Evergrey - The Inner Circle
26 April 2004

01. A Touch Of Blessing
02. Ambassador
03. In The Wake Of The Weary
04. Harmless Wishes
05. Waking Up Blind
06. More Than Ever
07. The Essence Of Conviction
08. Where All Good Sleep
09. Faith Restored
10. When The Walls Go Down
11. I'm Sorry [Live Acoustic session in France] [special edition bonus]
12. Recreation Day [Live Acoustic session in France] [special edition bonus]
13. Madness Caught Another Victim [Live Acoustic session in France] [special edition bonus]

The sound of this album has a typical Evergrey stamp on it, but it's definitely more advanced musically - this album takes Evergrey to a new level. The one track that really stands out is the quiet and bluesy Waking Up Blind is beautiful to tears - very emotional piece and nothing like Evergrey's previous works. Tom's wife Carina provides the trademark female vocals on some tracks, and a nice new addition - the Gothenburg Symphony string quartet provides the gloomy atmosphere.

Snippets of religious rhetoric create an unique feeling of misguided passion and being lost, which reach highlight in the last track, When The Walls Go Down, when emotions rise so high you feel their actual weight grinding you down. Never before an album made such an impact on my thoughts and feelings. As the album progresses, you feel despair, rage, temporary relief, weariness and pain, and in the very end you feel them all at once, making it almost impossible to bear.

The album concept deals with people abusing religious ideas. Quite an unusual theme, but then again, Evergrey were never into going the trodden way - I never believed a dead serious metal album about alien abduction is possible until I heard In Search Of Truth.

Evergrey continue to escape the cliches here - it's really not about bashing Christianity, in fact, it's not about bashing religion at all, but about those fanatics that hide behind it, commiting the very crimes they so passionately condemn, about those who shove such a delicate matter as faith straight into your face, those who blindly and thoughtlessly repeat the prayers after their hypocritic and corrupt leaders, who poison people's minds and empty their pockets. It's about despair of the one who by chance of fate is bound to one of such persons, struggling to bring him back to normal life.

Here's also what Tom S. Englund himself has got to say on this matter:

"On the last album, we did 'Unforgivable' and that thought stayed with me, about people abusing children, then hiding behind their religion, or whatever, to get away from the law. It's despicable. It makes me so mad, like I could kill someone. Seriously. We actually thought about doing this concept for the last record, but there was too little time, to really get into the subject. We don't want to accuse someone, without knowing what we're talking about. This isn't about bashing Christianity, it's about bashing fanatics, people who try to convince others to their way of thinking. Society today wants someone to tell them how/what to think. Our (concert) t-shirts are going to say, 'I am my own God, God walking."

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10

Band profile: Evergrey
Album: The Inner Circle


written by Ivan | 30.04.2004


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Comments: 7  
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BloodTears - 27.03.2008 at 18:14  
I think this is a very true review. I hadnt read it before although I've listened to this album so many times. Actually "a touch of blessing" is one of my favourite Evergrey songs. And "Ambassador" reminds me of the feel in solitude dominance tragedy. The rest of the songs are all good really, so there's not much to say except that this is a brilliant release, with great lyrics like you pointed out. I think the final song is very unexpected but very compelling, and it sounds so dark.

I to Evergrey.
IconMaiden - 07.04.2008 at 22:53  
amazing, like all of their albums since in search of truth (except Apocolypse)
ThunderAxe1989 - 07.04.2008 at 22:56  
I don't think it deserves that high a rating, it was okay. I love the subject matter though!
juanopereira - 26.05.2008 at 02:38  
I have nothing to say about this album. Just
ioannisk - 17.08.2008 at 17:34  
one of the best concept albums created! difficult topic and extraordinary music!! that's art!
Piratepinoy - 05.10.2010 at 23:09  
Love the review, indeed one of the most impacting albums of all time.
BlankFile - 26.08.2016 at 20:57  
Wonderful album, dealing with a complex concept. Really amazing work.

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