Though I really should start by reviewing “Seasons” as it is the best of EVEREVE’s pre Cyber Metal outpourings, I’m being distracted by this little man drifting around me saying that “Stormbirds” is not far behind the amazing debut. I tend to bounce between the two when I want to hear some EVEREVE stuff and I just can’t decide which one is better, it changes every time I go through some tracks from both albums. EVEREVE were something special in the early days, not to say that “E-Mania” and “Enetics” are boring experiences (“Regret” on the other hand is most definitely a boring album, you can practice yoga and listen to it at the same time), I just think they had something unique going before vocalist Tom Sedotschenko tragically committed suicide briefly after this album. After this event there was no motion in the band but I’m glad to see that they have worked their way back into the show.
If you thought “Seasons” was a demanding album that was hard to get into, I suggest you prepare yourself. The band’s second album is a juggernaut and demands your full attention when listening to it. The album is connected all the way with short intros leading into epic and beautiful songs. Stylistically the album is not so different from the debut, just more creamy in some places thanks to the appearance of the Barmbek Symphony Orchestra.
From the first seconds of the dark and twisted intro “Embittered”, the listener is engulfed and dragged into a realm of mysticism, melancholia and solitude; an amazing atmosphere which simply has to be heard, just try to imagine the scenery by reading the lyrics: “...So we have left behind the ceaseless change of Seasons, embittered by the inevitable maelstrom that draws us towards the fields of winter where crows burst out in their scornful cries. And our eyes fall on the realm of much prouder but nevertheless even sadder creatures – the realm of the Stormbirds...”.
The music can be described as very Progressive Metal with Gothic/Death/Dark/Doom inputs accompanied by classical themes and PINK FLOYD soundscapes, basically a mixture of almost everything. As stated earlier, this album contains some very beautiful songs like the sorrowful “Fields Of Ashes”, the electronic and gothic “As I Breathe The Dawn”, the milestone title song and the ultra melodic “The Downfall”; I really dig the part when the vocals just tear through everything screaming out the words “I declare the earth as purgatory!!!”.
The French sung piano play “Spleen” is a mesmerising work inspired by 19th century French poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire, it has nothing to do with Metal just to show that this type of music doesn’t have to be unadulterated or “insane” as some people claim it to be. Furthermore the album makes use of both French and German languages (see “Martyrium” and “A Part Of You”) and not just English.
This is the last record with vocalist Tom Sedotschenko. His vocals are staggering and range from Black Metal screams and deep growls to innocent clean vocals and silent whispers, very expressive. The guitar work also nothing short of honourable filled with technical finesses, tapping solos and brilliant melodies. Keyboards also deserve special praise because they are so beautiful, atmospheric and well placed. The sound is very advanced and carefully thought out because of the highly detailed music.
Every now and then I wish the band would go back to their artistic days but every band has the right to be continuous and exploring, am I right? EVEREVE simply chose a different path and moved on like so many others. The open-minded Metalhead will find this release rewarding, I’ve already got that reward and I’m on my knees. (Online February 15, 2004)