Swedish metallers EVERGREY will release their thirteenth studio album, “A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)”, on May 20 via Napalm Records. This overwhelming journey through progressive heaviness and searing emotionality reaches new heights and is preceded by the arrival of the soaring first single “Save Us”, in which heavy prog and melancholic beauty climax in a soulful chorus that proves EVERGREY to be top songwriters in their genre.
The pounding album opener reflects everything the new full-length stands for, as it kicks in immediately with stunning guitar work and unveils a chorus sure to top the annals of EVERGREY history. Listen carefully and you will hear the voices of hundreds of fans who were invited by EVERGREY to send recordings of their voices to later provide group vocals for the track — making their everlasting mark on EVERGREY history.
For the astonishing music video, the five-piece teamed up with longtime companion Patric Ullaeus to create a bewitching visual experience that exemplifies EVERGREY.
EVERGREY frontman Tom S. Englund states about “Save Us”: “‘Save Us’ is about us. It’s about you and I. It’s about how I see our minds becoming hostages in a world where painting optimal portraits of ourselves is more important than being who we really are. It’s about my observation of watching people around me who are feeling that they’re not good enough for the world, or for themselves. I’m afraid we’re lost, and I think we need to help each other to find our way back to what is important, to rediscover a true sense of self. As we, as artists, also contribute to content and social media as a livelihood, it’s about the paradox of being caught in a world which is hard to free yourself from. I can only wish that our music brings some balance to that equation.”
The follow-up to 2021’s “Escape Of The Phoenix”, “A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)” was recorded at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, engineered by Jakob Herrman and produced by Englund and Jonas Ekdahl, with mixing and mastering by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios (VOLBEAT, DESTRUCTION, EPICA), whereas the hauntingly beautiful album artwork was conjured by Giannis Nakos at Remedy Art Design. Nakos is known for creating artworks for acts like OCEANS OF SLUMBER, AMARANTHE, THE AGONIST and THE CROWN as well as merchandise for MORBID ANGEL, SUFFOCATION and CRYPTOPSY.
EVERGREY says about the new album: “Here it is! A new album! Yet again! This is what we love about music, it never ends! Our mission is to write music so here you are! 10 new songs! 10 new EVERGREY songs that we hope you will have by your side as your life continues to shift and grow. 10 songs that we wish will be part of the soundtrack when you’re creating new memories and new possibilities in your life. 10 songs that we feel privileged to have you listen to. 10 songs that have risen through the ashes of two years where our creativity has had more time than ever to flourish. 10 songs we really hope you will enjoy as much as we did writing them. As usual we have given it our best and we can’t wait to hear what you have to say! A new year, a new album, a new record label = new possibilities. All this can only be positive, right? Enjoy!”
“A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)” impresses with flawless, meticulous production that deftly depicts both heartfelt honesty and scorching metallic intensity, while its instrumental force of furious, technically driven riffs, skyrocketing solos and dramatic synths merges with the expert, brooding vocal performance of Englund — one of the most distinctive vocalists in metal. He skillfully balances harsh and heavy tones with an inarguably soulful approach, all topped by melancholic, thought-provoking lyricism that digs deeper with every spin, leaving a long-lasting impact. Songs like “Midwinter Calls”, which also contains fan participation with atmospheric audience recordings from the band’s latest tour through Sweden, and “The Great Unwashed”, draw the listener in with grooving, glistering instrumentation, flowing between boisterous dynamics and a next level vocal performance, while emotive “Wildfires” turns the volume down as a goosebump-worthy ballad that hurts and heals all at once. “Call Out The Dark” begins atmospherically with accented keys, suddenly evolving into an intense opus of symphonic and power metal attributes in the blink of an eye, whereas the record’s longest track, “The Orphean Testament”, impresses by revealing its heaviest facet. A sensitive introduction lures the listener into “Heartless”, and offers one of the album’s most engaging verses, followed by a hauntingly beautiful chorus and variety in pace to create a magnificent listening experience.
“A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)” track listing:
01. Save Us
02. Midwinter Calls
04. Call Out the Dark
05. The Orphean Testament
07. The Great Unwashed
EVERGREY will embark on a European headlining tour in September.
Tom S. Englund – Vocals, Guitar
Henrik Danhage – Guitar
Rikard Zander – Keyboard
Jonas Ekdahl – Drums
Johan Niemann – Bass
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