by Metal Express Radio

Banks of fog float slowly above the cold greyish sand, playing tricks on the eyes with irregular, aimless motion, unexpected, unpredictable, making it difficult to spot the waterline, damping sounds and colors. Tiny, almost colorless pieces of kelp are blown hither and thither by the erratic gust, ruffling the pale brown grass. A drizzle of morning rain in smallest possible drops wets the shore and sinks deep through clothes, as if it was not there, down to the skin, opening the body to a clammy coldness that penetrates skin and flesh and bone and soul. Silence lies over the scene like a blanket, except for the constant whining of the breeze seemingly loud at first, but impalpable after a while.

Occasionally the screeching sound of a sea bird cuts through the quiescence like a knife, making the hairs stand up on the forearm and neck, accelerating heartbeat and circulation before landscape and observer return to a serene melancholy. Tranquillity inspires and releases deep emotions, hidden before, stacked away in the basement of existence, while the gaze turns north, towards the invisible coldness of ice and snow, of which water and beach give but a wanly effigy; almost like closing one’s eyes, seeing palish afterimages present for an instant before they fade into the formless darkness of oblivion, unable to cling to any shape of an original scene which offers no ledge. A tear born of emotion and frost is released into the world by the doing of both its parents, one disguising the other in an attempt to shield the artist’s mind from harm in its state of vulnerability, a distinction melting into irrelevance as the salty drop mixes with rain that ends its short existence.

During the day a sun that fails to give warmth and light to shore and man enough to banish the chill of the winter air sends down pale rays that disperse the wafts slowly, until small waves reflect the diminishing irradiance, waves destined to increase with tide and time to herald an evening tempest, growing slowly at first but conquering beach and sand a little more each time like a patient, silent craftsman scraping away tiny bits from a piece of wood, excavating beauty and art too fragile to be discovered by clumsy hands and eagerness. Time loses its meaning in the unchanging monotony until a sinking sun in the west illuminates the returning mist above the beach in a pale, surreal light, and the world prepares for another winter night and another oncoming storm which will blow away the fog and unleash the forces of nature upon the land and its inhabitants.

From the returning darkness the artist emerges, likewise returning but to his shelter, in anticipation of the hearth warmth and the crackle of the firewood, making the remembrance of the absence of light and warmth during day fade. He guards solitude and sensations experienced in the pure, frosty world inside the heart to be the source of inspiration for his works of art that will be born from this night’s lucidity.

That is the picture appearing before one’s eyes while listening to North, which takes the Dutch North Sea in winter and a German Prog Rocker, the clash of nature and the intellect, and condenses it into 10 pieces of music full of melancholy and emotion, swaying between tranquillity and unrest like the winter world and the sea swings from calmness to storm and back again. Everon’s seventh album and the first one after six years is as emotional as it is intelligent, with compositions that unfurl their brilliance slowly, hiding sometimes behind fragile piano parts, then under heavy guitar waves or floating Cello sounds, through Oliver Philipps’ words as much as Judith Stüber’s, capturing location and nature’s forces in subtle musical beauty, with moments that reduce a listener’s judgement to only one word: beautiful.
It is time to head North.

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewed by Frank Jaeger