It’s time to start a new year in review.
And I normally have about six to ten records on a post but in this case it had to be one album as it’s one of my favorite Evergrey albums.
So Part 1 is broken up into 1.1 and 1.2.
“In Search of Truth” is the third studio album and first concept album by Evergrey. It is the first album to feature guitarist Henrik Danhage and bassist Michael Håkansson, as well as the only one to feature keyboardist Sven Karlsson. Founder and mainstay, Tom Englund is on vocals and guitars with the very underrated Patrick Carlsson on drums.
Produced by Andy LaRocque, who had produced all the band’s previous albums up to now.
The album deals with alien abductions, based on the allegedly factual account of alien abduction victim Whitley Strieber’s book “Communion”.
The album cover was created by Swedish graphic designer Mattias Norén, who I once contacted for a possible album cover for an album I was involved in, before I decided to go with Brazilian artist, Gustavo Sazes.
An alien abduction story can be sort of blah, but Englund is the master at showcasing his personal side in the lyrics. So what we hear lyrically is how the main character struggles to understand what is happening and how scared and confused they are.
Less than 5 minutes and what an opener. One of my favourite songs from Everygrey. Make sure you check out the live version on “A Night To Remember”. They do a Maiden “Running Free” singalong after the lead section which is perfect.
And the music video clip, with people painted to blend in the walls is unsettling as their eyes open, as the main character is being watched at all times.
“I have decided to keep this tape recorder with me at all times. Just so that I maybe one day can explain all the strange things happening to me. The lack of sleep…the loss of time. But most of all, the sensation of never being lonely…always being watched…”
And then the 7/8 syncopated intro blasts off.
Then that Chorus. The constant double kick, the power chords and the vocal melody which sings;
We are all a part off, forced to live within, a conspiracy for ages, the masterplan
The next time the second chorus rolls around, there is a little melodic lead before it. It’s a “why not” moment, to break up the verse and chorus structure.
The instrumental section in the interlude, the lead break and how they come out of this interlude and back into the Chorus. A masterpiece.
Make sure you check out Henrik Danhage’s outro lead break.
“Rulers Of The Mind”
It has another memorable intro.
The stomping drumming in the verses reminds me of “Kashmir”.
There is this orchestral choir happening over one of the lead breaks, which is unsettling.
And how good is the Chorus vocal melody and we had to live through an intro, two verses and a solo before we got to it. And then there is silence and a piano line. And slowly, it rebuilds up.
Make sure to check out the lead break at the 3.50 mark. Then at 4.21 those orchestral choirs come back in. They are cinematic and desperate. And the last 50 seconds, the Chorus reappears.
At 6 minutes long it didn’t get boring and I press repeat.
“Watching The Skies”
It feels like a Malmsteen or Dream Theater cut with the keyboard solo. And the double kick drumming from Patrick Carlsson is relentless, fast when it needs to be and syncopated when it needs to be.
Check out the section from 4.05 and the excellent lead break kicks in at 4.45.
“State Of Paralysis”
It has a haunting piano riff to kick it off and Englund is in theatre mode as he plays a fearful and confused abductee.
“They’re coming, they’re coming”
Englund keeps repeating those words.
“State of Paralysis” and “The Encounter” are basically the same song split into two different tracks. This one is progressive. Like Dream Theater “Awake” style of album.
Make sure you check out the guitar solo at the 3 minute mark and there is this ten second guitar melody that plays between 3.50 and 4.00.
And those same words, “they’re coming” keep reappearing.
“Mark Of The Triangle”
This is probably Evergrey at its progressive best, with tempo changes and technical playing. But still accessible.
The start alone has the bass locking in with the kick drum while the synth plays chords and the guitars play a lead.
This morphs into the guitars syncopating, with double kick drumming and the keyboard playing a melodic lead.
And it quietens down to the verse, which is just bass, piano and drums with a vocal melody.
At 1.30 the trademark Evergrey syncopated riff kicks in. It’s their style.
The whole guitar solo section from 3.55. Listen to the piano riff that kicks it off. All the pop songs from Max Martin use it. It’s a Sweden thing.
At the 5 minute mark the synths become dominant and its cinematic.
The symphonic choir is haunting.
At 2.44 there is a different symphonic choir for a few seconds that reminds me of “Suite Sister Mary” from Queensryche. Which isn’t surprising as Queensryche is listed as an influence.
And the last three minutes of the song is epic, reminding me of songs like “The Aftermath” and “The Storm Within” from their recent albums.
How good is the piano intro?
And then Englund sings, with all his emotion.
The piano takes centre stage again at the 50 second mark with another iconic riff.
Then it goes back to the piano intro and an acoustic guitar with more vocals.
At 3.26, it’s the tape narrative again about, “oh god, it’s happening again”. The piano is haunting and at the 4 minute the guitar solo begins with big bends.
The album closer. It starts off with a piano riff and then the band cranks in.
Listen to the ahh choir before the Chorus and then there is a blast beat section of furious double kick before the Chorus kicks in.
Each verse has a different riff but within the same chord structure. Its creative and a progressive way of thinking.
At 2.59, it’s the style of Evergrey that they have carried to this day, syncopated staccato guitar riffs with a keyboard melody over the top.
The whole guitar solo section and coming out of it needs to be heard.
And then its silence, with a taped piano riff playing and Englund singing, “I’m crawling back to sleep” before the whole band kicks in.
I have to mention again that Tom Englund is a very underrated vocalist. Each song bears his emotion and soul. You hear anger, sadness, hope, fear and happiness. His voice is strong, ballsy, unique to him and it avoids sounding like a Geoff Tate or Ray Adler or Bruce Dickinson or David Coverdale copycat which a lot of artists started doing to get a break in the market. And throughout this album, his voice moves between strong and bold to panic, crying and whimpering in “Different Worlds” as he narrates, “Oh, god, it’s happening again / I don’t wanna be here / I wanna go home”.
This was also Evergrey’s first release on German label, “Inside Out”, a move up to a bigger label from their previous independent label. For the label, Inside Out, 2001 was a big year as they released “Burn the Sun” from Ark, “Terria” from Devin Townsend and “In Search Of Truth” from Evergrey, all seen as defining albums in the progressive metal genre.