Heavy metal, in general, in it’s most simple terms deals mainly with strong view points or emotions be it hate, war, death, religion etc. Feelings of vunerability, sorrow or fear are only usually dealt with in passing, this tends to be because writing about such topics without sounding trite or corny is very difficult.
Everygrey’s new release unfortunately lyrically falls into this trap. Even worse is the fact that the Swedish quintet haven’t really produced a stellar album musically either. When an album beings with an intro (in this case ‘The Awakening) it should either evoke an emotion reflecting the rest of the album or act as a preface to it, neither occurred here. Leading into “King of Errors” and the “A New Dawn” a theme is emerging. I know I may seem harsh, however, what is on offer here is readily available from a plethora of bands already. There doesn’t seem to be any belief or passion behind what is happening. “Hymns for the Broken” isn’t bad, it’s not great, it is something worse. Bland.
Tom S Englund is in fine voice. The guitar playing from Tom and Henrik Danhage is perfectly fine. Rikard Zander, Johan Niemann and Jonas Ekdahl’s keyboard, bass and drumming respectively is all complimentary to the album. The production is clear, well balanced and dynamically musically. “Wake a Change” is probably the weakest track on offer and lacks any atmosphere that is due a ballad. “The Fire” is one of the stronger songs and though it may seem a lot heavier than most of what is on offer is one of the only songs (along with the title track) where the personality of the band comes across and seems truly cohesive.
Yet again though, there is nothing to stir the imagination. I worked in a music store for many years and had to sell albums face to face to people, with that, I developed a way of hearing music from other people’s point of views because not everybody likes everything. “Hymns for the Broken” would be bought, listened to once and left, maybe revisited once in a while. Hopefully, the songs find their legs live and don’t resign a strong band to mediocrity.