Metalcore hardly could sound fresher than that

It takes some extra skill to stand out in any way from the millions of metalcore bands nowadays. But a band in that style with enough balls to cover un-orthodox bands like The Offspring and Operation Ivy stands out at least with that. Add the pop-culture references from TV shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons, and Evergreen Terrace are at least more sympathetic than most of the clones around.

After the transition to a bigger label like Metal Blade and the successful “Wolfbiker” it is normal that more eyes are turned towards the band. And Evergreen Terrace do not disappoint, but quite the opposite – they release their most balanced and complete album to date. In “Almost Home” the brutal metal riffs and screams coexist with clean punk-rock vocals and song structures better than ever.

The album starts off with “Enemy Sex” and its somewhat Deftones-ish opening riff, goes through a nice stop’n go verse with constant double bass drumming, before it explodes in the chorus that is half melodic, half a breakdown. Nothing unheard of but it sure is effective. Next is the title track that opens up with maximum punk-rock speed, flowing into the verse an evolving into the melodic chorus. A classic song structure that actually sounds fresh compared all the other bands in the genre that try to sound as scattered and chaotic as possible. In “I’m a Bulletproof Tiger” we also hear some groove metal influences and some head tearing mid-tempo heavy riffs.

Evergreen Terrace’s tendency to stick to an oldschool approach like more predictable song structures and soloing in pretty much every track helps the album become a good mix of their many influences. This shows well in the ballad-ish “We're Always Losing Blood”, where the clean vocals create a memorable melody. This is personal favorite on the album.

Just like in the previous one, the sound is quite crisp and far from the cheaper things they did with Eulogy. If there is a problem with this release is the band’s very style that has been done to death by many other bands. And this is something Evergreen Terrace are not to blame. “Almost Home” is quite good and is far from the assessment the band themselves kind of give to it with the last song “Not Good Enough”.

Verdict: 4.75 / 6

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