I just passed through "The Inner Circle" 2 whole times. My initial reaction is that this is definitely something different for Evergrey. Usually I am hit hard by the very first pass through an Evergrey disc, but this time, I had to absorb most of what was going on and the disc builds to a heavy impact instead of dropping you on your head quickly. The disc is more song-oriented than the previous releases, and Tom Englund just continues to get better and better and absolutely slays vocally here. This is without a doubt his finest moment so far. I'm not feeling the "darkness" I have felt before, the sinister feeling I get from earlier EG discs is gone, replaced by deep, inner emotions evoked from the music. Some of this material is very cerebral, and if you're suffering from depresssion, beware as this could add to your dilemma. The new drummer is more than adequate -- although I miss Patrick for personal reasons, and my only complaint is that the disc is too short and I'm sure everyone will have this complaint as well. (79:00 of Evergrey is bliss) The band is set to take over the world with this one --- it's much more accessible than the others, and should appeal to a broader range of listeners. Tom Englund continues to defy to the laws of emotion.