Everon - North
Mascot Records
Melodic Progressive Rock
10 songs (51'22)
Release year: 2008
Everon, Mascot Records
Reviewed by Marty
After a six year absence, Germany's Everon finally returns with a new album. Their 7th album to date, North is the first release from this melodic progressive rock outfit since Bridge and Flesh; both released in 2002. Songwriter Oliver Philipps retreated to the Dutch North Sea Coast to find the "inspiration" to begin the writing the music for North in the winter of 2005. One year after the initial writing session, he retreated to a Dutch island to focus his efforts on finishing the lyrics to these very deeply personal and reflective songs that sees Oliver Philipps bearing his heart and soul with his music more than ever before.

With Everon's last two releases, we saw more of a melodic, orchestral flavored classic progressive rock with Bridge with Flesh being more guitar driven and stripped down in it's approach. The music and atmosphere on North contains elements of both albums but with a heavier emphasis on rich melodies and huge chorus sections. The album opener Hands, is a very poignant look at all the good as well as horrible and evil things that we can do with our hands. Heavy and catchy guitar riffs drive this progressive rock track and brings Fish-era Marillion to mind with it's big, heavy and orchestrated chorus section. Brief Encounter sees a real-life experience Oliver Philipps had finally making it to a song that fits more of the classic progressive rock genre with it's use of piano, haunting melodies and overall "building" atmospheric track. Another big, epic and melodic chorus tops off a track that's full of dynamics and emotion. Many other tracks on this album fall into the epic power ballad category with From Where I Stand beginning with piano and cello before building to another huge chorus. Test Of Time follows the overall same sort of pattern yet with very reflective lyrics and a much heavier chorus section. Again, the same sort of formulaic song writing can be found with the title track North, as well as tracks like Wasn't It Good. North builds from a piano based ballad to a big orchestrated and haunting track with another huge chorus, and some very tasteful guitar/piano harmony work. Wasn't It Good differs from the other similarly arranged tracks with some very emotional and soaring lead guitar work by Ulli Hoever.

Other tracks like South Of London offer a funky groove along with another big, soaring melodic chorus and sees Oliver Philipps getting a little political with his lyrics. Woodworks is a very strong instrumental track that has Trans-Siberian Orchestra like qualities and strong performances by guitarist Ulli Hoever and Oliver Philipps with his keyboard work. Vocalist Judith Stuber provides the lead vocals on Islanders, a laid back Tori Amos/Kate Bush like track that has a strong chorus and sees a little gothic influence in Everon's sound. The album finishes with Running, a driving progressive rock song that has yet another huge and strong chorus. Rush influences with the rhythms and song structure combined with a big, epic and orchestrated sound come together in true Everon fashion to end the album on a high note.

Overall, Oliver Philipps has opted for a much more rich and melodic sound with North, an album dominated by slowly building tracks with soaring vocals. There is heavy emphasis on emotion with huge keyboard orchestrations to drive the choruses to the songs; showing how they have perfected that aspect of their sound. Although most of those type of tracks here are very good, this album just has too many like that. At about the halfway point in the album, everything starts to get very predictable and it takes tracks like South Of London, Woodworks and Islanders to break things up a little. The melody and big choruses that are such staples of the Everon sound are still ever present yet the heavier edge of albums like Flesh only makes brief appearances this time around. Minor criticisms aside, North is another in a long line of very strong releases by Oliver Philipps and company, let's hope it isn't another 6 years before we hear from them again.

Killing Songs :
Hands, Brief Encounter, North, Woodworks and Running
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Everon that we have reviewed:
Everon - Flesh reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Everon - Bridge reviewed by Marty and quoted 91 / 100
Everon - Fantasma reviewed by Claus and quoted 95 / 100
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