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In Mourning - Monolith CD (album) cover


In Mourning


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.78 | 45 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Monolith' - In Mourning (6/10)

Having only recently come to my attention, I had heard good things about this Swedish melodic death metal act before checking it out. Being described by some as 'one of the best metal albums of 2010,' I took it upon myself to give In Mourning's 'Monolith' a listen for myself to decide whether these claims were founded or not. As it turns out, this young band is certainly impressive in their own right. Taking the signature melodic metal sound of their home country (also called the 'Göteborg' sound), In Mourning makes a solid first impression. However, the route the band takes has been done to death already, and with legions of acts having already covered the same territory before, it might be difficult for this talented act to make a lasting stand.

From the first listen of the opening track, I instantly related the music of In Mourning to compatriot acts Dark Tranquility, Opeth, and In Flames, among others. A very polished sound, plenty of heavy melodic guitar work, growls and then a soaring, catchy chorus all tie this band together with the more experienced and travelled acts. The album starts off in a vein that is very typical of melodic death metal, but also very skilled and enjoyable. Throughout the first few tracks, there is solid song structure, choral hooks and occasional curveballs, such as an acoustic breakdown here and there. Towards the latter part of the album however, there is a very noticable (possibly intentional), gradual change of sound. While the beginning of the album took an upbeat and hard hitting approach to the music, things start sounding more like doom metal than anything as 'Monolith' nears it's closing. With heavy anthems like 'The Poet & The Painter Of Souls' and the funeral doom epic 'The Final Solution' sharing the same disc, 'Monolith' can feel at times like two separate works. However, the change of the sound from upbeat to depressive and forlorn makes for an interesting emotional journey.

While certainly not being the most original act I've come across, one thing In Mourning does very well, is the actual presentation and execution of their music. In a crystal clean vessel of production, it becomes all the more important for the musicians to give a very deliberate and purposeful execution. The members of In Mourning accomplish this by delivering a nearly flawless performance of their work. Tobias Netzell gives a good range of vocal work here running from growls to vulnerable clean vocals, although the majority of the vocal work here generally rests on low pitched grunts, typical of the genre.

In Mourning have established themselves as a talented act with 'Monolith.' There is a great performance, some decent songwriting ability and a competent package. The band wears their influences on their sleeve, but rarely succeeds at surpassing the giants of the style.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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