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In Mourning - Shrouded Divine CD (album) cover


In Mourning

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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3 stars "Shrouded Divine" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish progressive death metal metal act In Mourning. The album was released through Aftermath Music in January 2008. In Mourning was formed in 2000 and released no less than 5 demos before being signed.

Stylistically the music on "Shrouded Divine" is a Scandinavian sounding melodic/progressive death metal style. At various points throughout the album I´m reminded of artists like Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium, Opeth, and Amorphis (the list goes on...). It´s heavy, often slow and doomy, but just as often mid-paced, and there are also faster-paced parts and several more atmospheric moments featured on the album. The atmosphere is at the same time epic and melancholic. The vocals vary between deep intelligible growling vocals and higher pitched aggressive snarling. The album features some clean male vocals too, but they are generally few and far between. It´s a welcome variation when they appear though.

The songwriting is solid and relatively varied, but it´s not the most original sounding music to come out of Sweden. The competition is of course also almost inhumanly hard, considering the vast number of high quality acts from that country, but I have to point out, that it is in that department "Shrouded Divine" lacks something to really compete with the most distinct sounding contemporary releases. The album fortunately features high level musicianship and a professional, clear, and powerful sounding production, so in that respect it is still a high quality release and fans of melodic/progressive death metal should find a lot to enjoy here. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#179165)
Posted Friday, August 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars An Everlasting Piece

Its 2010, I have been living with this album for two years now, and I still don't grow weary of it. Though this is not In Mourning's debut album per se, it is their first official release. But this comes out as a work of professionals.

Even if this might not be considered progressive metal by everyone, it definitely is music performed with excellent skills. The music is fairly straight forward. But in every song, just when you think they are becoming predictable, the songs are spiced up with unexpected turns, changes in tempo and technical twists. Just by listening to one song by these guys, it is evident that they could perform much more technical stuff if they wanted. Every riff and drumbeat are performed with surgical technicality as far as the interaction between the instruments go.

Still, with technical performance being top notch, the melodies and atmosphere seems to be the focus of these guys. And they do it with style. The songs are melancholic, the melodies are played in minor, and vocals differentiate between clean and grunt, with a strong emphasis on the grunting vocals. This is also sung perfectly.

I don't know how to describe it, but these guys definitely hit a nerve that accorded with my personal taste. It is melodic, but still brutal. A lot of the extreme metal band focusing on melody tends to lose some of the technical finesse that fans of extreme metal loves. This is not the case with In Mourning. I would not compare them directly to Opeth, but as far as the composition of vocal lines goes, there are some similarities. The music, however, has a more polished sound. Not the 70's inspired sound that Opeth brilliantly applies. But still it is working for In Mourning with a more organic metal sound. I would say that some of the songs remind me somewhat of the mid-tempo songs of Death.

It is hard to compare In Mourning to any bands, as they don't seem to resemble anything directly. And that must be the best compliment I can give. They have definitely created something original here. They are easily recognized in every song. I can't wait to see how they will develop further.

Report this review (#266404)
Posted Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permalink

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