IN MOURNING – AFTERGLOW

“Yes, Opeth has been mentioned a few times in this review, comparison aside, “Afterglow” features an hour of exceptional, progressive tinged death/doom metal, done with In Mourning signatures of the past, crystalizing that very sound.”

GENRE: Progressive Death/Doom Metal
LABEL: Agonia Records
RUNNING TIME: 53:46
COUNTRY: Sweden
YEAR: 2016
LINK: In Mourning

TRACKLIST:

  1. Fire And Ocean
  2. The Grinning Mist
  3. Ashen Crown
  4. Below Rise To The Above
  5. The Lighthouse Keeper
  6. The Call To Orion
  7. Afterglow

REVIEW: In mourning: 1) the state of expressing sorrow or regret. 2) A musical expression of Opethianism that doesn’t sound like Opeth…

If there’s one thing that’s consistent in the world of Extreme Metal Voyager, it’s the tempting qualities of a Kristian Wåhlin album artwork; always a safe entry point, the latest In Mourning album being no exception. A constant Opeth discourse has glued itself into the career of this band, partially unjustly so in my opinion. There are of course strong parallels, vocal and guitarwise and with the minimalistic usage of keyboards. The songwriting lends itself to a greater extent towards ’99-’02 period (“Still Life”, “Blackwater Park” and “Deliverance”) but on the whole, In Mourning have a slower and different, more comprehensible metallic register, attempting epic scaled death/doom metal phrasings.

It’s been four years since the last album. Four years which has seen two significant changes: 1) “Afterglow” is the first album with Daniel Liljekvist, whom many will remember as the past skinsman of Katatonia, which spells “SCORE” all over, 2) this is also the first album released together with new Polish label partner Agonia Records. Overall, the band is in a good place in 2016.

COVER SMALL
Afterglow – Artwork credit: Kristian Wåhlin a.k.a. Necrolord

This is a damn fine album. Seven tracks of well-done progressive death/doom metal, upholding a linear quality. I had problems with “The Weight Of Oceans”. It was a very dense album, a challenging listen that signaled a transition from immediate songwriting to conceptual, storytelling based material with longer tracks and slow, gradual build-ups. “Afterglow” has the same approach but appears much more focused. The guitarwork is without a doubt the supreme asset of the album. There are many different textures in each track. On one side you’ve got the more off-kilter progressive leaning stuff and experimental sounds, and on the other, the awesome metal riffs, solos and melancholic leads.

The first two minutes of “The Grinning Mist” displays a certain progression from the last album; a dramatic build-up leading to fantastic drum/guitar arrangements that conjure up imagines of hissing seas and darkened storms. A captivating track throughout its ten-minute duration. Another example of the advanced songwriting is the brooding march of the title track, which treads doomier territory but is also full of beautiful melodic sections; definitely among the finest moments on the album.

New Group 1
In Mourning

Tobias Netzell is no heyday growling Mikael Åkerfeldt, and he doesn’t need to be. I’ve always enjoyed his vocals ever since the first album, and was particularly impressed with the performance on Thenighttimeproject album, which debuted early this year. His growls have depth and his clean singing is soothing and there’s good variation between the placements of both styles.

Modern day Opeth detractors ought to find solace in this album. Yes, Opeth has been mentioned a few times in this review, comparison aside, “Afterglow” features an hour of exceptional, progressive tinged death/doom metal, done with In Mourning signatures of the past, crystalizing that very sound. Highly recommended!

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