Tag Archives: Enslaved

My most anticipated releases of 2017 – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my series that takes a look at some of the best music that will/might/might not see the light of day in 2017.

If you missed parts 1 and 2, they can be viewed here:

My most anticipated releases of 2017 – Part 1
My most anticipated releases of 2017 – Part 2

But now let’s focus on Part 3…

Scar Symmetry – The Singularity – Phase II
Release date: TBC

I have loved Scar Symmetry ever since they burst onto the scene in the early Noughties with ‘Symmetric In Design’, an album that simply blew me away. Their blend of brutality, razor-sharp precision, groove, hook-laden choruses and the clean/gruff dual vocal approach instantly hit the mark and, for me, they quickly became one of the most exciting melodic death metal bands to come out of Sweden in many years.

In 2014, Scar Symmetry released ‘The Singularity, Phase I: Neohumanity, the first part of an exciting and bold trilogy. Well 2017 should see the return of this concept with ‘Phase II’ and if it’s half as good as ‘Phase I’, we’re in for a treat. Buckle up people, we’re in for an exciting ride.

Threshold – Legends of the Shires
Release date: TBC

Within the past 24 hours, news has emerged from the Nuclear Blast camp that UK progressive metal stalwarts, and personal favourites, Threshold are to release a new album in 2017. Indeed, they have even released the name of it, ‘Legends of the Shires’ and the band have commented that it may be their longest release yet as they have lots of strong material written. The fact that it is apparently a concept album just adds fuel to the fire of my enthusiasm because I’m a sucker for a good concept piece.

No firm release date has been set but with tour dates announced beginning at the end of November, I’m going to gamble on a September/October release. These guys never release anything other than top quality material, so I’m really excited for this one to see the light of day.

Enslaved – TBC
Release date: TBC

Everyone’s favourite progressive black metal Vikings have released a statement recently to suggest that a new album will be forthcoming in 2017. This is great news. I don’t really think that Enslaved have released a bad album in their 25 year history. Sure their music has matured and shifted over the years from all-out black metal to a much more progressive, nuanced, atmospheric and multi-layered sound. However, I don’t believe that the band have ever sounded better – their songwriting is at a peak, as is the professionalism of a band that can seemingly do no wrong. If this release comes to fruition, 2017 will be shaping up very nicely indeed.

Bal Sagoth – TBC
Release date: TBC

It seems like I mention this band every year. And every year I am proved wrong. The more that time passes, the more I’m beginning to think we might have seen the last of Bal Sagoth in terms of new studio material. I pray that I am wrong but it’s a thought that keeps nagging at me, especially since the last record to emerge came out over a decade ago in 2006. But hey, I shall keep the faith and maybe, if I mention this band enough times in these posts, Byron will hear me and give us fans something to get excited about.

Dimmu Borgir – TBC
Release date: TBC

One of these posts wouldn’t be the same without a mention for one of my favourite extreme metal bands of all time. To contextualize this statement, their 1997 release, ‘Enthrone, Darkness, Triumphant’ is one of my top 5 albums of all time. Beginning life as a black metal band, more recent output is probably better referred to as ‘extreme metal’. There are plenty of black metal elements to the Norwegian’s sound but such is the rich tapestry of influences that play a part within the modern Dimmu sound, curt pigeonholing into the black metal genre would be disingenuous. Each release from Shagrath et al is a slick, professional affair where the final product shines through a powerful and crystal-clear production. The symphonic elements and grandiose bombast provide a majestic and theatrical sheen to what is, at heart, pretty bruising and uncompromising heavy metal. There’s no official confirmation of a new album in 2017 as far as I’m aware, but I think it’s a relatively safe bet…mind you, I said that last year too!

Album of the Year 2016 – Number 27

It’s officially December, the day when I lose my annual battle about putting up the Christmas decorations in my house. I always want to wait longer but when I’m outnumbered 3 to 1 by excited girls, I know when to fight and when to accede for a quiet life. And if I give in, I get more time to write these blog posts, so that must be a good thing surely?

And on that subject, we’re already on to day 4 of my ‘Album of the Year 2016’ top 30 countdown. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly this rather epic labour of love passes by, although it is usually in a flurry of panic and constant indecision about my inclusions in the list and then the appropriate order. But I love it, so here I am again.

If you’ve missed the first three posts so far this year, you’ll find links to them at the bottom of this post. And if you are new to the Blog of Much Metal entirely, you’ll also find links to my full lists from previous years that go back to 2012.

As I’ve said before, this list is not about a popularity contest, it is about shining a light on the bands and albums that have impressed me the most over the past 11 months or so. I’m keen to know what your thoughts are, so feel free to hurl the friendly abuse my way!

With that, I present you Number 27:

Number 27

in-the-woods-cover

In The Woods
Pure
Debemur Morti Productions

 

 

“For many reasons, ‘Pure’ is a very apt title for this record, not least because it is an album that offers pure escapism and pure entertainment from start to finish, across ten compositions and an hour’s playing time. But moreover, there is a definite pureness to the musical output, a palpable sense that ‘Pure’ represents the completely honest vision and distilled essence of an older, wiser and more experienced In The Woods.

I have tried to find it, believe me, but there is absolutely no filler on ‘Pure’. I don’t dislike any of the compositions and the consistent quality is very impressive indeed. It is an album that begins at a very high level and continues until the bitter end. As comeback albums go, this is very definitely one of the best I have heard. Highly recommended.”

Read the full review here

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When I refer to this being a comeback album, I really mean it. ‘Pure’ represents the first new material from this fantastic and highly regarded extreme prog/experimental band for 17 years. And not only did it make a big impression on me at the time of its release as my review implies, it continues to work its magic nearly three months later.

There is much I could say about this record in terms of its strengths because believe me, there are plenty. However, sitting here now, the thing I like best about it is the overall depth of the music and the way in which the compositions are constructed. There is no doubt that this is an extreme metal record but this aspect has been blended so artfully with sweeping atmospheres, moments of quiet reflection and elegant melody that it is easy to forget. It sounds daft I admit, but I say this because the sometimes complex transitions sound so effortless. And the vocals too are so simply delivered and full of melody and poignancy that I find the whole thing such a smooth and immersive listen from beginning to end.

I just hope that we don’t have to wait until 2033 for the next studio album.

In case you’ve missed any of the other posts in the 2016 series, here they are for you to explore and enjoy:

Album of the Year 2016 – number 28
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 30

And from previous years:

Album of the Year 2015
Album of the Year 2014
Album of the Year 2013
Album of the Year 2012

In The Woods – Pure – Album Review

in-the-woods-cover

Artist: In The Woods

Album Title: Pure

Label: Debemur Morti Productions

Date Of Release: 16th September 2016

A mere 17 years since their last studio effort, ‘Strange In Stereo’, enigmatic Norwegian band In The Woods have emerged from their slumber and, to the great delight of aficionados and fans of extreme metal in general, have served up their fourth full-length studio album, ‘Pure’. Ever since it was revealed that In The Woods were back and were recording new material, a sense of barely controlled excitement and anticipation has been evident in many quarters. As someone who discovered In The Woods many moons ago on a black metal compilation entitled ‘Blackened Volume II’ and who owns all three previous efforts, I was one of the excited horde.

For many reasons, ‘Pure’ is a very apt title for this record, not least because it is an album that offers pure escapism and pure entertainment from start to finish, across ten compositions and an hour’s playing time. But moreover, there is a definite pureness to the musical output, a palpable sense that ‘Pure’ represents the completely honest vision and distilled essence of an older, wiser and more experienced In The Woods.

Since the release of ‘Strange In Stereo’ back in 1999, guitarist Oddvar A.M has sadly passed away and vocalist Jan Kenneth Transeth no longer stands behind the microphone. It means that In the Woods is now comprised of bassist C:M. Botteri, guitarists X. Botteri and Kåre “Corey” Sletteberg, drummer Anders Kobro with James ‘Mr Fog’ Fogarty (Meads Of Asphodel, Ewigkeit) now handling both the vocals, guitars and keys. In addition, ‘Pure’ no longer features some of the other aspects for which they were renowned, namely additional string instruments and female vocals. It is almost as if the band wanted to make a clean split with the past and reflect more purely where they are as a group of musicians the better part of two decades later. Further justification and explanation of the simple album title perhaps?

By now, you’ll hopefully realise that I really hate pigeon-holing bands into arbitrary genres or sub-genres. Unfortunately, as a music reviewer, such exercises can be a necessary evil to help define the music that I am listening to. However, it can also lead to inaccuracies as one person’s ‘black metal’ is another person’s ‘dark’, ‘doom’ or ‘avant-garde’.

Gratifyingly, In the Woods have made the job of classification pretty damn difficult and pointless thanks to their output here. I have used the aforementioned genres deliberately because these are some of the descriptions that could be hurled in the direction of ‘Pure’. Equally however, I could also legitimately mention ‘progressive metal’, ‘classic metal’ or even ‘ambient’ because these influences also crop up to a greater or lesser extent as the album develops.

Whilst on the subject of descriptions, let me throw out the names of Arcturus, Green Carnation and latter day Enslaved in order to give some kind of vague reference points about what to expect from ‘Pure’. However, aside from the occasional stylistic nod here and there, In The Woods don’t really sound like anyone else and they certainly don’t stick to one loose style of music, blinkered against everything else around them. And that, above all else, is the strength of this record and of In The Woods in general.

And whilst there’s an undeniable distillation of the band’s core sound, there’s no shortage of experimentation along the way. Each and every track is a multi-layered and multi-faceted affair which takes the listener on a journey through light and shade, changes in tempo and a myriad of different sounds and aural textures all the while remaining thought-provoking and enthralling.

What I particularly like about ‘Pure’ is indeed that depth within the music. With a free reign over the keyboards and synths, Fogarty has gone to town and made this record a genuinely atmospheric and deep-sounding affair, more keyboard-heavy and symphonic than arguably ever before. And whilst the song titles might suggest a lyrical content based around more earthly topics, there is a rich vein of celestial atmosphere within much of the material that drew my vague Arcturus comparison.

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Those ‘otherworldly’ overtones are also enhanced by Fogarty’s vocals which are melodious but delivered with a beautiful simplicity. There are moments within the album when more extreme gruff vocals make an appearance but for the most part, the voice that accompanies the music is clean and full of melodic nuance. Take the opener ‘Pure’ for example, which ends by repeating a subtle melody, gradually deconstructed to the point where it is delivered by just a piano. That melody is gorgeous but is enhanced by the smooth, haunting delivery of the central lyric:

“A shining future waiting,
A promise of the pure”

‘Transmission KRS’ is both an instrumental piece and interestingly, the longest track on the album. It also happens to be one of my favourites. I love the way that it builds throughout from humble and serene beginnings carried by a simple yet effective melody, to something altogether more flamboyant and emotive, dominated by an extended guitar solo that weaves itself in and out of the composition with superb results. It’s a contender for one of the stand-out tracks of the year.

Then again, I also find the wonderfully-monikered ‘The Recalcitrant Protagonist’ is a complete joy thanks to its elegance and deceivingly complex nature. And ‘Towards The Black Surreal’ contains faint echoes of the very early days of the band whilst also delivering one of the most anthemic sections on the record which, to my mind at least, harks back to those melodic breakdowns that so littered much of the symphonic black metal of the 90s.

By contrast, ‘Blue Oceans Wake (Like A War)’ begins in synth-drenched brooding fashion full of beauty but also dripping with menace before unfolding into a heavy stomping finale, whereas ‘Cult Of Shining Stars’ represents In The Woods at perhaps their most instantly catchy thanks to the blend of excellent vocals and striking melodic intent.

I have tried to find it, believe me, but there is absolutely no filler on ‘Pure’. I don’t dislike any of the compositions and the consistent quality is very impressive indeed. It is an album that begins at a very high level and continues until the bitter end. As comeback albums go, this is very definitely one of the best I have heard. Highly recommended.

The Score Of Much Metal: 9.0

If you’ve enjoyed this review, check out my others via my reviews pages or by clicking the links right here:

Devin Townsend – Transcendence
The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness
Evergrey – The Storm Within
Dream The Electric Sleep – Beneath The Dark Wide Sky
Periphery – ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty’
Karmakanic – Dot
Novena – Secondary Genesis
Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
Eric Gillette – The Great Unknown
Tilt – Hinterland
Cosmograf – The Unreasonable Silence
Fates Warning – Theories Of Flight
Wolverine – Machina Viva
Be’lakor – Vessels
Lacuna Coil – Delirium
Big Big Train – Folklore
Airbag – Disconnected
Katatonia – The Fall Of Hearts
Frost* – Falling Satellites
Glorior Belli – Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)
Habu – Infinite
Grand Magus ‘Sword Songs’
Messenger – Threnodies
Svoid – Storming Voices Of Inner Devotion
Fallujah – Dreamless
In Mourning – Afterglow
Haken – Affinity
Long Distance Calling – Trips
October Tide – Winged Waltz
Odd Logic – Penny For Your Thoughts
Iron Mountain – Unum
Knifeworld – Bottled Out Of Eden
Novembre – Ursa
Beholder – Reflections
Neverworld – Dreamsnatcher
Universal Mind Project – The Jaguar Priest
Thunderstone – Apocalypse Again
InnerWish – Innerwish
Mob Rules – Tales From Beyond
Ghost Bath – Moonlover
Spiritual Beggars – Sunrise To Sundown
Oceans Of Slumber – Winter
Rikard Zander – I Can Do Without Love
Redemption – The Art Of Loss
Headspace – All That You Fear Is Gone
Chris Quirarte – Mending Broken Bridges
Sunburst – Fragments Of Creation
Inglorious – Inglorious
Omnium Gatherum – Grey Heavens
Structural Disorder – Distance
Votum – Ktonik
Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
Rikard Sjoblom – The Unbendable Sleep
Textures – Phenotype
Serenity – Codex Atlanticus
Borknagar – Winter Thrice
The Mute Gods – Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
Brainstorm – Scary Creatures
Arcade Messiah – II
Phantasma – The Deviant Hearts
Rendezvous Point – Solar Storm
Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II
Antimatter – The Judas Table
Bauda – Sporelights
Waken Eyes – Exodus
Earthside – A Dream In Static
Caligula’s Horse – Bloom
Teramaze – Her Halo
Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
Spock’s Beard – The Oblivion Particle
Agent Fresco – Destrier
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic
Cradle Of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches
Disarmonia Mundi – Cold Inferno
District 97 – In Vaults
Progoctopus – Transcendence
Big Big Train – Wassail
NightMare World – In The Fullness Of Time
Helloween – My God-Given Right
Triaxis – Zero Hour
Isurus – Logocharya
Arcturus – Arcturian
Kamelot – Haven
Native Construct – Quiet World
Sigh – Graveward
Pantommind – Searching For Eternity
Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar
Klone – Here Comes The Sun
The Gentle Storm – The Diary
Melechesh – Enki
Enslaved – In Times
Keep Of Kalessin – Epistemology
Lonely Robot – Please Come Home
The Neal Morse Band – The Grand Experiment
Zero Stroke – As The Colours Seep
AudioPlastik – In The Head Of A Maniac
Revolution Saints – Revolution Saints
Mors Principium Est – Dawn of The 5th Era
Arcade Messiah – Arcade Messiah
Triosphere – The Heart Of The Matter
Neonfly – Strangers In Paradise
Knight Area – Hyperdrive
Haken – Restoration
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance
Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days
A.C.T. – Circus Pandemonium
Xerath – III
Big Big Train – English Electric (Part 1)
Thought Chamber – Psykerion
Marcus Jidell – Pictures From A Time Traveller
H.E.A.T – Tearing Down The Walls
Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld

Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 23

The countdown is beginning to gather pace now as we get to the lower echelons of the 20s. I hope that my choices thus far have managed to convince you that a Top 30 rather than a Top 20 was necessary. It is ambitious to say the least, but there has simply been too much good music this year that needs shouting about.

If you’ve missed any of my choices up until now, check them out via these links:

Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 24
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 25
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 26
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 30

Number 23

enslaved coverEnslaved
‘In Times’
Nuclear Blast Records

Enslaved are one of those bands that, if I’m being entirely honest, I’ve only really admired from afar. There is no disputing the fact that they are a highly accomplished band but up until now, their output has never truly resonated with me. That has changed with ‘In Times’, hence their inclusion within this list despite it being the strongest year to date since I started these mammoth countdowns.

The word ‘unique’ gets thrown about far too often when describing the output of heavy metal bands. However, Enslaved have become truly unique. A constant evolution over the years still sees their extreme metal roots intact but as the albums pass, the roots have become ever-more intrinsically linked to, and entwined with, other elements. Progressive rock and metal, ambient, post-rock, jazz and a whole host of other ideas collide in what can only be described as some of the most fascinating and rewarding heavy metal currently being created anywhere in the world.

enslaved band

But more than that, to these ears at least, ‘In Times’ is as warm and inviting as it is cold, extreme and challenging. There are accessible moments on this record and strong passages that stick in the mind long after the record has stopped playing, more so than on any previous release by the Norwegians. I may be shot down by that last statement, but it is certainly how I perceive things.

‘Thuriasz Dreaming’ may begin in a spiky and confrontational manner, much more aligned with their black metal roots, but as the track develops, more in the way of experimentation comes to the fore including quieter passages, almost discordant sounds and those clean vocals that juxtapose the more guttural delivery excellently.

By contrast, ‘Build With Fire’ is a much more catchy and up-tempo track that bounds along and even introduces a lead guitar solo in the latter stages. ‘One Thousand Years Of Rain’ injects a touch of folk metal into proceedings whilst ‘Nauthir Bleeding’ changes the pace yet again. It is more symphonic and epic in nature but features a great riff at the midway point as well as yet another guitar solo to hammer home the almost euphoric nature of this track.

Containing just six tracks, it is fundamental that each of the compositions adds weight to the overall album and that there are no weak moments. That’s exactly the case here as Enslaved, assisted by a great in-house production and mastering job by Fascination Street Studios, are seemingly incapable of delivering anything short of superb. I love the increased black metal elements and coupled with an increased sense of experimentation and drama throughout, ‘In Times’ is arguably the best that Enslaved have ever sounded.

Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 24
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 25
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 26
Album Of The Year 2015 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2015 – Number 30

And from previous years:

Album of the Year 2014
Album of the Year 2013
Album of the Year 2012

Enslaved – In Times – Album Review

enslaved cover

Artist: Enslaved

Album Title: In Times

Label: Nuclear Blast

Year of Release: 2015

In extreme metal circles, Norway’s Enslaved are held in very high regard, something approaching royalty some may say. For nearly a quarter of a century, the band have strived to release music of the very highest quality. But more than that, they have dared to be different. A constant evolution over the years still sees their extreme metal roots intact but as the albums pass, the roots have become ever-more intrinsically linked to, and entwined with, other elements. Progressive rock and metal, ambient, post-rock, jazz and a whole host of other ideas collide in what can only be described as some of the most fascinating and rewarding heavy metal currently being created anywhere in the world. Album number thirteen, ‘In Times’ is no different.

In the same way as a small child will push their parents in order to discover their limits and boundaries, so too do Enslaved with their compositional creations. Currently comprised of founding members Ivar Bjørnson (guitars) and Grutle Kjellson (vocals, bass) alongside Cato Bekkevold (drums), Herbrand Larsen (keyboard, vocals) and Ice Dale (lead guitars), Enslaved are simply not content it seems with sticking to a formula or adhering religiously to the status quo. It is for this reason as much as the music itself why I belive that Enslaved are so highly revered.

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And yet, for all that, I remain one of the small minority that has never fully taken Enslaved to my heart. However, in keeping with a blossoming trend of late, I have finally and fully fallen under the Enslaved spell with the help of the magnificent ‘In Times’. I always enjoyed the quintet’s music but I always felt slightly detatched, admiring the output from afar rather than immersing myself in it. Call it stupidity or the bittersweet curse of having too much music to listen to. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, it ends here and now.

‘In Times’ features just six tracks which, on the face of it and if you’re bothered by numbers, appears a disappointingly small figure. However, the six compositions are all huge, sprawling affairs that push or exceed the eight minute mark, thereby offering the better part of an hour’s worth of music. But then again, song lengths do not alone guarantee value for money and a quality product. For that, enter the music of Enslaved.

I will admit that my first couple of spins through left me dazed and confused with more questions remaining than answered. It certainly wasn’t love at first listen, but stubborn tenacity and patience have paid off in spades.

The album is ushered in by ‘Thurisaz Dreaming’ which begins innocuously enough with the quiet soothing sound of a wave crashing gently on the shore. Within seconds though, this gentle beginning is thoroughly expunged by a full-on raw, spiky and venemous-sounding black metal riff. Angry riffs join forces with furious drumming and gutteral screams in an effort to pummel and bewilder the listener. From even this early stage, the increase in those black metal influences from the bands early days are striking. As is the Enslaved way, it offers a slightly different path from their more recent output via ‘Riitiir’ and ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ before that. This black metal reintroduction effectively forms much of the bedrock upon which ‘In Times’ handsomely sits. Enslaved then revert to type as it isn’t too long before the composition introduces other ambitious elements in order to create drama and intrigue, cleverly juxtaposing the tumult that rages around it. Clean vocals flit in and out of the track, as do moments of quiet reflection and snatches of near-discordances flirt with the peripheries of the opener.

If anything, and in almost direct contrast,the follow-up,’Building With Fire’ is positively catchy. The opening riff gallops along with an upbeat tempo and a lovely melodic, rocking groove. The soaring clean vocals are mesmerizing too, adding an extra layer of immediacy to proceedings. The growls aren’t too far away and neither are the black metal references but they’re never as confrontational as seen within the opener. A lead guitar solo then joins forces with subtle piano work to create a stunning moment before those beguiling clean vocals return atop the anthemic opening riff that re-enters with joyous gusto. The pace drops away towards the end and the post-rock influenced guitar tone really helps to emphasise the gorgeously rich and organic production that has been achieved by messers Grutle, Larsen and Bjørnson with the mastering assistance of Fascination Street Studios. Infectious and majestic are just two adjectives that can rightly be thrown at this monster of a composition.

A haunting melody welcomes ‘One Thousand Years of Rain’ before the song veers into a more chaotic construction. It also offers a demonstrable folk metal feel that increases as the track ebbs and flows from one seemingly disparate idea to another and in so doing, tests the listener’s resolve throughout.

‘Nauthir Bleeding’ in contrast sees an increase in the otherwise subtle keyboards and symphonic embellishments, giving it genuinely epic feel. The melodies are again more pronounced and at the midway point, the track erupts into an almost euphoric stomping riff that’s complimented by a stunning and wonderfully indulgent lead guitar solo, all of which breaks up the more impenetrable extreme excesses to great effect.

The title track is the longest on the album and it provides some of the harshest and heaviest material on the record. The gutteral screams make a forceful return but just as the track threatens to become too overpowering, the tempo is slowed. So pronounced is the change of pace, it is the musical equivalent of being pushed over the precipice into the abyss. The swirling and jagged hypnotic riffing is replaced by sections that are almost soothing ambient post rock in their construction. But, rather than sounding forced or overly contrived, the apparently disparate elements are brought together seemlessly and rather beautifully.

‘In Times’ then concludes with ‘Daylight’ another epic track that fuses many different styles into a homogenous and euphoric triumph of a track. A mid tempo stomp dominates large sections of the track where the drums really come to the fore. The relatively simplistic elegance of the percussion is then wonderfully embellished by further clever lead guitar work and understated vocals that create an almost hypnotic crescendo of sorts to the album.

Topped off by utterly gorgeous artwork courtesy of long-term collaborator Truls Espedal, ‘In Times’ is an almost peerless album that manages to seemlessly blend extremity with genuine compositional intelligence, in the process creating another unique body of work that cannot be referred to as anything other than a majestic masterpiece. Or, to put it more simply, if you want your mind blown, it is absolutely imperative that you own ‘In Times’.

The Score Of Much Metal: 9.25

If you’ve enjoyed this review, check out my others right here:

Keep Of Kalessin – Epistemology
Lonely Robot – Please Come Home
The Neal Morse Band – The Grand Experiment
Zero Stroke – As The Colours Seep
AudioPlastik – In The Head Of A Maniac
Revolution Saints – Revolution Saints
Mors Principium Est – Dawn of The 5th Era
Arcade Messiah – Arcade Messiah
Triosphere – The Heart Of The Matter
Neonfly – Strangers In Paradise
Knight Area – Hyperdrive
Haken – Restoration
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance
Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days
A.C.T. – Circus Pandemonium
Xerath – III
Big Big Train – English Electric (Part 1)
Thought Chamber – Psykerion
Marcus Jidell – Pictures From A Time Traveller
H.E.A.T – Tearing Down The Walls
Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld