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Evertale - "Of Dragons And Elves" (CD)

Evertale - "Of Dragons And Elves" CD cover image

"Of Dragons And Elves" track listing:

1. Paladine's Embrace (Into)
2. In the Sign of the Valiant Warrior
3. Tale of the Everman
4. The Dragon's Lair
5. Of Dragons and Elves
6. Elventwilight
7. As Tarsis Falls
8. My Honor is My Life (Intro)
9. The Crownguard's Quest
10. Dawn of Winter Night
11. The Last Knight
12. Sturm's Funeral March (Instrumental)
13. Firestorm
14. Brothers in War (Forever Damned)
15. The Final Page
16. Dragonriders (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on February 12, 2014

"To merely recommend this album is an understatement. Evertale’s 'Of Dragons and Elves' is required listening for a proper education in power metal theory."

Some albums are just albums, but others are musical journeys. In as much as the music business has become harder for musicians to survive and flourish, the scene seems to have so many new bands it becomes a challenge for the listener to sort through it all to find those diamonds. It should come as no surprise that in the subgenre of power metal you can count on those diamonds coming from places like Italy and Germany. Evertale has actually been kicking around for a while, having released debut EP “The Chronicles, Chapter I” in 2008 and participating in the Running Wild tribute album “ReUnation” back in 2009. I’ve been burned by the lure of majestic cover artwork sporting fantasy inspired icons like dragons before, but that’s not the case with Evertale’s debut full length “Of Dragons and Elves,” which comes close to recreating the feeling of awe upon the release of Blind Guardian’s “Tales From the Twilight World.”

I’m sure it may appear that I throw out the “perfection” word a little too often, because seriously – are there really bands capable of putting out perfect albums in this day and age, especially younger bands releasing a debut full-length? Despite subjective differences, in terms of pure talent, execution and memorability within the subgenre of power metal it would be hard to argue that Evertale has not just released an album of such pristine perfection that it already stands with (and above) many of the veteran’s best works. I imagine some lifelong Blind Guardian fans would surely draw comparisons, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see cries of “rip off” from naysayers and purists. However, there are those lifelong fans who haven’t fully accepted the BG’s prog direction and Evertale represents a modern take on the old more desirable formula. The band makes no excuses or apologies and dares listeners and critics alike to compare the two.

Unlike Persuader, which has a vocalist in Jens Carlsson who is nearly indistinguishable from BG’s Hansi Kursch (not a bad thing, mind you), Evertale captures the musical essence, journey, and beauty of the Guardian albums like “Somewhere Far Beyond,” “Imaginations from the Other Side” and “Nightfall in Middle-Earth.” Vocalist/guitarist Matthias Graf does not mimic Kursch, but his vocal style is perfect for the music. The choruses, the melody, the absolutely brilliant compositions, and a fantasy storyline drawn from the Dragonlance saga novels (in particular “Dragons of Winter Night” by authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) are all present to make this album essential for a fans of power metal. It’s a “Blind Guardian” for the new age of fans and older ones clamoring for a return of Germanic perfection. The band also represents the perfect companion to the great Orden Ogan, a group which has taken the mantle and represents the face of Germany’s resurrection.

On “Of Dragons and Elves,” the symphonic elements are visible, but much like what was seen in the origins of the German style symphonic power, it acts only to accent the smashing choruses and takes absolutely nothing away from the guitar work; a stark difference juxtaposed to some Italian style symphonic power acts. Songs like “In the Sign of the Valiant Warrior,” “As Tarsis Falls,” “The Last Knight” and album favorite “The Crownguard’s Quest” are merely a few of the best tracks on an album where every single song is an instant classic.

To merely recommend this album is an understatement. Evertale’s “Of Dragons and Elves” is required listening for a proper education in power metal theory. Bands like this give hope to older fans that a younger generation of power metal acts have really secured a future, one that we all hope will be perpetuated forever.

Highs: A return to true Germanic power metal; majestic and sweeping choruses

Lows: Some may find this a little too close to the Blind Guardian of the 90's.

Bottom line: Take 90's Blind Guardian and add more Blind Guardian...its an Evertale of perfection.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)