Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Parkway Drive

Formed in 2003, Parkway Drive are from Byron Bay, New South Wales. From Sydney it’s a 8.5 hour drive North and close to the NSW and Queensland border. It’s a great place to visit. Thor himself Chris Hemsworth has set up residence there.

I didn’t get into em as the screaming was too much on the earlier releases but then they released “Reverence” in May 2018. It went to Number 1 on the ARIA Charts, and it was the melodic heavy metal sound that hooked me in. You can hear influences from Maiden, Judas, Metallica, Megadeth, In Flames and Sabbath.

The band is made up of Winston McCall on lead vocals, Jeff Ling on lead guitar, Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick on rhythm guitar, Jia “Pie” O’Connor on bass and Ben “Gaz” Gordon on drums.

“Wishing Wells” kicks off the album, in which McCall speaks the intro over a dark acoustic guitar riff as it builds into a massive melodic death metal piece.

I spoke a vow today and asked if God would come and play
I’ve dug a shallow hole for him to sleep
But I swear he just won’t answer me
I call on out is he afraid, I’ll bury him down with the ones he keeps
And if the devil is listening, I’ll come for him as well
If I suspect he had a hand to play
And if I see his face in town, there’s room for two down underground
Nothing’s gonna stop me ’til I’m done
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
Until I’m done!
‘Cause tonight I’m killing gods!
Killing gods!

There has been death within the band members circle and they are pissed. Pissed at everyone.

“Prey” has an intro riff that will hook you in. It’s the best riff that In Flames didn’t write. And at 42 plus million streams, its definitely a star for em on Spotify. Hell, their numbers on Spotify make all of the people whinging about Spotify sound lame.

Apart from “Prey”, “The Void” from the same album is at 33.3 million streams, “Vice Grip” is at 48.4 million streams, “Wild Eyes” is at 36.9 million streams and “Carrion” is at 34.8 million streams.

In comparison, I’ve been listening to a lot of Coheed and Cambria lately as I’ve been reviewing their albums and their streams for their Top 5 are “Welcome Home” at 76.1 million streams, “A Favour House Atlantic” at 25.8 million streams, “The Suffering” at 22.3 million streams, “Wake Up” at 12.4 million streams and “Blood Red Summer” at 10.1 million streams.

“Absolute Power” crushes with its intro riff, reminding me of Rage Against The Machine.

The truth drops like a bomb

What do we know as truth. Most people are afraid to speak up, for fear of standing out, for fear of being ridiculed, they just want to get along.

The past you know has been written by the victor
So I ask you now, who is it writing your future
The butcher, the liar, the thief or the killer
Your freedom died quiet in the halls of power

When you read and learn history you read a version of events from a certain point of view. Even our parents are guilty of changing the past to suit their point of views.

As the outro chorus sings, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

“Cemetery Bloom” has a choir that gives me chills.

“The Void” is a hard rock song. There is a guitar hero moment in the song, but the overall feel of this song reminds me of “In Flames” at their melodic best.

“I Hope You Rot” has melodic leads and symphonic choirs.

“Shadow Boxing” has a phased/chorus guitar riff to kick off the song and McCall showcases his clean tone vocals. And the violin section is haunting.

All my life I’ve been told the same old
Don’t step out, don’t test the mould

It’s the same message from the 80s.

“Chronos” has guitar playing which is metal up your arse. The last two minutes are a must listen. So melodic and powerful.

The title deals with Chronos, the keeper of time and how everything within time returns to him.

“The Colour of Leaving” is the closer. It’s melancholic.

I saw death’s face today
As he led my friend away
So I’ll ask who I gotta pay
To bring him back
Bring him back to me
Bring him back to me

To release something like “Reverence” six albums deep, is to be commended. And they’ve cemented themselves as one of Australia’s great exports.

Check em out.

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Derivative Works, Influenced, Music

St Anger

I was doing the endless Twitter scroll and I came across a post from a Twitter user called @BookOfMetallicA;

April 8th, 2003: Metallica finished recording the album “St. Anger”.

“There’s two years of condensed emotion in this. We’ve gone through a lot of personal changes, struggles, epiphanies, its deep. It’s so deep lyrically and musically”. James Hetfield.

So I thought, why not. Let’s go back there again.

I saw the band on the “St. Anger” tour when it hit Australia. In a live setting, “Frantic” and “St Anger” were not out of place when matched against the other songs from the band catalogue, but Lar’s didn’t play the fast double kick sections.

I remember picking the album up and it had the DVD of them jamming the album live in their rehearsal studio. I didn’t even play the album, I went straight to the DVD. I purchased the majority of the singles released because of the B-sides. James Hetfield singing off key is jarring, a throwback to the old days of speed metal when it was more about the aggression than being in tune.

The snare sound or the general drum sound didn’t bother me, as some of the music I was listening too had weird percussion drum sounds already like Slipknot, Spineshank and Mudvayne.

“Realistically though if you really think about it – it was the fact that there was NO real songs. That was because the guy who writes the songs – couldn’t write the songs because of where he was personally.

So, what St. Anger became was what the band could do at that point and it is exactly that. It was riffs strung together…

The way I look at it was like raw power or a garage band. It was just riffs… It was garage band and that was supposed to sound like that and what I learned out of it is that people in metal just don’t want it to change. So, it’s best that Rick Rubin continue the metal thing and not Bob.

Bob Rock on the making of “St Anger”

Hetfield still did a “master of puppets” like job manipulating and piecing together all of the lyrical streams of consciousness’s from the other guys into lyrics.

The title “Some Kind Of Monster” is more attached to the no holds barred documentary/film than the actual song. But the first two minutes of just instrumental music grooves its way into your brain and it would not be out of place on a “Corrosion of Conformity” album.

In “Dirty Window”, Hetfield is judge, jury and executioner while he finds ways to rhyme defecator and rejecter.

“Invisible Kid” has a lot of potential.

“My World” is “Frantic” part 2. And I feel like it’s a dig at their performance coach, with the lyric. “it’s my world and you can’t have it”. At one stage, the performance coach thought he was part of the band.

“Shoot Me Again” could have come from Alice In Chains.

How good does “Sweet Amber” start off?

That bluesy feeling.

“The Unnamed Feeling” has this “Outlaw Torn” feel with some slide guitar as Hetfield sings about something coming alive while he dies a little more. “Purify” is the only song that had nothing there to jam to.

“All Within My Hands” should have been titled “Control Everything, Kills Everything”. And it’s strange because Hetfield is singing on key but the music is downtuned chaos.

Overall, there is enough riffage on the album that makes it fun for me to pick up the guitar to jam to and for that, it still stands the test of time as Metallica always had the balls to do what they wanted to do.

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Music, My Stories

Then And Then

The January 1994 issue of “Guitar School” well and truly showed who was on top of the charts.

White Zombie on the cover and transcribed songs from Gin Blossoms, Danzig and of course, White Zombie themselves.

Rob Halford also talked about how he wanted to work with modern guitarists.

Paul Gilbert and Thunder Bays favourite son Billy Sheehan are interviewed and there is a nice U2/The Edge section in which they show The Edge’s favourite U2 riffs with detailed analysis.

Fast forward to June 2006 and you get an issue titled “The New Guitar Gods” but all the songs transcribed are from artists who released material between the 70’s and the 90’s.

You would think one of the new Guitar Gods would get a song transcribed like the 1994 issue.

Lamb Of God guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler are on the cover. These two dudes are still at it. If LoG is too extreme for ya, check out the solo work of Mark Morton.

The Mars Volta, Dragonforce, Mastodon, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall Jr, Unearth, Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against and Bullet For My Valentine round out the list.

The Mars Volta is no more when At The Drive In reformed and then broke up again.

Dragonforce are still around testing the limits of how much super fast shredding can someone be exposed to. For me, not too much and especially not in every song.

Mastodon are still downtuning along and appearing as Free Folk behind the Wall.

Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall Jr had appeared on a lot of albums, especially Bramhall.

Unearth are still going.

The Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine guitarists are still rocking out together while the lead guitar position in Rise Against was reaching Spinal Tap drummer proportions until they settled on one in 2007.

So..

How many of the new breeds from back then did you get into?

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descension

“The Afterman: Descension” is the seventh studio album by progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria and the second part of a double album, the first part of which is “The Afterman: Ascension”.

You can read my review on it here.

The deluxe version of the album was released with a coffee-table book co-written by band member Claudio Sanchez and writer Peter David, giving a song-by-song experience of the concept album. The album follows the Amory Wars storyline, and concentrates on the character Sirius Amory.

In summary, “The Afterman’s” story takes place at the start of the saga. It follows Sirius Amory, an astromner and his All Mother spaceship as they explore a powerful energy source known as the “Keywork” which is powered by the souls of the departed, imprisoned in some form of purgartorial afterlife.

“Pretelethal”

“WHO WILL REPAIR THIS HEART?” is the repeating lyric, as this song is the set up for the next one.

In the book, Claudio explains that the musical ideas came from him jamming with a lot of new gadgets that he picked up on the road.

And he stuck with the lyric because it represents loss and pain.

From a story point of view, a weakened Sirius is being protected by the energy of Evagria The Faithful, from the other entities. But Vic The Butcher, Domino The Destitute and Holy Wood The Cracked are bombarding Evagria, trying to get to Sirius, so they could possess his body and leave this place.

“Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant”

A sombre acoustic guitar starts off with a droning open string and a high melody.

Then the song explodes into the riff and the whole band is in.

If you remember from the “Ascension” review, there is a character called Vic The Butcher, who wanted Sentry to kill innocents on his behalf, but when Sentry refused, Vic The Butcher organised others to kill Sentry by hanging, making it look like a suicide to Sentry’s family.

And now both their souls are trapped in the purgatory stage of the Keywork.

The feel of the song reminds me of “No World For Tomorrow”.

Sentry is the last entity that Sirius will encounter.

Evagria explained to Sirius that he had been in the Keywork for 547 days even though to Sirius it was no more than a week. Just think of the movie “Interstellar”.

For Sirius, it was time to go home, only if he could find a way. As the All Mother told him, his chance of survival to return was 30%.

And I saw Sentry as a pseudonym for “Claudio The Defiant” as the music and lyrics came after Claudio had an argument with his manager because the Manager requested that Claudio try and write more accessible music, which Claudio already thought he was. This was his response.

“The Hard Sell”

“You’re selling out to be in!” is the main hook on this song.

In “The Afterman” book, Claudio mentions how this song comes from a personal viewpoint about his struggles with record labels and managers who want him to write more accessible lyrics.

No one starts writing songs for em to become a hit. There is a need inside a person to create.

Sirius has now returned to Heavens Fence and is being questioned about what he saw and what happened. But he doesn’t tell the whole truth, scared as to the consequences that could come if everyone knows that an “afterlife” exists.

And his wife Meri has moved on with her life. She is in a relationship with the Police Officer who saved her at the bar in “Goodnight, Fair Lady” when her drink was spiked.

“Number City”

This is a different Coheed and Cambria with a groovy, funky, fuzzed out bass riff, taking control of the song. It’s almost disco rock and I like it.

And in the story there is a car accident with Sirius and Meri in which Meri is unconscious and taken to ICU.

“Gravity’s Union”

It’s the longest song on the album and it’s the moods that hook me.

And from the 5 minute mark to the end, it’s desk breaking stuff, with all the layered guitars, the emotive drumming, locked in bass and those infectious vocal melodies from Claudio.

It goes back to before the accident. Sirius and Meri are arguing in the car when it crashes.

And the song ends with a heart monitor beeping.

“Away We Go”

It reminds me of “Feathers” from “No World For Tomorrow”. It has a synth lick to kick it off which is memorable.

This song deals with Meri and her transition into the afterlife.

“Iron Fist”

This is Sirius dealing with the loss of Meri and how he ruins a lot of things.

And you don’t think that a song called “Iron Fist” would be an acoustic ballad, feeling like it’s recorded in the heartland of the country.

The lead from Travis Steer. Its bluesy and full of soul.

“Dark Side Of Me”

As soon as the drums start and the finger picked guitar intro kicks in, I am hooked.

There are bits and pieces from “Here We Are Juggernaut” in the Chorus and the build-up of “Mother Superior”.

It deals with Sirius facing Meri new partner who was also going to be a father. But Sirius ruined it all.

“2’s My Favourite 1”

This one also reminds me of “Feathers” from “No World For Tomorrow”.

Sirius makes the decision to go back to the Keywork and find Meri, to help her transition into the afterlife.

Both albums are different and worthy to be heard.

Check em out.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories

AI Riffs And Lyrics

AI created music is always talked about when it comes to Copyright.

Who actually has a right to it?

Especially when you start to get AI-generated songs that sound like copyrighted bands and it starts to become a bit more complicated.

In the case of AC/DC and Metallica, the AI Bot scraped all the lyrics the bands wrote and wrote new lyric passages. But a human still needed to discern which lines to use. And for these songs, the music and vocals are performed by a person.

For the AI Jimi Hendrix song called “You’re Gonna Kill Me” and the AI Nirvana song called “Drowned In The Sun“, the organisation behind these songs had AI algorithms created to listen to hooks, rhythms, riffs, chord structures, solos, melodies and lyrics of the artists and then the AI learns how to generate a new string of ideas that could be used for songs. And the same AI used to create the AC/DC and Metallica lyrics was used to create the lyrics for these songs.

The AI would create about five minutes of new riffs, which only 10% was usable. So humans would then take out the stuff they thought was good and discard the rest and then press the create button again for a new 5 minute sample of music. And the process will repeat, until there are enough new ideas to create a song. So while the music is computer generated, it’s still a laborious task to put it all together by a human.

Also the vocals that the AI produces are just mumbles and hums that outline a melody, which you sort of get to hear on the Hendrix track, but for the Nirvana song, the vocals are handled by a Nirvana tribute singer, so it actually sounds like a Nirvana song.

Finally the “The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club” project was created to highlight mental health, but it also reminds us that there is still a lot of human involvement and decision making to create a song based on musical ideas generated by a computer.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Subhuman Race

I’ve had this post in draft for about a week.

On March 28th, 1995 “Skid Row” released their third album “Subhuman Race” on Atlantic Records. 26 years ago.

This is the last Skid Row album with singer Sebastian Bach and drummer Rob Affuso, and the last one to be released on Atlantic.

No one in Australia even knew of the issues that the band was having with Sebastian Bach and his arguments with Rachel Bolan. And the album charted really well in Australia, reaching Number 5 on the charts.

Bolan many years later described the album as a nightmare to do because the band was pressured into doing the album, even though they had fallen apart internally, and the change of producers who had different ways of doing things didn’t help. Bolan wanted Michael Waegner to remain but Bob Rock was given the gig.

Sebastian Bach also said that the sounds are dated, which is no surprise that the album tracks which appeared on the greatest hits album got remixed and cleaned up.

The album didn’t have the same level of commercial success of their two previous albums.

But I still like it.

Because I first became a fan of the band because of the lyrics and Rachel Bolan is still a master at writing some kick ass lyrics.

My Enemy

Keep the peace when face to face with the scene
Got a hunch that ain’t what you really mean
Weather’s fair, does that change where you stand?
My back is turned and the knife is in your hand

Doesn’t it piss you off when people put shit on you to get ahead.

I always saw this song as a sign of the times.

I read interviews from Blind Melon, Pearl Jam and Kim Thayil from Soundgarden in Guitar World where they put shit on bands from the 80s and on guitar players who could shred. It didn’t need to happen as all of those bands operated in different sonics and different headspaces.

There’s always room for all of em in my life.

Firesign

Walk all over what I believe
But I’m still here, you disappear

Only if it’s true. People who shit on you, are always around to shit on you a little bit more.

But.

Only if you let them.

Bonehead

If the weight of the world is on your shoulders
Then carry it for a day

Love that lyric.

Beat Yourself Blind

Pour me a chemical to take away the edge

Maybe I’ll pour a chemical to give me an edge.

Eileen

Eileen’s calling me to sit awhile and talk to trees

The mind is a fragile thing. But it can be trained to be tough but it can also make you disconnect from reality.

Subhuman Race

Taking liberties; burned by your dictation

Taking liberties means to “behave in an unduly familiar manner towards a person” while dictation means “the action of giving orders authoritatively or categorically.”

Conformity to someone else’s way of life who sees you as subhuman never ends well. Stand your ground and fight for your views and beliefs.

Into Another

Show me a sign
To a light that shines
One direction into another
Sheltered peace of mind

This song reminds me so much of Rush, in a musical sense.

And I’m always looking for new ways to make life better, but man, sometimes it would be great if there was a sign.

Iron Will

Life comes and goes, quick as does the day

Blink and you will miss it.

Time’s a breathing bomb, going with the flow
Stand atop it all outside the status quo

It’s easy to say “I will live outside the circle” but the status quo is a tough undertow to avoid.

Hide from all the hell and wash up with the tide
Wait and you commit psychological suicide

You need to be in the chaos to survive.

Break the molds of beg and submission

A brilliant line to be who you are. Don’t let anyone file down your rough edges that make you unique.

What’s peoples views on this album?

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Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – March 29 to April 4

4 Years Ago (2017)

I was writing about the recording industry trying to rebrand/sell itself as the “music” industry.

The Recording Industry is a section of the “music industry.”

But the Recording Industry likes to sell and market itself as the Music Industry.

The Music Industry is everything.

There is the recording industry who are involved in getting artists to recording and releasing music. The release can be via vinyl, CD’s and mp3’s and streaming.

But there is also licensing, touring (and people involved with touring like drivers, road crew), merchandise, publishing, musical instruments (sellers, manufacturers and buyers), music hardware, music software, video production and many more.

And a lot of movement was happening within governments around internet privacy. So I was asking the question, where is the outrage from artists.

There is a lot of press about outraged artists due to streaming and piracy but when it came to their internet privacy being sold to a corporation, there was nothing. Not even a word.

Governments deny that climate change exists and people scream in protest. Governments take away more of our privacy and there is silence.

8 Years Ago (2013)

I wrote about how DRM in games was hindering the real paying customers and how it really doesn’t stop people from copying the game. But the game makers want stronger DRM and enforcement as they believe they are losing money due to pirated copies.

Circa 2011, the MPAA stated that piracy losses amounted to $58 billion.  

How did they quantify the amount?

They didn’t, but they used it over and over again when they spoke to politicians about getting new laws written up.

I remember seeing that Transformers 1 (T1) and (T2) where the most pirated movies over Bit Torrent. T1 made $710M and T2 made $840M. T3 wasn’t on any torrent list and it made $1.3 Billion.

Maybe because the people that downloaded a torrent of T1 and T2 became fans and paid to watch T3. Maybe those little kids that downloaded T1 and T2 became fans and are now old enough to go to the cinema on their own and watch it.

One thing is certain, piracy is designed by the lobby groups so that they can get stupid legislation passed that puts them back in control of the distribution.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series – The Radio Sun

From Melbourne, Australia.

This album (their third in three years) came out in 2016. And since this release, they have released “Beautiful Strange” in 2018 and a few single song releases in 2019.

There is also a cool single called “Spaceman” released in 2015. Check out the cover.

Paul Laine is on production duties and does co-lead vocals on the song “Wink And Smile”. There’s a cool story as to how Laine got involved with the band. Go to the YouTube account of The Radio Sun and you will see a documentary called “Paul Laine And The Radio Sun”.

Laine also appeared on stage with the band on a small run of Australian shows.

Guitarist Brett Garsed from John Farnham/Nelson also appears on “Falling For You”.

The band is made up off Jason Old on lead vocals, Stevie Janevski on guitars, Robbie Erdmanis on bass and Ben Wignall on drums.

Their style is pure melodic rock. It doesn’t stray whatsoever in the same way that AC/DC doesn’t stray from their style.

“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”

The guitar playing from Janevski gets me interested. The vocal melodies are layered and the Chorus sounds massive. Make sure you check out the singalong lead break.

Musically the song reminds me of “Walk With A Stranger” from Skid Row, which was a song they played on the scene before they got signed and Trixter covered.

“Standing On The Edge Of Love”

It’s got that melodic rock riff that seems to appear in every melodic rock song. But. I don’t care. I like it as much as I like a 12 bar blues shuffle.

“You’ll Never Know”

The Chorus hooks me.

“Fall To Pieces”

It’s got a fast pedal point head banging riff to kick it off like a song from the “Surfing With The Alien” album by Satriani.

The outro is excellent.

“Wink And Smile”

A melodic lead kicks off the song. Paul Laine features on this.

“Falling For You”

Brett Garsed appears on this. Make sure you check out the solo section. It’s Garsed at his shredding best.

The band also covered “After The Rain” from Nelson. It’s on YouTube.

And for a melodic rock band they are not on Frontiers or from Sweden. But from Australia.

Check em out.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

AFM Records And International Orders

It’s great how the label gets the money when I click buy on the item, as they put up money for the album to be made, but as a fan I still don’t have the physical album.

Let me explain.

Evergrey is one of my favorite acts. They will always be a favorite, regardless of the crap service of their label.

When I saw they had a few different release packages set up for the new album “Escape Of The Phoenix”, I was interested to get one.

The album release date was set as 26 February, 2021.

So on 23 December, 2020, I clicked buy on the EVERGREY – Escape Of The Phoenix – Ltd. Artbook (incl.CD + 7″-Picture-Vinyl). The only place that had it was the AFM store and all the items come from Germany.

The price for the item was €43.86 EUR.

As i was going through with the purchase, I get hit with a €23.99 EUR shipping and handling fee. And I’m thinking, it’s half of the cost of the item. And with most items during the pandemic coming via sea you would think that the shipping would be less.

Anyway the total price came to €67.85 EUR and the Exchange rate at the time was 1 AUD = 0.588771 EUR.

So the final price of the album for me came to $115.24 AUD. I thought fuck it, I’m a fan and it’s coming up to Christmas. Plus I was a few bottles of wine in.

So I clicked buy.

On 19 February, 2021, I got an email that the item had shipped.

You would think AFM would post it a bit earlier for international orders but hey labels have never been customer centric or very smart in that regard, treating their customers as potential pirates, but their whole business model is based on customers.

Hell, I became an Evergrey fan because of piracy.

Since 20 February, 2021, the tracking number tells me that the item is still in Frankfurt, Germany.

Seriously.

On 26 February, 2021, the album hits streaming services and I crank it.

On April 1, 2021, I sent AFM an email and told em, nice April Fools joke as I don’t think I’m ever going to receive this item as it’s still in Germany.

I’m waiting a response.

Now for the album, it’s excellent. And I’ve already reviewed it.

Thank god for streaming and pirates and everyone else who allows access to the music. It allows the fans to crank it.

But the labels don’t realize that the people who buy physical editions are collectors and we can’t wait until we get the item in our hands.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 1.1: Evergrey – In Search Of Truth

It’s time to start a new year in review.

And I normally have about six to ten records on a post but in this case it had to be one album as it’s one of my favorite Evergrey albums.

So Part 1 is broken up into 1.1 and 1.2.

“In Search of Truth” is the third studio album and first concept album by Evergrey. It is the first album to feature guitarist Henrik Danhage and bassist Michael Håkansson, as well as the only one to feature keyboardist Sven Karlsson. Founder and mainstay, Tom Englund is on vocals and guitars with the very underrated Patrick Carlsson on drums.

Produced by Andy LaRocque, who had produced all the band’s previous albums up to now.

The album deals with alien abductions, based on the allegedly factual account of alien abduction victim Whitley Strieber’s book “Communion”.

The album cover was created by Swedish graphic designer Mattias Norén, who I once contacted for a possible album cover for an album I was involved in, before I decided to go with Brazilian artist, Gustavo Sazes.

An alien abduction story can be sort of blah, but Englund is the master at showcasing his personal side in the lyrics. So what we hear lyrically is how the main character struggles to understand what is happening and how scared and confused they are.

“The Masterplan”

Less than 5 minutes and what an opener. One of my favourite songs from Everygrey. Make sure you check out the live version on “A Night To Remember”. They do a Maiden “Running Free” singalong after the lead section which is perfect.

And the music video clip, with people painted to blend in the walls is unsettling as their eyes open, as the main character is being watched at all times.

“I have decided to keep this tape recorder with me at all times. Just so that I maybe one day can explain all the strange things happening to me. The lack of sleep…the loss of time. But most of all, the sensation of never being lonely…always being watched…”

And then the 7/8 syncopated intro blasts off.

Then that Chorus. The constant double kick, the power chords and the vocal melody which sings;

We are all a part off, forced to live within, a conspiracy for ages, the masterplan

The next time the second chorus rolls around, there is a little melodic lead before it. It’s a “why not” moment, to break up the verse and chorus structure.

The instrumental section in the interlude, the lead break and how they come out of this interlude and back into the Chorus. A masterpiece.

Make sure you check out Henrik Danhage’s outro lead break.

“Rulers Of The Mind”

It has another memorable intro.

The stomping drumming in the verses reminds me of “Kashmir”.

There is this orchestral choir happening over one of the lead breaks, which is unsettling.

And how good is the Chorus vocal melody and we had to live through an intro, two verses and a solo before we got to it. And then there is silence and a piano line. And slowly, it rebuilds up.

Make sure to check out the lead break at the 3.50 mark. Then at 4.21 those orchestral choirs come back in. They are cinematic and desperate. And the last 50 seconds, the Chorus reappears.

At 6 minutes long it didn’t get boring and I press repeat.

“Watching The Skies”

It feels like a Malmsteen or Dream Theater cut with the keyboard solo. And the double kick drumming from Patrick Carlsson is relentless, fast when it needs to be and syncopated when it needs to be.

Check out the section from 4.05 and the excellent lead break kicks in at 4.45.

“State Of Paralysis”

It has a haunting piano riff to kick it off and Englund is in theatre mode as he plays a fearful and confused abductee.

“They’re coming, they’re coming”

Englund keeps repeating those words.

“The Encounter”

“State of Paralysis” and “The Encounter” are basically the same song split into two different tracks. This one is progressive. Like Dream Theater “Awake” style of album.

Make sure you check out the guitar solo at the 3 minute mark and there is this ten second guitar melody that plays between 3.50 and 4.00.

And those same words, “they’re coming” keep reappearing.

“Mark Of The Triangle”

This is probably Evergrey at its progressive best, with tempo changes and technical playing. But still accessible.

The start alone has the bass locking in with the kick drum while the synth plays chords and the guitars play a lead.

This morphs into the guitars syncopating, with double kick drumming and the keyboard playing a melodic lead.

And it quietens down to the verse, which is just bass, piano and drums with a vocal melody.

At 1.30 the trademark Evergrey syncopated riff kicks in. It’s their style.

The whole guitar solo section from 3.55. Listen to the piano riff that kicks it off. All the pop songs from Max Martin use it. It’s a Sweden thing.

At the 5 minute mark the synths become dominant and its cinematic.

“Dark Waters”

The symphonic choir is haunting.

At 2.44 there is a different symphonic choir for a few seconds that reminds me of “Suite Sister Mary” from Queensryche. Which isn’t surprising as Queensryche is listed as an influence.

And the last three minutes of the song is epic, reminding me of songs like “The Aftermath” and “The Storm Within” from their recent albums.

“Different World’s”

How good is the piano intro?

And then Englund sings, with all his emotion.

The piano takes centre stage again at the 50 second mark with another iconic riff.

Then it goes back to the piano intro and an acoustic guitar with more vocals.

At 3.26, it’s the tape narrative again about, “oh god, it’s happening again”. The piano is haunting and at the 4 minute the guitar solo begins with big bends.

“Misled”

The album closer. It starts off with a piano riff and then the band cranks in.

Listen to the ahh choir before the Chorus and then there is a blast beat section of furious double kick before the Chorus kicks in.

Each verse has a different riff but within the same chord structure. Its creative and a progressive way of thinking.

At 2.59, it’s the style of Evergrey that they have carried to this day, syncopated staccato guitar riffs with a keyboard melody over the top.

The whole guitar solo section and coming out of it needs to be heard.

And then its silence, with a taped piano riff playing and Englund singing, “I’m crawling back to sleep” before the whole band kicks in.

I have to mention again that Tom Englund is a very underrated vocalist. Each song bears his emotion and soul. You hear anger, sadness, hope, fear and happiness. His voice is strong, ballsy, unique to him and it avoids sounding like a Geoff Tate or Ray Adler or Bruce Dickinson or David Coverdale copycat which a lot of artists started doing to get a break in the market. And throughout this album, his voice moves between strong and bold to panic, crying and whimpering in “Different Worlds” as he narrates, “Oh, god, it’s happening again / I don’t wanna be here / I wanna go home”.

This was also Evergrey’s first release on German label, “Inside Out”, a move up to a bigger label from their previous independent label. For the label, Inside Out, 2001 was a big year as they released “Burn the Sun” from Ark, “Terria” from Devin Townsend and “In Search Of Truth” from Evergrey, all seen as defining albums in the progressive metal genre.

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