I have long championed the group Evership and have had the pleasure of doing so through several reviews of their music that I have penned! I find much within their music that is pleasing to my ears and their skills continue to shine out. This latest release continues in the vein the band began with last year’s ‘The Uncrowned King – Act One’ in which we were introduced to the main characters within the book issued in 1910 by Harold Bell Wright, his allegorical tale about fame, fortune and success and what it’s pursuit can do to you. I found the actual story or novella fairly difficult to understand as it is written in rather old English that confused me greatly. As it is an allegory, meanings can be obscured anyway, the gist of it is about truth and the reality of it. but it’s somewhat obscure at times.
This album carries on from where act one concluded, at the point at which the king had died and, with the two Princesses adrift in a far off land, the second-born Prince, Seems-to-Be, senses an opportunity to seize the crown for himself whilst his brother, Really-Is, tarries and lingers with goodbyes and his hesitation will have repercussions down the years…
The album begins with acoustic guitar and synths that evoke images of breath and winds, it’s is a subdued opening but with fabulous vocals from Mike Priebe as The Voice Of The Night and then the pace quickens with an urgent guitar riff. This song has so many echoes of classic Kansas, it is not a clone but certainly is heavily influenced by that band with lots of keyboard embellishments and tones that hark back to that era. Evership make that sound relevant and up to date and all the better for it too. This first song really grabs your attention for all the right reasons, and is followed by Missive Pursuits, another masterful track that encompasses everything that the band are and this song showcases it all herein, fabulous stuff. The Law Of Ages is where Really-Is realises that in his tarry his brother, who is not the rightful heir, is deceiving everybody by his seizure of the crown, This is a sad song, not of regret, but of pity for his wayward brother whose actions are not those of a true King, the song also has a fabulous guitar solo that takes it towards its conclusion.
Coronation follows and is Seems-to-Be’s moment of seeming triumph. This is opportunism make good for him, although in reality all is an illusion, a deception, smoke and mirrors, like a magician’s trick. Seems- to-Be is hoping no one will notice, meanwhile his brother prays for his him and his acts. The music is very engaging and fits the lyrics well, with a great recurring synth riff underpinning everything. The next track, The Voice Of The New Day, is completely different in that the vocalist is Michael Sadler of Saga whose tones are simply majestic and his warmth carries the song beautifully. The song points to a different conclusion that may yet occur, giving a new hope. Nobody is about Really-Is and the quiet life he now leads, the song is sad but ,ultimately, it has much to commend. Beautifully orchestrated and poignant at different stages, it’s ultimately a triumph. Fading Away is the point at which it is revealed that Seems-to-Be’s actions have a terrible price to pay, strangely odd as this seems to be happening this week in the UK with Liz Truss and the Tories who have a price to pay for their deception and treachery. It seems that all actions have repercussions, a fact ignored by many today, to their cost and peril. This song surges along with lots of powerful flourishes and energy as the kingdom is righted, the rightful heir restoring the balance and order. If only that would happen here, now! The final track, Pilgrim’s Reprise, contains musical themes within the album used as a fitting conclusion to proceedings.
To be fair, this album is probably best heard together with Act One but, either way, this second act is both very welcome and very rewarding to hear as the talents of all are well utilised and realised. Hats off to Shane Atkinson, Beau West, James Atkinson and Ben Young for realising the vision and making it into reality, exemplary performances from all on a really impressive and rewarding release.
Released 14th October, 2022.
Order from bandcamp here:
The Uncrowned King – Act 2 | Evership | Friends of Melodic Revolution (bandcamp.com)