"In Search Of Truth" had truly floored me roughly one and a half years ago as a truly brilliant album, original, demanding, but still oh so catchy. Now "Recreation Day" has come and with almost trembling hands I took the CD out of the beautifully made DigiBook.
And like the previous album "Recreation Day", too, does not knock you out right away, but with every repeated listen stuns you a bit more until at last you sit there in complete awe. If you compare it to "In Search Of Truth", then you will notice that the songs have grown a little bit more bombastic in places, a bit more orchestral and Tom Englund's trademark voice is more embedded into the overall sound instead of standing out like a "lead instrument", if you will.
So this change you have to get used to a bit at first, but once you have let it soak in, it becomes evident that this was maybe just the little change that EVERGREY needed after such a tremendous album like "In Search Of Truth" to differ enough to have "Recreation Day" regarded as a true follow-up, not a part-copy.
But enough of this, let's go to the music and "The Great Deceiver" hits off the new album in style, driving, with great melodies, but with the EVERGREY typical intricacies. Hammering double bass meet a calmer interlude with a choir like element and some symphonic keyboards, brilliant guitar melodies enhance heavy riffing, once again EVERGREY display masterfully that they are one damn excellent band, able to combine driving and straight forward heaviness with musical demand and complexity, moulding it all together into an altogether damn catchy and infectious whole, with Tom Englund's characteristic voice as the icing on the cake.
"End Of Your Days"'s chorus then is catchiness pure, with a beautiful melodyline and vocals of Tom and Carina Kjellberg (who is Mrs Tom Englund, in case you did not know), embedded into a slightly more complex song, while… I could continue like this, but I could dissect the whole CD and mentioned every single track, no matter if the incredibly intense "Recreation Day", the energetic "Visions" or the cover version "I'm Sorry" of Kurdish singer Dilba Demirbag (she lives in Sweden), very haunting and soulful indeed, "Your Darkest Hour" as well…one for one great tracks altogether.
And the bonus track of the beautiful DigiBook, with a great booklet as well, "Trilogy Of The Damned" is an almost purely acoustic medley of three of their biggest hits so far, nine minute long, very haunting indeed and a fitting closer of this album.
I know that I had rated "In Search Of Truth" 9,5 and "Recreation Day" is a brilliant album as well, but it does not 100% reach "ISOT" (yet). You see a 9,5 here, too, but regard it as a 9,48, just to have some difference, ok? Thanks! So to close this off, "Recreation Day" is one brilliant album, if I have heard one this year, with a great balance between accessibility and demand, power and emotion, sounding like no one else than EVERGREY! Stay grey… (Online April 8, 2003)