Review by Lynxie on June 27, 2023.
Evermore, Evermore. They took the power metal world by storm two years ago with their debut Court Of The Tyrant King, although I myself was only struck by a glancing blow. Now, their sophomore In Memoriam has arrived and hit the community with even heavier riffs and grander choirs. This time, I feel Evermore's force full on.
Yet, it's not an old school force as before. At least, whereas Court Of The Tyrant King drew its influence from one too many bands of yore, In Memoriam makes Evermore sound like the bastard child of Edguy and Jonny Lindqvist-era Nocturnal Rites, especially if you consider the heavy, almost thrashy bridges and solos on tracks like 'Forevermore' or 'Parvus Rex'. Heck, the latter's outro riff very nearly crossed that line to death metal. 'Nightfire' sounds legitimately like a tune off 'Afterlife' with the riff banging on your head right from the start and that piece of interesting synth thrown in the middle. The title track has simultaneously the heaviness and epicness of 'New World Messiah' while the acoustic piece that happened towards the last chorus adds a bit of dimension to the track. Incidentally, Nocturnal Rites was one of those bands that helped to shape my taste when I first entered the realm of power metal, and I have been partial about a balanced mix of heavy, thrashy riffs and grandiose orchestra in my power metal ever since. Evermore has managed it like a master. They've even gone a bit proggy with 'Empire Within', sporting jarring, chugging riffs along the cinematic orchestration.
That's not to say Evermore's gone entirely thrash-power on In Memoriam. Have no fear, they're still bashing tyrant kings on 'Parvus Rex', although I was expecting something like 'By Death Reborn' in the chorus judging by the progression of the verse and bridge, not the ethereal choirs and Johan Haraldsson screeching his head off. But it shows progression of the band, just like how 'Broken Free' is almost a heavier version of 'See No Evil'. Anyways, the more glorious, triumphant speedsters like 'I Am The Flame' and 'Queen Of Woe' are still as fine a tribute to the past as we can get these days.
Alright, alright, I might start liking Evermore more purely because they're thrashier, or it may be that In Memoriam just radiates off such bold energy. Finer production, grander production would definitely be its lot, yet Evermore is not afraid to throw in some beefy, downright heavy riff, maybe even poking around the proggier edge of power metal. The contrast is charming and makes In Memoriam more interesting than their debut. Of course, it seems that Evermore has solved the problem of mixing -- their guitars and drums sound much much more energetic, whilst Haraldsson's wailing hits with ever more mind-shattering vigor.
Well, I guess it's just a matter of time before Evermore solves the problem of length and give us a 10-min+ epic. It'll be interesting to hear what the Swedish trio would cook up for their defining third album. Before that happens, I'll keep on spinning In Memoriam and be mind blown by how epic and heavy it is. Also recommended for anyone wanting some Nocturnal Rites-ness with their power metal.
Highlights: 'Forevermore', 'Empire Within', 'In Memoriam', 'Parvus Rex', 'Queen Of Woe'
Rating: 8.9 out of 10374