|Power Metal, Progressive Metal
February 22nd, 2011
Release length: 1:00:59
There is no denying that Englund was right when he stated that many inspirations were utilized through the recording, and it seems to take in a lot of the band’s recent material, and just merge it together with their earlier works. Glorious Collision has a great amount of hard hitting tracks that show off the band’s ability to merge Progressive and Power Metal nicely, such as the starting track “Leave it Behind” which shows traces of “Monday Morning Apocalypse” and even “The Masterplan”, though not as melodic as the latter. However, it simply isn’t as dark and foreboding as some of th eband’s earlier material, and until you happen on the next track, “You”, it may lead you off into the wrong expectations of the album, as this track focuses on really creating a dark, almost haunting atmosphere to it, coming off more as a ballad-influenced Progressive track. The only problem with this track comes from the keyboards, which can goes into a more Electronica influence then the expected traditional keyboards that appear through the track, as well as adorn the rock-ballad inspired “Wrong”, another dark track that is fueled by the sheer emotion from start to finish.
And for the most part, that’s what Glorious Collision is. The release features a handful of more upbeat-sounding (compared to the darker ballads of the recording) that are enjoyable and rather heavy, but for the most part seem to stay more towards a powerful vocal performance against a backdrop of a ballad suitable for this band. Eventually, these tracks will start to wear thin, as there is just such a heavy presence of them on the recording, and, for the most part, they don’t really offer much in terms of variety. “Frozen” makes for a stronger track of these ballad-like songs, which is mostly due to the presence of the song and the feeling the more effort went into it. Prior to that track, you have two more ballad tracks, “You” and “Wrong”, and by the time “Frozen” hits, you’ll be a little bored of it, especially since the music seems to slow down with each passing track since “Leave it Behind”, and, though “Frozen” has a little more to it, it simply just feels like the track “You” should have been, or even “Wrong”.
While the first third of the album sets the tone for the recording perfectly, letting the listener know what is in store for the rest of the release, the music doesn’t really do much to stand out, sticking more to a slower pace, though, thankfully, not always sticking to a ballad approach. “Out of Reach” is the perfect example of this, coming off more as a slower Progressive track then anything, and one that should be familiar to fans of both the style, and the band themselves, furthering the obvious Rock vibe of the album. At first, the song may not seem like much, but the haunting background singing and building music really makes this song stand out nicely, casting a natural darkness over the album that doesn’t feel forced like on “You”. “Free”, however, stands out nicely on this release as one of the most emotionally moving ballad recordings, and really shows how much of this recording should have been to begin with with it’s very moving sorrow-filled performance, though the vocals feel a little restrained and don’t quite match the overall emotional drive of the song (which also is a hindering issue on other tracks like “You” and “Frozen”), making it one of the few generally memorable tracks. While these are inspiring tracks, “The Phantom Letters” kicks in with more of a general rock approach coupled with the band’s signature approach to song writing and performances, and it’s honestly just not that strong a song in the long run, coming off as stated earlier on this line: Generic. The vocal perforance saves it a bit, as does the darkened atmosphere that feels more flashy, like flickering lights against the rain in that dark night, but that’s about all that this track will spark from the atmosphere, and the emotions.
Finally, though all the slow tracks that really push the band’s notable ballad performances to the extreme plains of overkill, there are some heavier tracks scattered about that really mix to save the day. While tracks like “Frozen” and “The Disease…” are the farthest thing from bad, it’s just that they don’t offer much musically and eventually start to sound similar to one another, both in performance and just pattern. Among this, there’s “Restoring the Loss”, which is just well done classic Evergrey and will remind the listener why this band has been around for as long as they have, as well as “To Fit the Mold”, which starts out like yet another ballad track, but eventually kicks into a heavier, faster pace and becomes a nice breath of fresh air for the release before submerging back into the slow and growing stagnant waters of the band’s ballad ways. “It Comes from Within” does this again, except simply doesn’t tread into the ballad territory past a haunting solo which causes the song to slow down a bit and give it a slightly epic build-up feel to the music. “I’m Drowning Alone” also straddles the lines between being a ballad inspired track, and a heavier song. This one retains the slower pace that much of the album is comprised of, but has a heavier musical approach to it with keyboards that work nicely to give it a stylish feel to the dark presentation that Evergrey brings to the song, and having the addition of a little girl singing in the background works nicely to and aids this track in becoming one of the more memorable tracks before going into the expected ballad closing that gives a somber conclusion to the album in a manner that any Evergrey release deserves, being a very haunting track that relies heavily on the traditional piano sound to weave a dark atmosphere before kicking into a beautiful track with heavier music that is easily the most emotionally moving, and vocals that perfectly capture the sorrow in the music.
When you sit down and reflect on Glorious Collision, you’ll realize it’s an album that may take a few spins to grow on the listener, but the main issue here is the lack of genuinely inspiring tracks. Sure, a number of the slower songs play on the listener’s emotions, but there’s nothing genuinely memorable with half this album. Glorious Collision tricks the listener right at the start of the release, and all but five or six tracks on this recording come off as repetitive, or as filler material to push the conceptual premise of the album, which was not made available in the press kit for this release at the time of the review, even when scouring the net, so I wish I could tell youw hat it is, but even knowing it would make no real difference. It’s impossible to sit back and say Glorious Collision is a bad album, because it simply is not. But, at the same time it’s far from the caliber of material the band has composed earlier on, though some heavier tracks show shades of the more impressing material on their most recent recordings. This release also would have been so much better if it didn’t feel restrained vocally with a dark atmosphere forced onto many songs. Had more tracks on here been like “Leave It Behind” “Free” and “…And the Distance”, this would have been a simply phenomenal return to force for Evergrey. But, sadly, instead we’re giving material that is good, and actually sounds amateurish, which, given that it’s a new line-up except for two members, it would be excusable if it didn’t affect the two elder members as well.
01. Leave It Behind Us – 5:09
02. You – 6:23
03. Wrong – 5:07
04. Frozen – 4:57
05. Restoring the Loss – 4:40
06. To Fit the Mold – 5:20
07. Out of Reach – 3:40
08. The Phantom Letters – 5:31
09. The Disease… – 4:10
10. It Comes from Within – 4:22
11. Free – 3:42
12. …And the Distance – 3:47
|Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10