Release DetailsLABEL Ulterium Records
RELEASED ON 10/2/2006
posted on 2/2007 By:
Evergrace may be the only band in history to take a hiatus while their vocalist went off to get some proper vocal training. Well, actually, they kept going, albeit in a limited fashion, and welcomed Johan Falk back with open arms once he completed his training. Their first order of business was to get started on their debut full-length. Perhaps the whole band should have taken a songwriting course, too, as this album ended up being a rather frustrating listen. The first time, I liked it. The second time, not so much. This cycle repeated a couple more times before I noticed some recurrences.
First was that there were only specks of brilliance in otherwise mediocre tracks. Opener “The Escape” had some decent vocal hooks, and there was some nice fretwork on “Enough is Enough”, but I found my interest fading in and out. In most cases, they were coming off as half-baked Hammerfall and Dream Evil throwaways with more disciplined vocals.
Second, somehow, my interested was only piqued around “Ulterior World”, wherein everything seemed to fall into place: a stronger vocal, better riffs, and a strong rhythm. This one is followed by “World of Nothingness” and “I Am Sorry For You (Part I)”. These three are easily the strongest tracks here but on a larger scale are still unspectacular. In closing the album, they fall victim to one of the classic blunders. The biggest one, of course, is never to start a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is to never end your album with an acoustic/piano piece, because it totally kills whatever buzz the listener had going up to that point. More experienced bands can get away with it, but when you’re just starting out, you can’t be afforded the credit, even if the piece is “I Am Sorry For You (Part 2)”. It might have seemed like a good epilogue, but it doesn’t even feel like part of its predecessor.
To Evergrace: The genre of traditional/power metal is incredibly competitive. In order to survive, you have to rise above the millions of wannabes and set yourself apart, be it with virtuoso musicianship, stand-out vocals, or even righteous lyrical themes. You are to be commended for wanting to improve yourselves as a band, but you’re going to have to keep working at it if you want to have your impact felt in a genre that already has more than it’s share of pretenders and never-will-be's.
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