Evership – A brilliant new release…
Evership are probably a band that you’ve not come across before. If you have, you will know they represent a high watermark in melodic, richly-layered progressive rock.
With their debut, ‘Evership’ in 2016, a lengthy period of gestation of material was finally brought to fruition after ten or more years of development by the writer and producer Shane Atkinson. A real labour of love and devotion, Evership have since continued to thrive with their second album, Evership 2 following on with a more palatable waiting time of two years in-between.
Musically they one of the rare breed of bands in the progressive rock genre that successfully straddle the old with the new, producing something that is both fresh and feels like work of their own distillation. Much of this is in part to the quality of songwriting and musicianship as well as a real energetic immediacy in their material. In a world where there is so much content, and so little time to visit it all – music that grabs the listener from the off is king.
Atkinson wears his influences on his sleeve and fans of Rush, Kansas, Genesis and Queen will not be disappointed to hear echoes of them within the five tracks on Evership 2. Hailing from Tennessee (the home of Glass Hammer) there is a real distinctive hard rocking (and honest) American sensibility to the sound which also aligns itself with its peers in the U.S. too.
Firmly planted in the ‘epic’ camp Evership 2’s shortest numbers are over seven minutes long with the highlight being a half hour monster split down into six manageable chapters. ‘Isle of the Broken Tree’ is all that a progressive rock opus should be. Etherial and majestic tones give way to cinematic grandeur that can shake the speakers in a very satisfying way. The haunting vocal of singer Beau West is a real treat and his huge range throughout the song and the rest of the album is one of the elements that underpins their class in their field. The interplay between the piano and acoustic guitar is superb in the opening segments until the hard punch comes into play. Midway through the piece, gutsy guitar delights in its distorted 70’s edge, again backed by some superb keys. The intricate weaving of these structures has to be down in many ways to Atkinson owning the song writing and performing duties on much of the album.
As impressive as Isle is the real gem within Evership 2 is the emotional ‘Wanderer’ which tugs at the toughest of souls with West’s stellar delivery…`took a little time to work out what I lost.’ The song makes a number of emotional punches, which culminate in a powerful uplifting peak. Prog can sometimes (and rightly) be accused of being too remote and impassive but Evership have shown their power in bringing into play the moments that make the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end.
The sentiment that an album deserves more attention is one that is used often however in the case of Evership 2 is it thoroughly deserved. It’s a stunning second album that continues to delight with every play. There is no doubt this album will appeal to many if the aim of the album is good enough to hit its target audience. Hopefully there are good things ahead for Evership in the wake of this release.
- The Serious Room
- Real or Imagined
- Isle of the Broken Tree:
II. Meadow of Shades
III. My Father’s Friend
IV. Hall of Visions
V. My Own Worst Enemy
VI. The Tree and the Door