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Evergrey - Hymns for the Broken

by Kevin Wierzbicki

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Considering the name of this album and the fact that it contains songs with titles like "The Grand Collapse," "King of Errors" and "Black Undertow" you might think that Hymns for the Broken spends its time wallowing in hopelessness or complaining about the sorrier side of life.

That's not the way this long-running Swedish progressive melodic metal band works though; if you want to have a good mope you need to look elsewhere. "King of Errors," a song that lyrically explores man's inherent ability to repeatedly fail (and one of the album's standout tracks) soars with guitars and a hooky chorus that offset the tune's slightly ominous overtone, in essence portraying the notion that you've got to make the best of a less than perfect situation and move on.

Some songs are less ethereal; "Archaic Rage" for example, that you might take to be a song about ancient warriors battling it out, is actually a radio-ready relationship song that mashes up the best qualities of hit makers like Journey and Asia.

"Hymns for the Broken" is similar in tone musically and lyrically, again reflecting the fact that things don't always go as planned but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world. So really these guys are realists; they do not live in the medieval or sci-fi fantasy world or darker-than-dark realm that so many north European bands inhabit, so plan on having a great time with this one as you sing along with Tom Englund's impassioned vocals and play air guitar to the fretwork of Englund and newly-returned to the fold lead guitarist Henrik Danhage.

Full of powerful and memorable songs, Hymns for the Broken has been built to last. And for those who have a need and who listen closely to Englund's words and take them to heart there might even be a way here to get things on the mend.

Purchase Hymns for the Broken here.

Evergrey - Hymns for the Broken
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