Everdawn – Cleopatra

Rating: 2.5/5
Label: Sensory Records (Laser Edge)
Released: 2021
Buy album: https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/cleopatra-2
Band website: https://www.everdawnofficial.com/

Band line up:

Alina Gavrilenko – Lead vocals
Richard Fischer – Guitars, vocals
Mike LePond – Bass
Dan Prestup – Drums
Boris Zaks – Keyboards

Track listing
  1. Ghost Shadow Requiem
  2. Stranded in Bangalore
  3. Cleopatra
  4. Your Majesty Sadness (feat. Thomas Vikström of Therion)
  5. Infinity Divine
  6. Pariah’s Revenge
  7. Lucid Dream
  8. Heart of a Lion
  9. Toledo 712 A.D. (instrumental)
  10. Rider of the Storm
  11. The Last Eden

Everdawn hail from North America, though from their sound could be straight outta Scandinavia. Formed in New Jersey in 2014 under the moniker Midnight Eternal, the quintet’s line up boasts members from established symphonic metal projects such as Operatika and Symphony X.

A name change, slight line up reshuffle and record change later, Everdawn are now ready to present their 2nd full length studio album to the world. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö of Opeth, Katatonia and Evergrey fame; Cleopatra is the first album with vocalist Russian-born Canadian singer Alina Gavrilenko.

Despite what the album art and title may hint, Cleopatra is not a concept album. The songs are not interconnected and cover disparate topics such as Egyptian monarchs, cities in India and environmentalism.

The album is a patchwork of symphonic, power metal and progressive elements. At times, the blending of styles seems haphazard and the album overall lacks cohesion. The pick and mix array of musical flairs gives the impression of a relatively new band trying different styles on for size and seeing what suits them best. Alina’s vocal style flip flops between opulent operatic frippery and a ballsier, rockier style. Richard Fischer’s guitars provide peppy melodeath style riffs and produces a litany of twiddly guitar solos that Skwisgaar Skwigkelf from Dethklok would be proud of.

The keyboards weave some interest and atmosphere, though occasionally sound more suited to an 80s extra-terrestrial life reel than the album at hand. The drumming is nondescript. Musically, lyrically and thematically nods to Nightwish seemed abound.

After the first couple of listens I found nothing was truly stand out or memorable. The songs seemed to blur together into one amorphous blob. Is it awful? Not at all. Is it outstanding in its field? Not at all. If you have a not so secret soft spot for somewhat cheesy, power metal informed symphonic metal and have not yet sated yourself on the innumerable comparable bands already out there – get you some of this!

Lyric video for Your Majesty Sadness:

Review by Ro