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IN THE WOODS...

Experimental/Post Metal • Norway


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In The Woods... biography
The story of Norway´s most peculiar band, IN THE WOODS..., began in 1992. Several individuals gathered forces in the autumn of that year, with the common quest to connect sounds and thoughts into musical compositions. The ´Isle of Men´ demo, which sold more than 3.000 copies world-wide, followed in 1992 and conceived co-operation with Misanthropy Records. In 1994, IN THE WOODS...´ first full length album, ´Heart of the Ages´, was released. It contains seven symphonies, the style of which ranges from progressive Heathen Metal over Black Metal influences to classical music and features many different vocal styles. Thus it´s impossible to label the art of these Norse pagans as one particular style of music.

In autumn 1996 the band headlined the very succesful ´Autumn Wilderness´ European tour, with support from Katatonia. In 1996, IN THE WOODS... returned with the phenomenal follow-up ´Omnio´. The praise of the bands debut leaves it speaking for itself and, likewise, ´Omnio´ does the same, highlighting the bands musical maturity and development, compositional expertise, and broadened approach into much more progressive and individual fields.

´Omnio´ is a journey in five parts, melodically hypnotic while aggressive and pure: A soundtrack to the rise and fall of mankind. February 1999 brings their third full-length album, "Strange In Stereo"... a soundscape journey of longer than an hour, tinged with moderate psychedelia and emotion.

In spring 2000, IN THE WOODS... released their fourth album "Three times seven on a pilgrimage" on Prophecy Productions. It is a concept album of the great psychedelic music from the 60´s and 70´s also including great interpretations of Jefferson Airplane´s ´White Rabbit´, Pink Floyd´s ´Let there be more Light´, Sid Vicious´ "If it´s in me" and King Crimson´s "Epitaph".

In autumn 2000, IN THE WOODS... decided to end the band in order to take care of their other projects. In December 2000 they played a final concert in Kristiansand, Norway and fans from all over Europe (from Greece and even from Peru) travelled to this fantastic event. A live album of this final gig was released in September 2003 - an ultimate farewell to this unique band...

SOURCE: Prophecy Productions

See also:
- Prophecy Productions

See also:
- Green Carnation
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IN THE WOODS... discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IN THE WOODS... top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 42 ratings
HEart of the Ages
1995
4.09 | 98 ratings
Omnio
1997
3.67 | 45 ratings
Strange In Stereo
1999

IN THE WOODS... Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 12 ratings
Live At The Caledonien Hall
2003

IN THE WOODS... Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IN THE WOODS... Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.59 | 9 ratings
Three Times Seven On A Pilgrimage
2000

IN THE WOODS... Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.68 | 6 ratings
A Return To The Isle Of Men
1996

IN THE WOODS... Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 98 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by dragonspirit

3 stars The album has some very strong points. The atmosphere and dynamics are excellent. In addition, the music can be powerful and intense. There is a lot of potential here. However, often times there is a lack of attention paid to development of the basic themes. The chord changes are typically slow. I found myself unchallenged and at times even bored as a listener. Superimposed and developed melody lines and variation within the basic frameworks are lacking.

To me, the high ratings of this album are at least partially due to the group's being largely unknown and now disbanded. This is not essential at all, but it is decent.

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 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 45 ratings

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Strange In Stereo
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Strange In Stereo finds In the Woods once again trying to find a progressive take on the gothic metal sound originally set forth by the likes of Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. This time, the influence of gothic rock is even more apparent, to the point where some of the male vocals sound like a shaky impression of Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy - and since Andrew Eldritch's singing style tends to sound like a bad impression of David Bowie, the ultimate impression given is of a bad photocopy of a bad photocopy.

And that, to be honest, is what the music sounds like too - a stab at a style of metal which at the time was getting moderate commercial returns and a glowing critical reception, without really producing something that convinces me that the band's hearts are in it. I'll stick to the debut, thanks.

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 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 45 ratings

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Strange In Stereo
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sleeper
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Strange In Stereo is the third and final studio album released by Norwegian Progressive Metal leaders In the Woods... and offers a very different take to their style of music than previous efforts HEart of the Ages and Omnio whilst still being recognisably In the Woods....

For their second album Omnio, In the Woods... moved from the predominant Black Metal leanings of their early years and début album to a more Doom Metal laced affair. For Strange in Stereo they maintain the Doom Metal aspects whilst coming at them from an altogether different angle, creating an effectively very different sound. Largely gone are the long, epic tracks that would twist and turn and in their place are shorter, more "song oriented" pieces. These songs show a far greater melding between the lyrics, and their delivery, and the music with a more atmospheric approach being the order of the day. Songs like Closing In, Cell, Generally More Worried than Married and Path of the Righteous exemplify there new style by starting out with a basic tune and building it up to the meat of the song before de-constructing back down again.

The songs themselves are more varied than in the past as well. The two long songs Generally More Worried than Married and By the Banks of Randemonium in some ways hark back to the long epics of previous albums whilst melding in the new sensibilities creating songs that feature atmospheric build ups to full metal head banging session in the middle. Basement Corridors provides a haunting and melancholic piece comprised entirely of vocals from the peerless Synne Soprana (who was effectively a full time member by now), bass and and an excellent viola improvisation from Kjell Age Stoveland. The rest of the songs tend to be somewhere in between, with a couple on the more atmospheric side (Cell, Vanish in the Absence of Virtue, Titan Transcendence) and those with a more heavy style like Closing In, Path of the Righteous and Dead Man's Creek.

If had to compare this to any other album, it would probably be Anathema's second release The Silent Enigma, with the two of them sharing similar aspects, but with clear differences between them. In many ways this is the most experimental album that In the Woods... have released, taking those aspects that can be found in the aforementioned Anathema release and adding them to their existing sound and adding in a few new ideas of their own. Most prominent of them is that this album marked the first time that guitarist X Botteri has taken his guitar soundscapes to heart and used them as an integral aspect of the music, something that will become an even more noticeable feature on the first Green Carnation album, a band he was initially a part of and incidentally restarted around this time as well. One final point is that the production on this album is far better than that of it's predecessor. The rather flat sound of Omnio distinctly held that otherwise excellent album back from being awarded the full 5 stars from me but on here its very dynamic and full. Softer parts are quiet, the big chunky riffs are crushing and there's a rather large spectrum in between, with lots of space and clarity for the instruments. This is the kind of thing I want to here in an album, production wise (though some specific styles do have exceptions).

In general the material is very strong but I get the feeling that if they had decided to stick around for one more album of original material we might have got something even better. Closing In, Basement Corridors, Generally More Worried than Married, Path of the Righteous, Titan Transcendence and By the Banks of Randemonium will go down as some of the absolute best songs this band has written and composed, whilst most of the rest will be remembered as strong songs as well. However, Ton always fails to stick in the memory for me and Shelter doesn't seem to serve much purpose. Overall a very good album that I find myself playing regularly and enjoying greatly every time and comes very close to matching Omnio in terms of quality. I'll give this a 4.5 star rating, and richly deserved.

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 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 98 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Whilst In the Woods' debut album was a fascinating blend of Floydian space rock and raw black metal, Omnio presents a slightly artsier take on the gothic metal style, and in particular that especially doomy variety of gothic metal originally honed by the likes of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema. It's a pleasant but forgettable listen, in my experience, and far less compelling than the wild and untamed original album. I guess if you like the idea of In the Woods trying to beat Anathema at their own game it might be an interesting listen, but to be honest Anathema win out every time over this one.

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 HEart of the Ages by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.92 | 42 ratings

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HEart of the Ages
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Starting out firmly in black metal territory - Emperor member Tchort was in an early lineup - In the Woods rapidly evolved into a much more complex affair, combining bursts of black metal aggression (as on Wotan's Return, which features the blast beats, walls of guitar noise and shrieked vocals you expect of black metal) with Pink Floyd-esque space rock moments of tranquility and classical-inspired passages on synthesiser. The electrifying mixture makes for an incredible debut album which, whilst it regularly returns to the band's black metal homestead, wanders through other musical realms even more regularly than Ulver's debut, and masters each style the band turns its hand to.

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 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 98 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sleeper
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If the 1980's saw the pioneering of Progressive Metal then the 1990's was the decade it solidified and spread out, exploring and sometimes breaking the bounderies of what was considered part of the mesh between prog rock and metal. Legendary band In the Woods... was one of the main groups leading the way from the extreme metal side of things in Norway and its here on their second album, Omnio, that the band really hit their stride, whilst moving beyond their Black Metal roots at the same time.

The biggest change anyone who is familier with the bands first album, HEart of the Ages, is that the Balck Metal influence has been largely reduced to nothing, with the fast paced riffing charecteristic of this band being the only nod left to the genre that birthed them. In practice, that means that the screaching vocals of Jan Transith ( formerly going by the name of Ovl. Svithjod) are gone completely leaving him to sing solely in his clean vocal range. Also of notice is a huge improvement in the production of this album, the mudyness of the guitars and vocals has been sharpened up. The effect is to leave Omnio as an album more in the vain of Doom/Prog Metal cross.

As a whole this album is underpined by the composing of X Botteri, who by all accounts seemed to have been the main driving force behind the bands music, along with his brother and bassist C:M Botteri. These two take the listener on an almost spiritual, and certainly emotional, voyage by the sweepeing passages, driving riffs and drawn out, mournful guitar counterpoint through the epics of 299.798 KM/s, I am Your Flesh, Weeping Willow and the grand force that is the title track, the 26 minute Omnio?. With the help of drummer Anders Kobro, guitarists Advar a:m and Bjorn "Berserk" Harstad (Bjorn H as he was credited on this album) the band exerts their skill in developing songs from slow mournful and ponderous through gritty, shifting melodies and driving riffs to powerful climaxes.

In many ways the structuring of the music on Omnio is very similar to what was presented on the first album, HEart of the Ages, but the big difference has come in their ability to execute the ideas that build the album and the level of musicianship they employ. They succed far better at creating atmospher here and I think that can be put down to a growing maturity in the Botteri brothers in their composition skills, noticibly taking more time to fully develop an idea or theme to its fullest before advancing the song through the next idea and/or theme. The tasteful use of a string quartet in the opening and title tracks shows them willing to use the space available in the music without it feeling cluttered and the same applies to the sparse but excellently well placed vocals of Synne D (also known as Sopranna) who would latter join the band as a full time member.

If anything Omio is a good case to prove the addage that technicality is a tool to create emotion in music, as this album has an undeniably greater emotional effect whilst the band displays a greater aptitude on their respective instruments, particularly in the guitar solo's. The member of the band that hs made the biggest improvement, in my opinion, is singer Jan K Transeth. On the first album I wasnt all that enamoured with his distinctive Black Metal screams and his clean voice was slightly on the flat and dull side of things, but in the two years between the two albums he has developed his vocals style, particularly the dynamics of delivery. Now his voice rises in command of the listeners attention and it doesnt take much too see why he's considered a legend amongst metal singers. I'm also impressed with his style of writting lyrics, which completely does away with the need for choruses in the same manner that many of Prog Rock's early classics did as well, something that doesnt happen very often these days with bands of any genre.

Of the songs themselves there is no weak tracks. Everything from the majestic flow of Weeping Willow to etherial expanse of Kairos and the experimental soundscapes of Omnio? is fantastic. So, why dont I give this album the full 5 stars then? The answer is that this isnt the best version of Omnio available, that belongs to the live album Liveathecaledonianhall where this albums is performed in its entirety and there's something about the live settin that just gives this music a lift above almost anything else I've ever heard. An absolut must for any fan of Progressive Metal with enough to interest people who dont normally like metal bands. 4.5 well deserved stars.

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 HEart of the Ages by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.92 | 42 ratings

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HEart of the Ages
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sleeper
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The early 1990's saw the Nordic states rise as the spiritual home of extreme metal, with Sweden becoming most famouse for its Melodic Death Metal and Norway's (in)fame(y) coming from Black Metal, or more so the unsavery nature of many of the scenes protagonists (the church burnings gaining particular attention). Like Punk some 15 years before it Black Metal stood as a musical form of rebellion and shared the same visceral and fairly simple approach, but this was never its corner stone and so it was always just a matter of time before a someone would come along and stretch the bounderies much further. And so it did, when Tchort left Green Carnation (yes, that Green Carnation, famous for Light of Day, Day of Darkness) to join Black Metal icons Emporer as bassist, the band split up and reformed under the leadership of C:M and X Botteri as In the Woods....

Right from the start of the opening track, Yearning the Seeds of a New Dimention, its clear that whatever aliegence they hold to black metal is not all consuming with a spacy, melencholic keyboard soundscape floating around and slowly building up over the first 3 minutes leading into a slow mournful tune and then braking out in a raw black metal blast. These changes of tempo and a desire to explore a wide range of sonic landscape, primarily through a fusion of black metal and doom metal, show the band as one of the most pioneering progressive metal bands of the mid to late 1990's, well before the hord of Dream Theater clones got in the way.

Admitedly, as musicians they're hardly in the same league as Dream Theater and Cynic, but thats not remotely a bad thing as the band is clearly focused primarely on creating atmospheres and mixing that with the spiritual and nature focused lyrics. The prime result of this the imagery conjured within this listeners mind of bleak, cold forests in Norway or the sharp, steep precipices of the fjords. To that end the album is an unmitigated succes and the bands ability to create beatiful melodies through X Botteri Oddvar A:M's guitar playing, backed by the expansive sounds from the keyboards, the emotive and grasping leads and the controled agression that the members are able to unleash in emphasis belies the fact that this is the bands debut album.

This isnt, however, a perfect album by any means. To most people the black metal shrieks which amount to maybe a little more than half of all the vocals on HEart of the Ages, and they are best described as near uninteligable shrieks, of Ovl Svithjod will be a real problem as even I have a hard time with them and I generally like the growling/screaming/shouting styles of vocals whilst his clean vocals can be described as dreary in several parts. The production isnt all that great eathier with a lot of background hiss being a big problem in the quiter sections and I find that the clean guitars could have done without the muddy sound and a more prominant place in the mix though the raw quality of the distorted guitars actually works in the bands favour. Similar problems affect the vocal sound, but to a lesser extent and in the end arent anywhere near as big a problem as the vocalist himself will be to many listeneres The bass, drums and keyboards are decently recorded here though, if not exactly crystal clear and perfectly mixed, and the listener will have no trouble hearing them or any real complaint about the their sound quality. Dont get the wrong impression about the recording quality though, its definitely listenable and all instruments are clearly heard, a far cry from the typical "DIY garage band" aproach to recording that many BM bands became famouse for.

Despite its faults and even the fact that it took me a long time to accept the vocals of Ovl Svithjod I cant help but really enjoy this album from the bleak, dreamy landscapes conjured in the opener, Yearning the Seeds of a New Dimension, to the raw power of closer The Divinity of Wisdom via the majestic ebbing and flowing of ...In the Woods, Heart of the Ages and Wolan's Return. Though the band displays a fair level of technical proficiancy they show that its definitely what you play and not how difficult it is that truly makes a song and so there's a youthful passion on here that never fails to grasp my attention. A highly impressive debut that gets 4 stars from me, and an extra half for sheer listening pleasure.

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 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 45 ratings

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Strange In Stereo
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Norwegian band "In The Woods" releases in 1999, after the near perfect "Omnio", "Strange In Stereo", their last, triumphant album. And I must say, I expected something a lot worse. This is a great, haunting album, with songs that easily beat some of Omnio's songs.

If "Omnio" was a journey through man's inner fears, "Strange In Stereo" is a journey through the most concrete of our fears, a terrifying trip in the deep dungeons of the night. As I made clear, the album is extremely dark, tense, doomy, sinister, but also haunting, passionate, and a little dreamy in some moments. The structure of the album is enjoyable, but the idea of many, short songs (eleven in total), didn't exactly thrill me, especially because I knew the concept of the album before even listening to it.

Some songs are amazing: the first song, "Closing In", is a tense, heavy song, with heavy guitars and dramatic vocals, typical of the band. "Cell" is another terrific song, with haunting melodies, calm but very sinister atmosphere, and great experimentation and performance by the female vocalist. "Generally More Worried...." is another masterpiece, the longest and most distorted song of the album. Some passages here are unforgettable, the vocals are sublime. Awesome song. "Path Of The Righteous" is another one of my favorites, a great intro, great, dark melody, awesome experimentation and arrangements. "Titan Transcendence" is the last great song. Here the arrangements are what really make the song so amazing.

The rest of the songs are all good, but not as much worth mentioning as these above.

An excellent addiction to any prog or metal, but be prepared to be overflowed by darkness.

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 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 98 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 7/10

"Omnio" is full grimness and gothic moments.

When I listened to this for the first time I was very impressed, because of it's originality and darkness. I still was the last time I heard this album.

"Omnio" is an extremely dark album, gothic, creepy, with lo fi guitars and vocals ( many times though the woman singing is not) Also very impressive the fact that this band comes from Norway, the land of obscure bands such as Motorpsycho, Green Carnation, Gazpacho, Ulver and Ihsanh. The first track "299 796km/s" is most definitely the best song in the whole album.After the beautiful and dark piano intro, the guitars come in, playing a few chords that would touch anybody who listens to it, with it's unbelievable grimness. The song has many themes, that are all contained in this 14 minute masterpiece. Another memorable moment is when the girl starts singing, creating a more gothic and less epic sound.

The second and third track are not as good as the first one, but still pretty good. " I Am Your Flesh" is unexpectedly heavy, but the atmosphere is not as magic and effective. "Kairos!" is a short song with a nice melody, but nothing more.

"Weeping Willow" is the 11 track piece that stays exactly between he first part of the album and the "Omnio" trilogy. Even this is not as good as "299", but there are many amazing moments, like the last four minutes, where their taste for dark music is highlighted. In the middle of the song I noticed it kind of loses itself.

the "Omnio" suite is another highlight of the album, formed by the three pieces "Pre", the longest and probably the best piece of the suite, because of the incredible use of highly emotive vocals and guitars, completely new in this album. "Bardo" is a five minute semi ambient piece, excellent for connecting "Pre" to "Post", the last song of the album, that closes it beautifully and with all the elements such as grimness and dark melodies that characterized "In The Woods..." second album.

Despite all the grimness that I insisted on, the album is even full of classic heavy metal, like the guitars in many pieces. A really good album, essential for anyone who loves Progressive and Avant Garde Metal.

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 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 45 ratings

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Strange In Stereo
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album of this intristing band from Norway and final one aswell before disbanding in early this decade. The album released in summer of 1999 named Strange in stereo is a real strange album belive me, not every day I have the chance to listen to such quirky but in same time very well produce and well played album from this field. Surprise is , I don't realy think this is better then previous work who was an oustanding release, This time In the woods turn even more to ghotic sound, the metal elements are aswell here but in less quantity. Even the voice is a little bit less intristing then on Omnio, but good. The musicianship is ok, but the band now run out of great ideas, they try to bring it to the same level of Omnio, but thet don't quite succeded on every piece. From all 11 piece only half are for real intrest, the other half are between good and in places even some mediocre arrangements. So I will not go with the crowd by saying this is a masterpiece or close, is a good album but nothing more. I prefer 100 times more Omnio. Anyway this Strange in stereo is another worthy album by this norvegian band but less captivating than before. 3 stars , nothing more, nothing less, still intristing in places..

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