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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Evership - Evership II - 2018



    

“... a wonderful album without weak points ...”
In the first month of last year I wrote in a review about the self titled debut album of the Nashville based melodic progressive rock band Evership that the band made a very long journey to make their album ... Ten years in the making! Luckily the band managed to release the successor of their 2016 album Evership in a much shorter time frame. What took 10 years for the first record, took 10 months for the second. The album is simply called “Evership II” and is independently released on Shane Atkinson’s own Atkinsong Productions.
Beau West - lead vocals; Shane Atkinson - keyboards, drums, percussion, vocals; James Atkinson - lead guitars; John Rose -rhythm guitar, lead guitar, classical guitar, slide guitar; Ben Young - bass, Chapman stick 

Joel Grumblatt performed a portion of drums on The Serious Room (Recorded Live at RoSFest In 2017); Jesse Hardin performed a portion of the guitar solo on The Serious Room (Recorded Live at RoSFest In 2017

Additional backing vocals - Mike Priebe, Amelia West
Orchestra: Allison Cowan, Asa Graham Hartley, Nicelle Priebe, Gracie Staggenborg, Emily Walsh
Featuring the Charles Heimermann Chorale
After the release of their debut album the band was invited to perform at the prestigious 2017 “Rite of Spring” (RoSFest) progressive rock festival in Gettysburg, PA. After RoSFest the Evership live band went through a change-up. The new “Evership II” album retains James Atkinson on most of the lead guitars, but otherwise the line-up includes most of the new live band; with Ben Young on bass and Chapman Stick, and the classically trained John Rose On rhythm electric, classical, acoustic and slide guitars. Beau West continues to shine on lead vocals and Shane Atkinson fills out the remainder of the instrumentation, with exception of the opening track which includes some live performance material from live drummer Joel Grumblatt and some guitar work from former band mate Jesse Hardin. The new album also includes sessions of a live orchestra and the Charles Heimermann Chorale.

So as mentioned above the opening track “The Serious Room” includes some live performance material of the RoSFest 2017 festival. If you don’t know the band, I am sure you will be impressed by singer Beau West. Together with multi instrumentalist/leader Shane Atkinson they are the secret weapons of the band. Shane managed to integrate the live material seamlessly into this fine album opener. The track has a great ending with lush synths and a guitar solo.

The Second track “Monomyth” with a duration of almost 11 minutes is already the first highlight of the album for me. A diverse piece of music with great drumming, impressive vocal contributions, varied keyboard sounds and orchestrations. The classical input of the Charles Heimermann Chorale and the Orchestra are beautifully integrated into the music. Musically speaking the track includes both delicate moments and parts that are working towards nice climaxes.

“Real Or Imagined” opens with acoustic guitar, a synth and wonderful vocal melodies. Beau is showing his varied vocal abilities in the track. In the uptempo parts with the nice guitar work his voice somewhat reminds me of ex Kansas singer Steve Walsh. For an European guy like me the music sounds very American. I think this is because of the AOR influences and those kind of vocals. This album has no weak points because the next track Wanderer is also a beauty with lovely orchestrations, delicate vocal melodies and nice synth parts .. and I didn’t told you yet that this album closes with a real epic of more than 28 minutes. The amazing melodies in Wanderer are pure bliss. Your reviewer is impressed.

As I said before the album comes to an end with a real epic. It has a wonderful classical opening (“Castaway”) with the Orchestra and the Chorale. This is followed by classical guitar, organ, flute, piano and delicate vocal parts (“Meadow Of Shades”). In the following parts “My Father’s Friend” and “Hall Of Visions” the music becomes more powerful and Symphonic Rock oriented but the music maintain its diversity. In the instrumental parts you can enjoy nice guitar and keyboard work. The symphonic ending of “My Father’s Friend” is just wonderful. It seamlessly flows into the part “My Own Worst Enemy”. The first part is like a ballad with delicate vocal parts but later on the song becomes more uptempo and powerful with nice synth parts. In the opening of the last part “The Tree and the Door” singer Beau West shows his appreciation for the music of Queen but soon the music becomes very Symphonic and the tension of the music is working towards a nice climax before the music fades out. Well the epic “Isle Of The Broken Tree” that is divided into six parts is absolutely the highlight of this wonderful album.¬†
The second album is always the most difficult album to make for a band. But Evership did not have a problem with this, the band just delivered a wonderful album without weak points. In my review I mentioned that the second track “Monomyth” was the first highlight of the album for me but one highlight is followed by next one ... and so on. “Evership II” is a very strong album with compositions that are mature and well developed. There are still some AOR and Kansas references in the music but the band is definitely developing their own musical style. If you, like me, are a little bit tired of the fact that a few bands are getting all the attention of the mainstream Prog fans, just open your mind and enjoy the wonderful music of a band like Evership. This band deserves a bigger fan base and more attention for her beautiful music. After successfully participation at prestigious festivals like RoSFest and ProgStock it is time to invite this band to Europe ... to be continued ...
Douwe Fledderus - January 2019
rating - Atkinson Productions

 

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