Lion Music 2013
There and back again: snapping all the way, EVERGREY guitarist embarks on a singular trip of his own.
Heaviness has to be haunting this Swede who, after five years spent in ROYAL HUNT, knows how to be impressive on a large scale but makes a mistake of applying the same method to his solo debut. A great, if flawed, album it lays bare the typical problem with metal axemen when they strike solo: their inability to get rid of the clang to stand out of the clan. The pounding folky sway serves well the symphonic swell of the “Huldra (Ruler Of The Forest)” blues or the swanky prog of “Tesla World System” that Andre Andersen adorns with a keyboard solo, yet it harshly shatters “Arctica” which, before the rifferama speeds it up, floats into view auspiciously, acoustic and gentle electric guitars weaving a light web over sparse piano splinters. More delicasy would make it all genuinely transcendental.
But then “El-Amarna (Ruins Of Akhetaton)” shifts the drift towards over-familiar Eastern motifs, the move all the more labored given the guitarist’s short lapses into shredding, despite its inspired cello waves and imaginative percussion, while even the artful twang fails to save “Space Dog” from its cosmic superficiality. Fortunately, the closing “Wedding Song” flows as a ghostly embodiment of sensual transparency to link the cycle back to the beginning, and this is the way to travel for Marcus Jidell who’s capable of much more than his aficionados could guess or hope for.