Evadne – The Pale Light of Fireflies

In almost twenty years of history, the Spanish band Evadne have certainly not been a prolific band, but the reward has been the exhibition of a quality that, starting from an already high base, has gradually increased until it reached a peak that was thought difficult to match with A Mother Named Death, full length of 2017. The band has perhaps been underestimated in all these years, at least at the level of certain critics, due to the stylistic contiguity with Swallow The Sun but, if it is undeniable to find some affinity with those who have decoded melodic death doom at the highest levels, it must also be said that the melodic taste of the Valencians has always appeared more markedly Mediterranean than the introspective and typically Nordic version provided by the Finnish masters. Curiously enough, both bands released their new album at the end of 2021, denoting an equal shift towards much less harsh and more direct sounds without losing an ounce of the dark and melancholic aura that made their past fortunes; this could perplex some fans of the first hour, perhaps misled by the lightening of sound shown in the first samples of the album, but the mistake not to be made is to suffer a negative conditioning resulting from a hasty listening and the inevitable comparison with sublime and much rougher works like The Shortest Way and A Mother Named Death. In fact, The Pale Light of Fireflies is a magnificent album, able to grow exponentially with time despite its apparent lightness and usability, even if the melodic and atmospheric contribution compared to the two mentioned albums is really sensitive, and in some ways unexpected, but certainly wanted and sought precisely to avoid slavishly tracing the compelling compositional lines proposed four years before; the result is a superb collection of songs, with the first five tracks characterized by an unstoppable emotional crescendo that, passing through the title track, reaches its climax with the wonderful Abiaze Dawn Eyes, followed by the catchy discovery of Hollow Realms, where the ability of Evadne is to keep just below the limits allowed of sappiness thanks to the counterbalance represented by the always convincing growl of Albert Conejero. Just the vocalist contributes with his evidence in keeping the bar firmly in the metal, assisted by the brutal scream of drummer Joan Nihil, while they are adequate to the case the tones offered by guests in the persons of the crystalline Carline Van Roos (Lethian Dreams) and Jaani Peuhu (Swallow The Sun). In the course of its abundant hour of duration, The Pale Light of Fireflies convinces for its uninterrupted melodic strength; to those who will object about the excessive unbalance in this sense compared to the previous full length, we can only answer that Evadne have chosen a different path, perhaps more direct but no less appreciable, to reach the hearts of listeners giving emotions in profusion, a goal pursued and punctually achieved.

2021 – Solitude Productions