EVERGREY - Progressive Metal - Dream Theater and Fates Warning sound - "EER-MUSIC.com aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Artist: Evergrey
Title:The Inner Circle 
Genre: Rock-Metal-Progressive
Label: Inside Out Music-http://www.insideoutmusic.com
Website: http://www.evergrey.net

Evergrey is a band that improves tremendously with each album they record. The Inner 
Circle is their latest epic masterpiece. The lyrical content of this grand album centers on the 
control of people, focusing on religious rhetoric, which actually sounds like an evangelist straight 
from the TV set telling you that you will burn in hell and the devil wants you in his kingdom…blah, 
blah, blah. In between powerful sweeping metal music, the story unfolds and captures your 
imagination and awakens all of your senses, thoughts and ideas revolving around the church, 
religion and politics. It all seems to tie in together with the latest developments of the church in 
the courtrooms defending their sick child molesting men of the cloth, therefore making the word of 
God and church nothing but a mockery and a lie.

Tom Englund gives an outstanding performance vocally, living out the parts making them real for 
the listener. He plays out the concept vocally to perfection, giving you the true feeling and 
emotion behind all of the power packed lyrics. It’s like a real life situation that comes to life inside 
the music. Oh yes, the music! Does it ever rock! This band is on a roll now, recording some of the 
best metal available in the world today, without question. I like to call it progressive metal, but the 
term progressive seems to make people shy away, particularly those that are the true hardcore 
metal heads. I am actually referring more to the progression the band is making with each 
subsequent recording, not the traces of prog-rock within their sound (mostly the way the 
keyboards interplay with the guitar). Make no mistake about it though; this is heavy, dark and 
hard rockin’ music. 

Evergrey’s musicianship is clearly beyond reproach as Rikard Zander (Keyboards), Michael 
Hakansson (Bass), Jonas Ekdahl (Drums), Tom S. Englund (Vocals/Guitars) and Henrik 
Danhage (Guitars) are a high-energy group that attacks the music with unyielding passion. The 
dark and ominous atmosphere coupled with the political and spiritual aspects make you rethink 
life itself and why man lets religion and politics get in the way of our true nature. The Inner 
Circle gives you all of that cranked up a few notches on the decibel scale for maximum impact. 

I have listened to this album countless times now and I can tell you it only gets better with each 
listen, it’s that good, and no doubt one of the top metal albums of 2004.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-http://www.muzikreviews.com

May 22, 2004

01. A Touch Of Blessing (5:50)
02. Ambassador (4:29)
03. In The Wake Of The Weary (4:43)
04. Harmless Wishes (4:18)
05. Waking Up Blind (4:22)
06. More Than Ever (4:13)
07. The Essence Of Conviction (6:06) 
08. Where All Good Sleep (4:37)
09. Faith Restored (3:53)
10. When The Walls Go Down (5:38)


Evergrey Is:

Rikard Zander : Keyboards, Backing Vocals 
Henrik Danhage : Guitars, Backing Vocals 
Tom S. Englund : Vocals, Guitars
Michael Hakansson : Bass 
Jonas Ekdahl : Drums

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Evergrey In Search of Truth (InsideOut Music America, 2001)

Hailing from Sweden, prog metallers Evergrey released their third CD In Search of Truth in 2001, produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy Larocque. Evergrey's own web site admits that prog metal is "a scene populated by far too many clones," so they try to establish their own original identity within their style of classic prog metal. In Search of Truth instantly sounds like typical modern prog metal -- crunchy yet thick rhythm guitars with the same dark guitar tone of Dream Theater, grandiose sustained synth chords, intertwining dual guitar leads, melancholy piano song intros, and flashy lead guitar solos. High but raspy vocals ring real and emotive instead of operatic vocals like classic prog metal, but the snare drum sounds exactly like the flat triggered snare sample on Dream Theater's "Images and Words." Using that dull snare sound was a sonic mistake, and a mistake of referencing a previous band. Aside from stylistic issues, the production and playing on In Search of Truth is first rate, major label quality, although the bass guitar is virtually inaudible in the heavy passages beneath the barrage of chunky guitars and double bass drumming. The songwriting also uses many common prog metal tricks, including riffs in 7 that feel like a truncated 8 rather than a complete 7, slipping from triplets in 4 into an Iron Maiden 12:8 and back, and turnaround flurries that get doubled in length every second time through the riff (a Dream Theater staple). Evergrey's songs move through mostly linear verse/chorus/solo section formats, without the more interesting feel of less repetitive and less linear song structures. The extravagant bursts of choir vocals match the dramatic subject matter of this concept album, which loosely describes the identity crisis of a man abducted by aliens, as established by the sampled voiceover opening the record. Evergrey and In Search of Truth won several fan polls on the Perpetual Motion Prog Metal web board, as Top Album of 2001, Best Band, and Best Power-Metal Disc. However, that's exactly the type of music fan that would love Evergrey -- one who wants to hear bands reprising the classic sound and grandiose feel of early 90s prog metal like Dream Theater and Fates Warning. If you love those bands and that style, then pick up In Search of Truth, and the new CD Evergrey is recording in late fall 2002. But if you prefer someone who brings something new to progressive heavy music, check out Ron Jarzombek of Spastic Ink, or Aghora, or one of the few other bands doing anything heavy and progressive these days that is also original. Reviewed by Scott Andrews [scottandrews@his.com]

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