Evertale - Of Dragons and Elves - (9.5/10)
Published on November 13, 2013
Genre:Select Style 1
Every once in a while you come across a band that will grab you and will just not let go anymore. These are some of the best moments as a reviewer and also a fan, even more so, if the band has done it all on their own. A young band without a deal that displays quality and maturity way beyond their age…
Enter German Evertale and their debut album Of Dragons and Elves, which turned out to be THE surprise of 2013 for me. Thanks to our very own Christopher Foley I was put on the band’s trail and what started out as checking out one or two tracks ended up being eleven consecutive spins of the whole album, so that says a lot!
Sucked in by the absolutely fabulous cover, the sonic landscape laid out before my ears unfolds an album that many veteran bands would kill for, taking influences from the likes of Blind Guardian, Orden Ogan, (Luca Turilli’s) Rhapsody (Of Fire) and some Gamma Ray and running with it, creating a gripping tour de force through the most epic lands of Power Metal.
14 songs and 81 minutes are quite a bit and in many cases leads to a dilution of quality, in Evertale’s case, though, the album just gets better and better. Starting out with the epic grandeur of “On the Sign of the Valiant Warrior”, the Germans masterfully build songs that display layers and depth and give the listener plenty of things to discover, while maintaining a remarkable cohesion and flow within the songs, topping off their immediate accessibility.
It requires a lot of restraint on my part to refrain from just going from track to track, since they all have outstanding moments. Therefore I shall only mention the “primae inter paris”, the first among equals, beginning with 9-minute epic “Tale of the Everman”, continuing with the title track, which reminds me of Blind Guardian’s “The Bard’s Song” and then “As Tarsis Falls”, a dynamic epos that lives off its great harmonies and choirs. Then we have soaring “The Crownguard’s Quest” with its inspired chorus “This is my time, a brave heart stands against the rest” (which actually was the last track I listened to before a crucial job interview that in the end secured the position), the multifaceted epos “Brothers In War (Forever Damned)” that takes the best of Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray and combines it into a dynamic wrecking ball of pure epicness and finally closing “The Final Page”, a more melancholic yet still highly epic end to an incredible album.
While remaining instantly accessible, Evertale successfully avoid the common pitfalls of all too sugary melodies and orchestral overkill, keeping things mature for longevity and heavy enough never to forget that this is a Metal band after all. The powerful and clear production does a perfect job in ensuring that all details have ample room to shine and showcases the band’s inspirational performance as well.
Of Dragons and Elves is just barely edged out by Tyr’s Valkyrja in the battle for the top spot in this year’s Power metal listings, but it is one hell of a debut that ANY fan of this style NEEDS to know and get, NO EXCUSES!