Recreation Day

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Sweden's Evergrey figure among a rare breed of progressive metal bands capable of balancing their undeniably impressive musicianship and lofty song and lyric-writing ambitions with the commitment to serving a song's best interest, not their own individual instrumental prowess. More unique yet is their heavy reliance on power metal -- often the most predictable and repetitive of metal subgenres -- for much of their sonic imprint, as they effortlessly integrate its best elements into their inventive compositions. Arguably their most consistent and rewarding to date, the group's stellar fourth album Recreation Day fleshes out what few forced experiments had tarnished earlier works into a strong and cohesive set from start to finish. Singer/guitarist Tom Englund wisely eschews the operatic excesses employed by many of his peers, both in the progressive and power metal fields; yet his range is quite impressive, ranging from delicately emotive melodies (particularly on the beautiful "Madness Caught Another Victim") to spitting fury bordering on death metal-style shouting (see moments in "The Great Deceiver"). Along with fellow guitarist Henrik Danhage, his frequently beautiful solos often become the lasting centerpieces of album highlights such as "As I Lie Here Bleeding," "Visions," and the title track. Keyboards and synthesizers are also an ever-present ingredient of the band's sound, but never overwhelm the songs (see the excellent "Your Darkest Hour" for a perfect example), which retain a crushingly focused, heavy metal sheen at all times. Recreation Day is another strong outing from a reliable force in Scandinavian metal.

blue highlight denotes track pick