In a strange way, I didn’t listen to this project so far. And I say that because behind the microphone is Tom Englund, the distinctive and special voice of my beloved Evergrey. The Swedish musician in Silent Skies collaborates with the American multi-instrumentalist Vikram Shankar, with whom he has been for a few years now in the also American prog metallers Redemption.
“Nectar” succeeds the debut “Satellites” which came out in 2020. Do not expect any metal approach from the duet, since we are talking about ambient music that basically has only piano and voice, accompanied here and there with some strings. It reminds me of songs that Evergrey has done from time to time (obviously) as well as moments from the latest Anathema records. Music full of melancholy and special atmosphere.
I think it’s quite difficult to make an album like this and manage to keep the listener’s interest until the end. Something that did not happen to me personally. Although there are several different ideas, melodies and approaches to the songs so that they do not sound repetitive, the absence of electricity or even some other lead musical instrument got me tired from the first minutes.
Tom’s voice is of course wonderful, there are some very beautiful melodies and I made sure to listen to the album under conditions of calm and relaxation so that I can dedicate myself only there without being distracted by anything else. But again, it failed to win me. I also did not like the fact that in many parts the piano is there as something that accompanies the vocals in a very simplistic way, without creating melodies and leading the way.
For comparison, I put the first album, “Satellites”, without changing my mind in the slightest. If any of these songs (like the great “Leaving”) were like a “break” on a heavy record, it would be something I would listen to with great pleasure. But fifty minutes only with piano and voice, is something that cannot arouse my interest to listen to it until the end (although I did) or to visit it again in the future.