Gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated 12th album, Swedish Progressive Metal band Evergrey is at a point in their career that many of their peers can only dream about. Since the release of “Hymns For The Broken” in 2014, Evergrey has enjoyed increased notoriety and success with “The Storm Within” (2016) and “The Atlantic” (2019) – ironically, a conceptual trilogy – which is highly unusual for a veteran act, and something frontman / founder Tom S. Englund considers an honour and a privilege. They mean to continue this tradition on February 26, 2021 with “Escape Of The Phoenix”, another heavy, melancholic and thought-provoking journey as only Evergrey can create.
Written and recorded during the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, “Escape Of The Phoenix“ came to life according to plans that had been laid out in 2019. Englund and drummer Jonas Ekdahl began composing the songs in January, creating a foundation for the album before Evergrey gathered together and arranged the songs as a group. Unlike a typical creative process, which is often interrupted by appointments, travelling and one-off shows, lockdown requirements gave the band much needed time to work unhindered. The result is 11 songs that embody everything Evergrey fans have to expect, albeit “a more metal version of “The Atlantic”, with songs that are more direct” according to Englund and producer Jacob Hansen.
“Escape Of The Phoenix” continues to showcase Englund as a powerful lyricist as he once again digs deep into himself, only this time he wasn’t restricted by the story developed and told over the previous three albums. With this new freedom he was able to write about whatever came to mind, with subjects ranging from intensely personal, his view of the world, mankind, and personal relationships.
“I write lyrics for myself, to get things out of my system,” says Englund. “This has been my therapy, really, for the last 25 years. I’m very certain that if we didn’t do this, I would be a much more miserable person. I’ve got to thank music for everything, especially having the outlet to write lyrics. There’s a theory that writing things to yourself is therapeutic, and I think that’s very true. The composing of the lyrics is extremely important to me; just as important as writing the music. Even more, sometimes. For me it’s like painting a picture with words. I see really clearly what it’s about; it’s a world for me.”
As for calling the new album “Escape Of The Phoenix”, it wasn’t a title dreamed up out of desperation to find something that sounds cool. As with everything Englund does, he had a very clear concept in mind.
“When you talk about the resurrection of the phoenix, that started a mindgame for me,” Englund reveals. “What if the bird doesn’t want to be resurrected? What if it doesn’t want to come back? That sort of resembles things in life; sometimes you get tired of standing up and being strong. I guess that was the main idea. It came to me after we’d finished writing the music.”
Watch the first single called “Forever Outsider“ on the YouTube player below:
01. Forever Outsider
02. Where August Mourn
04. Dandelion Cipher
05. The Beholder (featuring James LaBrie)
06. In Absence Of Sun
07. Eternal Nocturnal
08. Escape Of The Phoenix
09. You From You
10. Leaden Saint
12. The Darkness In You
Tom S. Englund / Vocals, Guitars
Henrik Danhage / Guitars
Rikard Zander / Keyboards
Johan Niemann / Bass
Jonas Ekdahl / Drums
Pre-Orders are open through the AFM Records Official Website: https://shop.afm-records.de/evergrey/