by Rock Report

Lack of inspiration was not in Oliver Philipps’ book when he prepared the follow-up to “Fantasma”. As a matter of fact, there was so much material that it was decided to release two separate albums, but not simultaneously. Earlier this year - in June to be precisely - the critically acclaimed “Bridge” was released and next month (October) the same will happen to its twin brother “Flesh”. Though written and produced in the same period, “Flesh” differs from “Bridge”, albeit slightly. Most obvious is that “Flesh” - besides the usual band line up - features guest musicians on cello, viola and violin plus a female guest vocalist (Judith Stüber) on two of the album’s tracks. But rest assured, it didn’t infect the band’s familiar sound. On the contrary, the orchestration and the female vocals surely added to the epic feel breathed out by “Flesh”.

The album opens in a dark, but powerful way with “And Still It Bleeds”, featuring cellist Donja Djember. The rather short “Already Dead” (3:20) follows next and is the first song that features the talented voice of the aforementioned Judith Stüber, which nicely blends with the throat of band leader Philipps. “Pictures Of You” is the first of two beautiful ballads before we reach the title track “Flesh”. With a playing time of over 14 minutes it’s surely the most ambitious song on offer. “Flesh” starts as a classical song, but has enough ‘twists and turns’ to be accepted as a full-blown progressive rock song. I can’t remember having heard Philipps singing so diversely in one single track before! After that epic, it’s time for the album’s second ballad (“Missing From The Chain”) and second song (“The River”) featuring Judith Stüber. Typical Everon again is “Half As Bad” and last - but not least - comes “Back In Sight”, of which the music and keyboard arrangement were written by Oliver Thiele, who joined the band for live purposes after the release of “Fantasma”. Now he’s no longer part of the band, so this song can be seen as a kind of tribute to the share he had in Everon over the past two years. As always the artwork comes from the hands of Australian artist Gregory Bridges, while the (brilliant) production was done by the duo of Philipps and Moos, both owners of the Spacelab Studio.

Being a bit more complicated (especially the album’s title song), it took me a couple of spins to appreciate this album as much as “Bridge”, but I think it’s at least as interesting!