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EVERSHIP - UNCROWNED KING-ACT 1 (2021 3RD CD/16P BKT/DIGIPAK)

Product Format: CD               ** Regular Stock Item **

Price: £10.83 (exc) £12.99 (inc)

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3rd album from the truly impressive USA Prog Rock band founded by the talented multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer/engineer Shane Atkinson!

EVERSHIP are a league ahead of much of the new Prog bands we get to hear these days – with influences from the divide that crosses between GENESIS, YES, KANSAS and QUEEN, this band are something SPECIAL!

When I first heard EVERSHIP’s 2016 debut album I can remember getting so excited and thinking that this was the most thrilled I had been since I first heard our MASSIVE selling GLASS HAMMER’s: ‘Chronometree’ album eighteen years earlier. Then in 2018 EVERSHIP II came along and that surpassed all my expectations … now in 2021 comes ‘The Uncrowned King - Act 1’, their 3rd album, and that just blew me away on just one airing!
You might also remember we hailed the vocalist on the first two EVERSHIP albums as being “OUTSTANDING”, well, Beau West is here again with his high-register voice seeming to be even more “fine-tuned” than before.

The EVERSHIP sound just oozes quality - The keyboards are melodic and symphonic, yet edgy and dramatic at the same time; the guitars range from powerful to sensitive and the rhythm section – much in the same way as YES – runs the gamut of tight and driving to sensitive and atmospheric. The standard of musicianship is high; the compositions are classy with quality production, ranging through melodic, hook-laden songs with incredible anthemic choruses and gentle ballads, with plenty in the way of bombastic, complex arrangements with extended instrumental arrangements going on in-between … and none of that has changed for ‘The Uncrowned King - Act 1’, which, if anything seems to contain even more accomplished song-writing and production.

EVERSHIP's 3rd album is ‘The Uncrowned King - Act 1’ and it is the first half of a Rock Opera adaptation of the 1910 book by Harold Bell Wright entitled: ‘The Uncrowned King’.
This story is an allegory in the style of ‘The Pilgrim's Progress’ but with a story arch of Twain’s ‘Prince And The Pauper' meets Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.
A pilgrim on a search for Truth arrives at the Temple of Truth with questions about the journey.
In answer, the Keeper of the Temple retires him to The Quiet Room, overlooking The Beautiful Sea, where he is visited by the Four Voices of Life. Each Voice tells him a piece of a story entitled: ‘The Uncrowned King’, to give answer to his questions.

Broken down into two album releases, the first story is an allegory on the nature of truth. It is a statement that real truth cannot be derived solely by the senses, but it is more transcendent and one must be courageous in its pursuit and consequence.

The musician line-up for ‘The Uncrowned King - Act 1’ is: Beau West (lead vocals), Shane Atkinson (keyboards / drums / vocals / percussion / theremin / sound design), James Atkinson (lead guitar on tracks 3b, 4 & 6b), John Rose (rhythm, classical, acoustic & lead guitars on tracks 1, 3a, 4, 6a & 7), Ben Young (bass) and Matt Harrell (12-string guitar on ‘The Pilgrimage’).
Also featured are: Poem Atkinson as 'The Voice Of The Evening Wind', Mike Priebe (additional backing vocals), The Charles Heimermann Choir and The Adriatic Sea (sea organ).

‘The Uncrowned King - Act 1’ track by track…

‘The Pilgrimage’ is a powerful and at times tender opening track delivered over three movements, where the vocal passage is book-ended by two beautiful textural symphonic, keyboard driven passages … a bit YES like this one!

The atmospheric: ‘Voice Of The Waves’ follows and comes in with birdsong and singing guitar set on a bed of distant Mellotron textures, with Beau West’s ethereal voice emerging from the misty backdrop.

The ‘Crownshine’ section of the 3rd track opens with a soaring Moog-like melody line that really drives on when the rhythm section comes into play. When the vocal part comes in you hear West in yet another fine vocal performance surrounded by keyboard-led instrumental breaks … in fact the whole section is more or less instrumental. There’s a fine lead electric guitar solo too prior to a real Moog fest that leads to a grandiose keyboard led symphonic finale, then we move into the ‘Allthetime’ section where a choir passage is followed by a new vocal arrangement from West and there’s a kind of familiarity about this section as the Hammond takes up the baton alongside a hard driving rhythm section. A fine guitar solo rips through the waves of Leslie fuelled organ and the superb synth playing from Shane Atkinson comes in for a final instrumental break augmented by flashes of brilliant Mellotron waves that bring the track to a terrific climax.

‘The Tower’ opens with a piano and harmonic voice passage, followed by a pumping drums and bass and some mighty fine guitar breaks. The Hammond again takes up a fair bit of the back-line space as the song moves forward, backed-up with some fantastic synth/Mellotron combo sections that just seem to take things up to a altogether higher level. Some great high-register synth soloing is also a highlight on the centre passage, and West offers up another stellar vocal performance. The track starts to become “epic” after that with some lovely light and shade that includes parts of huge guitar soloing set over a sea of keyboards and vocals to die for … Beau West really cuts the mustard big time here, showcasing what a fantastic front-man he really is. The track closes elegantly in softer hazy melodic territory.

‘The Voice Of The Evening Wind’ emerges with swarming atmospheric sounds and textures coupled with an echoed bass line that makes you feel as if you are in an entirely different place. An Anderson-esque angelic vocal emerges courtesy of the young voice of Poem Atkinson, and along with melodic acoustic guitar tinkering and waves of haunting Mellotron sounds continues the outer world feel of a piece of music that is brought to a sudden close by the sounds of that has to be a VCS3 synthesizer emanating a sound that’s like the arrival of a huge helicopter.

‘Yettocome’ and ‘Itmightbe’ take up the longest space on the album, with the opening passage being synth driven over powerful bass and drums, before a piano breaks the dense atmosphere and delivers an altogether more tranquil passage where Beau West delivers another superb vocal performance. Done in true ballad style, with Mellotron providing a haunting symphonic backdrop, the piece then produces some stunning synth soloing from Shane Atkinson.
It all begins to sound more “epic” again as we approach the halfway mark, with duelling high-register guitars leading us though to the ‘Itmightbe’ portion of the track. Here, solo acoustic guitar takes over and leads the way for a stripped back vocal performance that quickly moves on into a real pomp-rock passage where the song is definitely king. Mellotron sounds swirl around take centre stage for much of this song as a dreamy melody is developed and woven into a another Prog-rock epic containing yet another magnificent vocal performance from West and terrific keyboard workouts from Atkinson, plus there are some superlative electric guitar leads along the way, all building up to one of these YES-style dramatic and complex - everything but the kitchen sink - style climaxes that just seem to add the icing to an already delicious cake.

‘Wait’ is the most addictively commercial track on ‘The Uncrowned King – Act 1’ – a mid-paced ballad with hooks a plenty, it has a slight BEATLES flavour at times and maybe touching on CAMEL at others.
It even has a real middle-eight with superb harmonies throughout and a strong electric guitar solo in the middle, all set over a fine keyboards display from band-leader Shane Atkinson.

This 3rd EVERSHIP album is simply stunning … can’t wait for ‘Act II’ now … and further extols the virtues of vocalist Beau West, showcasing the singing talents that make him one of the best in the business now!

‘The Uncrowned King’ is available at CDS on 7th June 2021 or earlier.

Also available by EVERSHIP …
EVERSHIP (Classic 2016 Debut Album) CD – Stock # 2072655
EVERSHIP II (2018 Studio Album) CD – Stock # 2097236


EVERSHIP: THE UNCROWNED KING – ACT 1 Track List:

01. The Pilgrimage (10:38)
i. Desert Of Facts
ii. The Temple Of Truth
iii. The Quiet Room
02. The Voice Of The Waves (3:08)
03. (a) Crownshine / (b) Allthetime (10:50)
04. The Tower (9:47)
05. The Voice Of The Evening Wind (4:23)
06. (a) Yettocome / (b) Itmightbe (16:42)
07. Wait (5:12)

TPT: 60:40