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IN THE WOODS...

Experimental/Post Metal • Norway


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In The Woods... biography
Formed in Kristiansand, Norway in 1992 - Disbanded in 2000 - Reformed in 2014

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

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IN THE WOODS... discography


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

4.03 | 58 ratings
HEart Of The Ages
1995
4.10 | 126 ratings
Omnio
1997
3.67 | 67 ratings
Strange In Stereo
1999
3.60 | 20 ratings
Pure
2016
3.38 | 8 ratings
Cease The Day
2018

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

4.07 | 17 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)

3.54 | 21 ratings
Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage
2000

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

2.79 | 10 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
4.10 | 126 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A surprise find for me as I found myself actually liking this music quite a bit. Strong vocals (male and female) and entertaining double lead guitars over competent metal compositions led me to reminders of 70s stallwarts, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, and Peter Hammill. I was not expecting the clever and creative uses of the electric guitars over the course of the album.

1. "299 796 km/s" (14:46) one of the best long-playing prog epics of the 1990s! (28.5/30) 2. "I Am Your Flesh" (7:07) Cool composition with heavy and light/spacious sections alternating throughout. Great lead guitar work in the B parts. The vocals are engineered a bit oddly (as if from the 1970s). As a matter of fact, it's the vocal parts that are, for me, the weak part of this song, otherwise, I love this song. (13.25/15)

3. "Kairos!" (3:34) muted & echoed electric guitar arpeggi stand alone for the first 40 seconds of this one. Then a burst of heavy chords and slow drum and bass establishes itself as the structure over which a female vocalist sings. Great song, great vocal! (9.25/10)

4. "Weeping Willow" (11:40) sustained buzzing lead guitar notes are slowly faded in and then joined by second cleaner guitar and keys. At 1:17 a guitar riff establishes the foundation for the rest of the song. Multiple voices enter, with one low male voice taking center fore. Piano joins in, too. Then, at 2:40 comes a drastic switch to a more steady driving motif with fast-strumming electric guitars using only their low end strings. The pace is still not very fast and the vocal more deep and ominous and slow--not unlike some PETER HAMMILL vocals (and thus the lyrics are very clear). Back to the slower pace for a bit before switching back to hard-driving mode at the 5:20 mark for some instrumental action. At 6:20 vocals return but multiple guitars are still soloing (albeit, slowly). At 6:50 slow guitar arpeggi take over as dominant under structure for the singing to continue in his low, slow PETER HAMMILL voice. More guitar soloing in the ninth and tenth minutes. Even as the song slows and winds down in the final 90 seconds, the two guitars continue to play off of one another. (18/20)

- "Omnio?" (43.25/50) 5. Pre (12:00) highlighted by the two main catchy guitar riffs and the contrast of the deep male voice with the operatic soprano female. Cool! (23/25) 6. "Bardo" (5:55) heavy use of synths (who's playing?) and STEVE HILLAGE-like space guitar until Pink Floyd-like bass and drums enters halfway through and space synths (guitars?) start going bat crazy. Culminates with scream and crescendo of sound. (9/10) 7. "Post" (8:09) opens with piano and bass before dropping away into a "Great Gig in the Sky" accompaniment to Synne Larsen's impassioned-though-worded vocal. Piano and female voice exit in 20th minute as thick multi-guitar weave takes over. AT 20:30 multi-tracks of Jan Kennet's low voice enter. This is awesome! In the 22nd minute, the pace changes, the voice shifts to upper octave power vocal. An alternation with the slower, female-led section occurs twice before we return to "Great Gig" theme, only with electric guitar and Jan Kennet performing the music over the slow, steady rock drum track. Nice, plaintive vocal. Then things re-amp for the final 90 seconds. (13/15)

Total Time: 63:11

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and one of the better Prog Metal albums I've heard from the 1990s.

 Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage by IN THE WOODS... album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.54 | 21 ratings

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Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars This album is a letdown to me comparing to their previous outstanding albums because of multiple reasons: 1.) There isn't very strong musicianship and creativity. 2.) Cover songs are way behind their originals. 3.) Lack of cohesion and own spirit in the music.

Having said that, guys still remain authentic and belong to the more interesting bands in atmospheric metal. I prefer much more their original songs than cover versions which are only interesting when heard initially. "Karmakosmik" and "Mourning The Death Of Aase" are highlights for me here. "Soundtrack For Cycoz 1st Ed" is completely out of the album's spirit and show electronic attempts at movie music.

Good but definitely not essential.

 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 67 ratings

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

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The doomiest album of the three released by In the Woods, and also less experimental than Omnio. There are however, some new influences, for example the first track "Closing in" has some industrial subtones. "Cell" and "Vanish in the absence of virtue" are absolutely mournful with slow rhythm, sad female voice and ominous chords, while the latter song sounds very much like coming from "My dying bride" + female voice.

But also "Basement corridors" does not bring much hope with dark bass guitar, violin and female vocals that express disappointment."Dead man's creek" is mixing country guitar slides with doom metal.

This is a fine album to finish the first era of In the Woods and the doomiest one. For a progressive mind, there is not much to explore, so 3 stars, otherwise 4.

 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.10 | 126 ratings

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Omnio
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The most experimental of In the woods releases, even flirting with avantgarde leanings in a few moments. At the same time,the record is not easy to dive in and you will need more listenings to remember most of the moments. There are no short simple tracks and also black metal shrieks and brutality is gone. Keyboards and easier sounding guitars can be heard most of the time. Music is mainly slowly paced but not overly doom, although it stays heavy. Melodies are not in the foreground, it is more about atmosphere and experimentation.

Best tracks in my opinion are the first one, with crushing guitars on one side, soothing violins in the middle and nice vocal cooperation between males and females. The last epic suite has a repeating motive with female vocal and rising keyboard tone. This is an avantgarde metal track with brief excursions into doom/black/heavy/progressive metal but still prevailingly atmospheric metal. Guitar riffs are astonishing but still, you need to listen to the entire suite many times to enjoy this masterpiece of progressive atmospheric metal.

 HEart Of The Ages by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.03 | 58 ratings

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HEart Of The Ages
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars One of the best intelligent atmospheric metal albums that I know was logically recorded in Norway. The music is experimental and sophisticated but you can say that black metal and doom metal have had the largest influence on the band. This album documents young lads being rooted in the contemporary black metal but willing to step out of their comfort zone. Other future albums would leave the black metal area almost completely.

Playing is a bit better than a usual black metal band (black metal bands were considered least technical among metal bands). Guitars conjure doomy atmosphere mainly by providing sinister black metal riffing and some accessible guitar solos. Drumming is quite versatile from speedy black metal blasts to heavy/progressive metal drumming with a good variety and with little decoration. Keyboards are wisely used. I don't like shrieks and thankfully they are sparingly used. Clean female vocals shine and suit the music well, they help build mournful folk metal atmosphere. Male vocals are average. Having mainly instrumental music allows for better immersion.

The first song is sinister and dramatic from its beginning by using appropriate keyboard sounds. The slow pace brings certain depression underlined by serious guitar chords. The black metal attack comes in the second part only accompanied by male shrieks and nice black metal guitar solo.

"Heart of the ages" is more sterile track with quite steady drumming but still ominous black metal guitars and clean vocals which helps escape the depression of the first track. The dreamy keyboard part with acoustic guitar and electronic beat confirms the revolutionary approach of the band back in 1995. "In the Woods" has progressive metal traits, especially in its instrumental beginning until ruined by shrieks. Great black metal riffs save these moments with drumming variety, though. It's one of my popular sections on the album due to combination of darkness and progressivity. Also, initial progressive metal spirit is shortly transformed into black metal to shift into bleaking doom metal. The guitar chords in the end are stunning and so dark.

The only acoustic track with organ and keyboards and female vocals is refreshing and balances between folky and doom metal, something that Green Carnation would perfect on their debut album.

"Wotan's return" is a marvellous track pure of darkness and eagerness. Blasts and flashes coming to the dark forest... You should listen to this track when you are deep in the forest to see the atmospheric difference ;). The track evolves constantly and doom/black metal are combined seamlessly. "Pigeon" is an atmospheric piano track.

This is a brilliant metal album to be recommended to any open-minded listener.

 Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage by IN THE WOODS... album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.54 | 21 ratings

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Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage
In The Woods... Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

3 stars I initially posted a rating for "Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage" on the related site Metal Music Archives. Then I decided I should rightfully include a review of the compilation as well. However, I couldn't determine how to edit my post. I realize this doesn't have much to do with reviewing this compilation on Prog Archives; I simply wanted to draw general attention to the problem. Over all, "Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage" is a fine album by a band that was not prolific enough; I would give it 3 and 1/2 stars.

This compilation consists of cover versions and unreleased original songs by the unique experimental metal band In The Woods.... For my money, the originals turn out a whole lot better than the covers. IMO a cover version of someone else's song should differ from it in ways that are interesting. Occasionally, a cover version can actually be better than the original. The cover versions of Syd Barrett, King Crimson, and Jefferson Airplane offered here are too close to the originals; not a problem you would expect to encounter with In The Woods... The original songs turn out much better. "Karmakosmic" and "Mourning the Death of Aase" are my personal favorites, but it's all good. Despite my reservations about the cover versions, In The Woods... always made interesting, enjoyable music in their too brief career. "Three Times Seven On A Pilgrimage" is no exception.

 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.10 | 126 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.

 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 67 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.

 Strange In Stereo by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.67 | 67 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.

 Omnio by IN THE WOODS... album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.10 | 126 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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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