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In Shrouded Divine LP,
This review is from: Shrouded Divine (MP3 Music)
For a debut LP, 'In Shrouded Divine' is a very good one, which is very surprising these days. Crystal clear production, intricate compositions, well mixed vocals and an overall cohesive sound vision are things that most bands can only hope to achieve on their massive debut. Sure, In Mourning have a few releases prior to this, but this is their LP, and they shine like pros.
Evolution in art is a very iffy thing. It makes and breaks fan bases. In Mourning started out playing some kind of gothic metal crap, depressive doom-metal dirges that just didn't do it for me. 'In Shrouded Divine' sounds like a band with a new vision, a new direction, one that suits their talents well, Progressive Metal, albeit with traces of their past throughout. One cannot deny the Opeth flavor to the compositions, as its inevitable. From the droning guitar passages to the progressive rock breakdowns, it all screams of Opeth. Make no mistake, In Mourning certainly hold their own; they are very much a competent group, and their debut LP is a beast of an album, a very impressive one.
Progressive Metal, you know the blend that Opeth crafted and bought to full realization, is blended smoothly with Melodic Death Metal. The songs are epic and full of juicy riffs and clean breakdowns. For the most part, the songs on 'In Shrouded Divine' are composed in that wonderful heavy/clean formula known so well in the Progressive Metal genre, with more emphasis on the heavy. When the crushing riffs do give way to contemplative clean passages, and if you're as much as a prog metal geek as me, you'll squeal with glee at how awesome they sound. Mastering the changes from heavy to clean is a feat that many bands execute rather poorly, but In Mourning are in full control.
The bass guitar is very audible, something that I've noticed more bands opening up to. The guitar riffs are never dull, packed thick with sorrow, yet a fierce bite, and some truly beautiful soloing and clean soft breaks. As for the drums, they are a little better than average, serving mostly as a time-keeper during most of the recording, though completely outshining everyone else at rare points. The vocals are gutteral growls from the depths, a melodic death style even Mikael Akerfelt proud of, mixed with some occasional clean sung passages. While far and few between, the clean sung portions of the album are beautiful, making you wish there were more to relish in. 'In Shrouded Divine' is a great album, however you can feel the sense of restraint from the band, as if they are merely testing the waters at this point, waiting to unleash their mammoth Progressive Metal masterpiece later on.
Its hard not to be compared to metal Gods Opeth, especially if you happen to make music that sounds awfully influenced by them. Throughout the whole album I could hear many inferences to Opeth riffage and composition from the past, not that there is anything wrong with it, since almost every band that has ever recorded music has worn their influences on their sleeves.
In Mourning hold their ground however, proving that they are not a mere clone band, but a band with an awesome creative vision, some musical chops and hopefully more evolution in albums to come. 'In Shrouded Divine' is an awesome Progressive Metal/Melodic Death Metal mash up that works so well you will still be listening to it months after your first time.