the Evergrey sound to a T. "I feel that Torn mirrors the band's development," Englund points out, adding: "Especially the sound is clearly heavier and more dynamic than on our previous releases." In terms of lyrics, Englund presents eleven different stories which are pervaded by a kind of invisible central theme without adding up to a concept album in the classic sense. The cover artwork was chosen in line with a profound theme: the angel with the broken wing symbolises the mental vulnerability of people and is a perfect reflection of the atmosphere on Torn.

Their new album sees Englund & Co. continue a career which has been on the ascent for more than ten years. Since the band arrived on the scene in 1998, Evergrey have brought out six studio albums and one live cut. All of them made the top 20 in their native Sweden and the last two made the top 10 (no. 6 and 3, respectively). On top of that, their DVD was number 1 for four weeks and nominated for a Grammy in Sweden. The band has toured around the globe several times, together with In Flames, Nevermore, Throwdown, Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom and Iced Earth, among others.


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