April 28, 2012 - Canadian alternative rock/metal band Evans Blue shows just how far they've come as a band with their newest album "Graveyard Of Empires". Formed in Toronto, Ontario in 2005 Evans Blue has released three previous albums, dealt with multiple lineup changes as well as changing labels, but as the leadoff single of their latest effort proclaims, "This Time It's Different".
While easily the most dynamic of their releases, "Graveyard Of Empires" continues to show off the band's trademark brooding and emotional sound. The album is a mix of hauntingly vulnerable melodies teeming with fits of rage and moments of heavy metal. From the start of the album all the way to the end Evans Blue shows they are perfectly at home going from one end of the spectrum to the other, quite often within the same song. Perhaps the most haunting moment of the whole album is the title track, which is an instrumental featuring a string section accompanied by piano.
Production duties for the album were once again handled by longtime Evans Blue producer, Trevor Kustiak, who has worked with the band for all of their previous releases. Besides being the most dynamic album for them, it also provides the most polished sound for any of the group's albums released thus far.
It is the second album to feature lead vocalist, Dan Chandler (who replaced original Evans Blue vocalist, Kevin Matisyn), whose vocals shine throughout the album going from soft melodies to the occasional full-blown scream. Guitarists Parker Lauzon and Vlad Tanaskovic show off an evolved and mature sound that includes some amazing guitar tones and riffs as well as some very inspired lead playing. While the group is currently seeking a new full time drummer, drums on the album were skillfully handled by studio drummers Mike McClure and Jason Pierce, who were more than up to the task. Rounding out the rhythm section is bassist Joe Pitter. While I feel he is an excellent bass guitarist, his playing seemed to be kept a bit too low in the mix for my tastes.
All in all, "Graveyard Of Empires" is a great rock album filled with some very well done song writing. Sweet spots include, "This Time It's Different" and "In The Shadow". It is certainly worth checking out whether you're a longtime fan of Evans Blue or even if you're a first time listener.
CD Rating: stars out of a possible 5 stars.
Evans Blue is:
Dan Chandler - vocals
Parker Lauzon - rhythm guitar
Vlad Tanaskovic - lead guitar
Joe Pitter – bass
Additional musicians used in making this album:
Mike McClure - drums
Jason Pierce – drums
"Graveyard Of Empires" was released in the United States on April 17, 2012 on Sounds+Sights.
Graveyard Of Empires Track listing:
1."This Time It's Different" 3:29
2."Crawl Inside" 3:35
3."Thank You" 3:42
4."Beyond The Stars" 3:42
5."Graveyard Of Empires" 2:49
6."Alone Not Lonely" 3:24
7."In The Shadow" 3:30
8."Live To Die" 3:42
9."Destroy The Obvious" 3:48