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Review: Evergrey - The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle

Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 2004
Duration: 48:17
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 1.5/5

Review online: September 15, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
The Inner Circle

Rated 4.11/5 (82.22%) (18 Votes)

Ah, here we have Evergrey at the height of their bullshit-spewing, metal-posering stage. They had just hit puberty, and this album was sort of like the awkward transition between their earlier, more metal, stuff, and their later, less metal, stuff. They had just bought their first pack of tampons, for instance, and were beginning to become self conscious about their growing body. They compensated for such with heavy, distorted mallcore riffs, but sometimes they let their inner selves peek out for a self-pitying, ultra-melodic ballady part, and that doesn't happen too much; maybe only twice per song! Overall, I could just end the review here, and save myself a lot of annoyance, but I can't just do that; it would be a disservice to the time I wasted catering to this pity-party.

So here we have The Inner Circle, their fifth album or so, and the band were at the height of their "teenage idolization" phase. It's cool to emulate those who have influenced you, right? Of course, Evergrey, they're just budding flowers in their petty copycatting of the modern Metal formula - they have emotive, mid-paced songs with stop-and-go power chords and harmonized vocals, and a severe lack of actual METAL. While I am completely aware of their pain, I just can't excuse the fact that they've written such passive music and passed it off as legitimate Heavy Metal. And people are buying into it! Ridiculous. I'm an open minded sort of guy, in case you had already grabbed your torches and your axes. I don't hate everything with melodic keys and mellow rhythms. I do understand Evergrey's pain. I just hate false music that operates under false pretenses. Yes, Evergrey are just going through hard times; they've never experienced anything like this before, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Metal isn't made to cater to the bleeding hearts of the world. Metal isn't made to be a vehicle for such bleeding hearts to cater to their brethren, to express their inner pain and wallow in over saturated self pity. Evergrey may be trying hard, but their hearts are not in the right place here. This whole album is filled with melodic, sad sections and lame riffs (often there aren't any riffs at all, actually), overlaid with the weak vocals of Tom Englund, and then we have spoken word sections that are really bad, such as in the beginning of the last track, which has a clip of a man crying to God about how he "can't do it anymore" and how he has "broke down, and wept, and can't handle this," and then you have some stuff about "the love of Christ." Okay, I'm sure there must be some reason they put this here, but do you see what I'm getting at now? Is this what we've come to accept as "metal"? Sure, there are some redeeming sections, such as a catchy chorus here and there, and the nice ending melody of "More than Ever," but when you get down to the nitty gritty, The Inner Circle is music for wimps.

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