Are you ready to rawk? Well, Evergrey sure hope so with this progressive powerhouse ‘Best of’ collection. “A Decade and a Half” spans a fifteen year career that, whilst operating under the metal radar has been slick from the very beginning. Evergrey have been kicking around the power metal scene since the late 90’s and despite the cheesy overtone of their genre, they have managed to incorporate progressive interludes that lifts them above the heads of their peers.
Despite having a revolving door policy with their various members, “A Decade…” is an indulgent journey through their eight studio releases beginning with their fledgling effort “The Dark Discovery”. This will induce nostalgia from old schools fans that will reminisce times of old, but is still an ideal starting point for newbie’s. Split over two CD’s and featuring 24 of their best known works, the first of which is a more progressive pop affair, with their power metal edge shining through. This may give the head bangers out there an itchy rash, but stick with it and you’ll find yourself singing along with the brilliantly catchy “The Masterplan”.
Tom Englund’s vocals are romantically expressive, very similar to Daniel Gildenlow (ala Pain of Salvation) and could very easily dominate the album if it were not for the congenial contrasting of Carina Englund’s divine vocals. The inclusion of unplugged versions of “Wrong” and “Frozen” will have hardcore fans clapping their hands with delight, as will the grandiose live version of the symphonic “Blackened Dawn” and the compelling and emotional “A Touch Of Blessing”.
“A Decade and a Half” is a glorious collection of songs that will re-ignite an old love or inflame a new one. Despite a more polished production these are raw, emotional compositions that makes it all the more shameful that Evergrey aren’t much, much bigger than this.