After the obligatory intro, we’re treated to “Blinded”; a twin guitar and keyboard aural assault. There are two types of vocalists in the power metal genre; very high pitched or deep registering. Englund falls into the lower register, but shows of plenty of melody and range. The over-the-top chorus will compel you. Englund is a little more forceful with his vocals on “End of Your Days”. It’s on this track where you realize the importance of the choir in the background. Everygrey mixes up the breaks with a keyboard solo during the first one and a guitar solo on the second.
The crowd really gets into the monstrous riffs and double-kick drums of “More Than Ever”. The combination of sustained keyboards and the choir, give the track a movie soundtrack feel. The ballad “Waking Up Blind” starts off with tender piano and enduring vocals. With just one tap of the drums, the crowd kicks in with rhythmic clapping. Danhage lays down a great melodic solo. Rhythmically pounding drums and subtle piano set the pace for “As I Lay Here Bleeding”. Speed metal style soloing gives way to an in-your-face climax. The seven minutes epic “Misled” runs the gamut of prog-metal styles; changing tempos, dueling guitar and keyboard solos, and potent vocals.
“When The Walls Go Down” starts off the second disc. It takes driving keyboards, warm strings, and audio clips to get its message across. “Essence of Conviction” combines a chugga-chugga riff with piercing keyboard runs. The outset of the fast-paced “Solitude Within” is loaded with plenty of quick licks and pounding drums that quickly shift to a vocal heavy track. Eventually the dual guitar attack kicks in to fire this one up. “Every Tear That Falls” is another emotional ballad with just vocals set to piano that ends in typical power ballad fashion. The crowd goes crazy for the announcement of the final track “The Masterplan”, and so they should! It’s eleven minutes of tempo changes galore and crowd participation.
Based on the energetic live performance and crowd reaction that can be heard on this release, I can only imagine how amazing it was to witness it. I can hardly wait for the DVD. A Night to Remember…indeed!