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Opethy goodness. - 85%

Andromeda_Unchained, June 22nd, 2012

Here we have the latest release from progressive death metal act In Mourning, and I can say right off the bat that if you were disappointed in the last Opeth full-length then this, is the album for you. Having enjoyed their previous album I was all ears when “The Weight of Oceans” dropped, and it’s definitely worth picking up.

For the uninitiated, In Mourning play a style of progressively tinged Melodic Death Metal. Boasting massive arrangements, and some Swallow the Sun style moments, as well as some truly bad-ass riffs. Drummer Christian Netzell is a particularly good asset to the band, and his style really adds to the magic on “The Weight of Oceans”. Whilst often playing at slower tempo’s he adds a lot in the way of tasteful cymbal usage, and when the speeds increase he unleashes some precise footwork. The guitars flow like a twisting stream, dancing between beautiful cleans, crunching riffs and some superb drawn out octave parts ala Swallow the Sun. The tone is very Progressive Metal, and there are some channels that have a Progressive Rock style twang which helps in giving the album its identity. The guitar playing in itself is stellar, with some wonderful leads, and enough riffs to keep things heavy. The bass is nicely done here too, perfectly in tune with the drums and general rhythm which is exactly what is needed.

The production is ideal for the style, and reminds me of Opeth’s “Deliverance” and “Watershed”. “The Weight of Oceans” kicks of with “Colossus” which is just, well, colossal. The track slowly builds into a stunning melody, before kicking into a solid chug, from here onwards there’s a boat load of excellent melodic moments interspersed with the heavier sections towards the end. “A Vow To Conquer The Ocean” is one of my favourite tracks here, and it wastes little time introducing itself kicking into a stupendous riff from the get go. After having kicked the listener’s ass for a couple of minutes the band drops everything down and breaks into some wonderful clean guitars, this track in particular shows both sides of In Mourning well. “Celestial Tear” is quite frankly an amazing prog ballad, which really showcases singer/ guitarist Tobias Netzell’s clean register.

The first half of the album, as good as it is, mainly serves as a warm up for what’s to come. Kicking off the second half is “Convergence” which I would have to say is my undoubted highlight of the album. Everything I like about In Mourning is displayed in excellent quality here, some of the heaviest riffs coupled with incredible, heart-wrenching melodies, and an insanely cool middle section housing the finest guitar solo on the album. “Isis of Solace” stands as the most furious track on the album, and it really kicks up a fuss, opening up with some well placed blast beats, and housing some of the finer riffs on the album. “The Drowning Sun” is another highlight, and really cooks up some Opeth-style magic.

Overall as you can obviously see I’ve name dropped Swallow the Sun and Opeth quite a bits over this review, and if you’re of a similar wavelength to me regarding the sub-par latest release from the former, or differ in thinking Opeth dropped the ball last year, then this album is going to be your saving grace. A quality release, that whilst maybe a slight overlong, is for the most part great, and I can whole heartedly recommend it to fans of Melodic Death Metal and Progressive Metal.

Originally written for www.metal-observer.com