Evergrey – Hymns For The Broken


Review by Raymond Westland

AFM Records

Release date: 30 September 2014

The last couple of years haven’t been easy for Evergrey in general and mainman Tom Englund in particular. The band had to contend with several line-up changes and a steady decline in their popularity and business potential. However, Englund and Co decided to soldier on and this resulted into Hymns For The Broken, arguably their best album to date, according to the accompanying press release…

Usually albums like In Search Of Truth, Recreation Day and The Inner Circle are counted among the band’s best work, so declaring Hymns For The Broken their best body of work to date is quite a statement to say the least. However, the new Evergrey record sounds remarkably fresh and it has a sense of raw energy and direction which I haven’t heard in a long time from Tom Englund and his musical partners in crime. This newfound sense of purpose is especially palpable in tracks like ‘A New Dawn’, ‘Barricades’ and ‘Black Undertow’. These songs can easily hold their own against Evergrey staples like ‘Ambassador’, ‘Recreation Day’, ‘Mark Of The Triangle’ and ‘Solitude Within’.

Another aspect of Hymns For The Broken that I’ve grown to like is that the band didn’t attempt to recreate another Recreation Day or The Inner Circle. Yet they decided to embrace the evolution Evergrey has made over the years and continue with this. This makes a new album a very contemporary musical affair. Of course, all the classic hallmarks are there and Tom Englund’s voice is still as recognisable as ever, but the new album showcases some new sounds and atmospheres which I haven’t encountered in the band’s past work before. Hymns For The Broken is also incredibly cohesive. After countless rounds in my CD player I still haven’t managed to find a weak link or moment.

Hymns For The Broken has something to offer for everyone. The material on the album is vintage Evergrey still, but the ban isn’t afraid to venture into new territories as well. This makes it a fresh and viable musical affair. Combine this with a newfound sense of purpose and some of the best songs Tom Englund and Co have ever written and you’re in for one hell of a musical ride. Perhaps Hymns For The Broken is the band’s finest hour to date after all…

Evergrey – Hymns For The Broken9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. The Awakening
  2. King Of Errors
  3. A New Dawn
  4. Wake A Change
  5. Archaic Rage
  6. Barricades
  7. Black Undertow
  8. The Fire
  9. Hymns For The Broken
  10. Missing You
  11. A Grand Collapse
  12. The Aftermath