Hailing out of Paris, melodic metallers Evenline recently released their debut album and in the process made a rather potent impression. Richly enjoyable and impressively accomplished, Dear Morpheus is a sizeable persuasion of alternative rock and metal bound in the inspirations of bands such as Alter Bridge, Creed, Metallica, and Nickelback. It is a captivating proposition which lights a richly contented glow in ears and emotions whilst showing a potential of even greater things ahead as the band find their own distinctive sound and presence, which is not quite there on the album. It certainly makes for a pleasing companion, its familiarity to others a warm and easily accessible embrace to be fair, helping lead to a thoroughly satisfying engagement.
Formed in 2009, Evenline first made a mark in with their first release, The Coming Life EP the following year. The band continued to build an increasingly attentive support and attention with their shows, including supporting Alter Bridge in Luxembourg in 2011, before the quartet settled down to record their debut full-length with producer Jim Dewailly. Its arrival in the flavoursome shape of Dear Morpheus, suggests the band is on the brink of a much wider recognition, something the release which without setting new standards firmly deserves with its eleven melodically crafted and emotionally eventful songs.
The album makes a swift persuasion on ears and imagination, the evocative opening to Misunderstood, a melodic caress matched by the potent tones of vocalist Aarno Gueziec. There is an almost hazy glaze to his voice which adds to the expressive start of the first song, a coaxing which eventually roars with passion and intensity as riffs break out with raw energy. Imposing rhythms match this emerging sturdy incitement whilst vocally there is also a powerful evocative flame to the delivery which captivates ears. With a Seether meets Breaking Benjamin like feel to its creative potency and easily pleasing sound, the track makes a gripping beginning to the release, especially with the sonic flame of enterprise from guitarist Fabrice Tedaldi which erupts across the encounter.
Without You keeps the album flying high with its almost rabid gait and energy, choppy riffs and magnetic grooves winding masterfully around ears as the beats of Olivier Stefanelli provide an equally compelling frame. With a virulently contagious chorus and similarly rampant urgency to its whole body, the song romps with a Sick Puppies bred swagger and suasion, one loaded with passion and occasional outpourings of caustic growls and sonic fury. It is an outstanding slice of melodic metal increasing the appetite ready for the following Letter to a Grave and Insomnia. The first of the pair is an emotionally charged stroll with an enjoyably enticing throaty call from the bass of Thomas Jaegle through a cascade of vocal harmonies and fiery riffs. Gueziec provides an emotive croon to the skilled web of invention in the song which from a slow start increasingly impresses. Its successor flexes its sinews for an agitated and tenacious exploit which like its predecessor does not quite match the opening two tracks but provides another satisfying turn to the album. It is hard to avoid comparisons to Alter Bridge, Three Days Grace and the like, but such the craft and prowess of songs and band from vocals to sound, it does not defuse the enjoyment offered by the different songs.
Both the resourcefully catchy Over & Over and the heavily emotive Already Gone leave ears and thoughts richly contented if not surprised before the excellent title track weaves its intriguing enterprise. From a haunting atmospheric opening, a sultry melody flirts with the imagination. It is aided by the equally suggestive mystique of the bass, both laying a warm canvas for the excellent vocal skill and strength of Gueziec to further colour. It is a transfixing offering, the most inventive and unpredictable song on the album with its inventive rhythms and sonic exploration, and the pinnacle of Dear Morpheus.
The aggressive Hard to Breathe ignites the senses next, pounding beats the forerunner to carnivorous riffs and cantankerous grooves which are tempered by infectious vocals and the anthemic ingenuity of the raucous exploit. It is a quick match to the heights of the previous song and those setting things off, but also another weighty twist in the character of the songwriting and presence of the release.
The next up Judgement Day is no slouch in inflaming ears and emotions either, though it lacks the spark and lingering potency of those before it, even with its imagination entwining grooves and suggestive melodies. The same applies to the enthralling power balladry of You Should Have Left Me, a perfectly crafted and melodically coloured proposition but one which despite all its impressive elements is an exciting proposal in its company but soon forgotten away from its charms. Nevertheless both only add to the potential of the band before the closing slow croon of Eternal Regrets provides a gentle and mesmeric conclusion to the album with its emotive strings and acoustic hues.
Dear Morpheus might not be ground-breaking in originality but with its inventively sculpted songs and the open skill and imagination of the band, it is a very enjoyable reason to check out Evenline and their journey to finding that distinctive presence.
Dear Morpheus is available now via Dooweet Records @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/home/133_evenline-dear-morpheus.html
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