EVERGREY – A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament
Evergrey are a Swedish based metal band that’s been around the scene for almost three decades in existence. I first heard of this band around 2019 after listening to their record The Atlantic and I was quite impressed going in blind not knowing the band or the style, sound and lyrical content. Now in 2022 this is the latest offering by these Swede musicians making this is the thirteenth full-length recording and is the continuation of last year’s album Escape of the Phoenix. Released on Napalm Records, A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament takes everything from last handful of Evergrey albums and have created the most adventurous, dynamic, progressive driven albums the band has done to date. There’s tons of melodic arrangements, power metal driven soundscapes and a atmosphere so dense and precise that they’ve went above and beyond within the everlasting beauty and qualities into this record making this Evergrey’s finest achievement in the modern-day era of the genre.
Stylistically speaking, Evergrey plays a fusion of both progressive and power metal in which this band reminded me a combination of Kamelot, Symphony X, Fates Warning and Dream Theater but their version of creating two genres I have started to appreciate more and more is really well done and the songs they’ve created is immaculate and expansive making these musicians bring out their fine-tune qualities and brought us a album that’s suitability for all folks.
The lyrical content also speaks very highly since the theme and context of this album discusses many subjects like paranoia, religion, darkness, fear and other related topics that seems to appropriately fit the album very well.
Instantly off the bat, songs like Midwinter Calls, Heartless, Reawakening and Call Out The Dark embodies the taste and ubiquitous melody that Evergrey is known for have taken things bit more heavier and structured as the dynamic and energetic presences within this album brings out a traditional heavy metal twist making these songs be as compassionate, colorful and vibrant which course some songs contain predictability for a power metal band is concerned but Evergrey’s vision and take into crafting a larger-than-life emotional feeling really resonated with me after many listens. This album definitely embarked my interest to revisit the earlier albums of Evergrey but for what its worth, A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament is a imaginative, gorgeous and relentless record that every progressive power metal fan needs to add in their collection.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Jake Butler