Written by Valkyrjiaa
Evermore – In Memoriam
> Power metal
> Released April 21
> Scarlet Records
While conquering the metal scene with their extraordinary sound in their 2021 debut Court of the Tyrant King, Evermore takes their aggressive and rugged tone to new heights on the equally melodic and uplifting In Memoriam. Adding in a church choir to match the strength of their signature sound, Evermore not only seek to create music you hear, but a listening experience you can feel long after the music ends.
Jumping right in with “Nova Aurora” we see the story begin with characteristic sorrowful harmony and a storm that seems to be quickly crawling across the horizon. But it’s the rising tension that comes with the choir that gets knees shaking and sweat running down your brow.
This leads us into “Forevermore” that has the power metal kicking in full force. Soaring vocals shatter expectation, leading a symphony of radiant highs and cloudless sky into our hearts. It’s quickly catchy and infectious with its quick-bursting chorus and guitars. “Inside the fleeting dream / Where beauty drowns in shallow seas / The scar of life inside grows / Forevermore” is a line that rides in on furious, melodic guitars the blast us with a tone of aggression in this epic tune. You get the rich mix of epic highs and heavy lows that absolutely had me cranking this track to the max and loving every second of it.
“Nightfire” keeps the melody steady, rising forevermore high but on a gallop rather than a charge. It keeps the rugged riffs alive, letting verses slide in on powerful tone while getting those dark beats running through seamlessly. Add a touch of synth-maddening sound and you get a wildly exotic track that not only brings in some wicked guitar solos but some quick-changing tones to add mystery and intrigue. It’s not as lively as its predecessor but damn if it isn’t catchy!
Power metal comes in clutch with “I Am the Flame”, letting guitars and drums trample us like a stampede. It’s soft, like a ballad but still jam-packed with maddening speed and angelic vocals that it’s impossible not to head-bang along.
“I can see the road to ruin / Battle for humanity / Purged by fire, I opened my eyes” is such a COOL line. It’s creative and filled with an undeniable image of the upcoming battle that must be won. Dark vs. light. Demons rising up and the angels flying in to smite them. It’s that right level of epic fantasy meets cheese as its impossible not to love this track’s catchy beat, but angels vs. demons is that pre-teen go-to epic adventure – though now it has a badass theme song!
“Empire Within” strikes that Phantom of the Opera vibe with the orchestral keys but damn if it doesn’t erupt into the heated and heavy! My favourite on the album by far, it brings the level of fantasy I’ve been waiting for to the front row with Evermore’s unique aggressive undertones that make it fiery and epic as hell. The vocals are the key, going light and airy on a heavy melody to provide the perfect hopeful contrast to our unbridled rage.
“Now I can feel you drawing me closer / No more a stranger / So wash away the poison – until words will remain” is like a delicately planted lie. The facade we need to succeed, and the truth beyond the pleasantries. This track is STACKED with a cinema-level mid-break and a guitar solo that captures your heart. It’s power metal at its finest, with the cheese all eaten and only legendary stories to remain. I am absolutely in love with every detail on this track from the low and dragging riffs to the spectacular lyrics and the imagery – my empire within.
I really wanted to focus on only a few songs on this nine-track album but, it is OH-SO difficult when tracks like “Broken Fire” rush you from the shadows. This tune is heavier and more melodic, with a deep contrast of fragile breaks that drop into those weighty, hammering drums. Guitars are noticeably steady and seemingly more rhythmic on this track that breaks stride for depth before gliding right back into place. It’s the signature power metal track that every album should have, keeping its core solid while still experimenting in wisps. This song does exactly that, utilizing their wildly chaotic guitar solos to ride from mad finger work to lingering notes in rapid succession. It’s an easy yet empowering track, to be free, unburdened, and unchained to live our life without consequence or regret.
The title track, “In Memoriam” is eerily striking. Once more capturing that cinematic feel with some heavy tension, we get a beautifully vocalized story with vivid lyrics and an unbeatable melody. “Slowly the wounds of your loss start to heal again / You rise from the ashes anew, in this moment you’re finally free”. It’s the story of love and loss so plainly spoken yet so brilliantly visualized. It’s a blink of freedom and release from the burdens of life or the challenges holding us back.
“In Memoriam” is a beautiful track that strides on our heart strings both as a story and personal memory. I love how divinely epic this ballad becomes, moving from the love-lost and fallen soldier to the one who will fight another day. It’s perfectly depicted in this song’s heavy breaks and delicate peaks. One of the best on the album, as it should be, and it’s a song that’ll stay with you forevermore.
“Parvus Rex” follows the strength and awe of “In Memoriam” but it is not to be left in the shadows. Riding in on traditional heavy metal riffs, this track goes hard. It gets the church choir ruled up again to add that fire to this already hellish track, really bringing in the Priest inspiration. A solid break from the gentle power metal and fantasy flight to hold something a bit more in the taste of the downright “heavy” heavy metal fans.
The final track “Queen of Woe” sails ashore on tranquil waves. It’s one that gets lights flickering and arms waving as it brings the night to a close. Of course, power metal wouldn’t be power metal if it didn’t rise up with fury and unbeatable adrenaline.
“Imagination sparks a brand new era” is such a bold and thought-provoking line. So much so that it resonated deep within me. That creative ignition can open doors beyond our wildest dreams and the pursuit of expanding those dreams should be endless. It hits ever soul string, from the speedy rhythm to high-strung solos and even the hearty piano keys. It fires up inspiration and motivation with empowering, dynamic lyrics, beautifully sung by Johan Haraldsson and exquisitely composed by Andreas Vikland. Cap it off with Johan Karlsson’s unmatched instrumental skill and this track encapsulates the very ‘feel’ that Evermore sought to create.
THE BOTOM LINE
Evermore’s end goal, to create music that makes us feel “something” whether it be inspiration, empowerment, or an uplifted spirit, is easily accomplished. With a myriad of stories and songs that are not only epic but even relatable, Evermore puts us at the center of each track, to see the story unfold from our own gaze. Which way the story goes is by our hand and music guides us along. It’s a spectacular musical creation that took Power metal and gave it that extra boost not only for our own journey but for purpose. Whether to inspire to be inspired, Evermore’s In Memoriam is an absolute must experience for Fantasy fanatics and Power Metal connoisseurs across the globe.