With the imminent release of their latest album Escape of the Phoenix on February 26, Swedish progressive metal outfit Evergrey have created a heavy, melancholic and thought-provoking album that is made all the better by its ability to cover fresh territory after the completion of the band’s bold concept trilogy on last album The Atlantic.
Frontman and founding member Tom Englund joined HEAVY for a chat earlier this week to discuss the album.
“Coming from a period where we have done three albums as part of a trilogy,” he began, “going into this fourth album – which is not included in this storyline – was quite a relief to just write 11 different stories rather than one big ass project. I would say this album sounds hungry; it sounds energetic and even uplifting if you can use that word in a sentence with Evergrey (laughs).”
As for goals with the album, Englund says the style of Evergrey is essentially to keep things simple, a system that was made all the more easier with the onset of COVID.
“The only goals we have are to make the best possible songs that we can, that’s it. That’s always been something that we have worked very hard towards. That’s also the thing that keeps us going and keeps making us want to get better and makes it fun still. It has to be filled with… despite the music being somewhat sombre and sad the actual creative process has to be intriguing and fun for us because we spend so much time doing it. For us during the pandemic has been a blessing because we have more time than we usually have. We were already scheduled to do it so we had this period from February to October where we were supposed to record and write the album so we were very lucky. For us it was… we had more time to write the album basically.”
In the full interview, Tom talks more about the album, the title and his interpretation of the story of the Phoenix, the extra guitar prevalent on the album, coming up with ideas during lockdown, the musical climate that gave birth to the band and more.
Watch “Forever Outsider” below: