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Progressive Melodic Swedeath Metal Orgasm - 100%

BuriedUnborn, December 22nd, 2018

I still remember back when I started hearing melodic death metal, and I still remember that feeling when I first heard In Mourning, it was "Colossus" from The Weight of the Oceans (2014), just after hearing that song I went to listen to "The Black Lodge" from this album, and I still haven't found any song that can make me feel as amazed as I did back then. It wasn't until some days ago that I decided to listen to The Shrouded Divine in it's entirety.

Unlike the later albums by the band, this release is a bit more raw and aggressive, it's still as melodic as them, but it has some heavier riffs that are kind of absent in the most recent ones. The guitar work is completely stunning, the band doesn't overuse riffs or chord progressions, each song has its own personality, atmosphere and feeling; to give some examples of this: "Amnesia" is aggressive, "Grind Denial" feels chaotic and relentless and "The Black Lodge" is melodic and atmospheric. There are a lot of octave chords, some occasional lead riffs and arpeggios and constant background melodies, there are various bridges/interludes with clean guitars and even acoustic guitars and clean vocals, some groove-y and thrash-y riffs here and there (the main riff of "Amnesia" reminds me a lot of Pantera by some reason). The bass goes a bit missing in this album though, or at least I don't hear it (I'm using some terrible headphones anyways), but I know that most songs by this band give the bass more of a lead role than a rhythm one, so I'm sure there is some cool stuff going on with the bass but I just can't hear it. The drums are nothing overwhelming, the drummer does play flawlessly and makes some interesting beats, but there isn't much to it, I'd say the drumming is pretty average, at least for this kind of genre; there are some blast beats, various different cymbals in use and even some cool fills with triplets and other groovy stuff, but nothing that is worth to mention.

The vocals are what you would expect from a death metal band: low growls, some fry screams, but we have those occasional interludes with clean, melodic vocals, which in my opinion are very cool and adds a lot to the atmosphere of the songs, which by the way are awesome, these go all the way from chaotic and angry atmospheres to depressive and melancholic ones, that can make you feel some kind of isolation or sadness. The lyrics are very poetic in some sense, this release is kind of a conceptual album, even though I can't yet put my finger on what the story behind the songs actually mean, but the lyrics talk about dreams, regret, sadness and personal struggles, so you can probably get an idea about what all of the lyrics actually mean, because I have zero lyrical interpretation.

The audio quality is excellent, this was recorded professionally in a professional studio (forgive the redundancy), I can't actually find any error in the performance of the band, no voice cracks, no instruments out of tempo nor out-of-tune/scale notes, so I'd say it was made pretty damn good. Great mixing and mastering, maybe the bass should have received some more love and the drums be a little bit louder, but whatever.

I'd say this album is great for any lover of melodic death metal or metal in general, it's a fucking masterpiece of this genre and the first full-length by one of the most complete and amazing bands from these last years. This album is perfect in every sense in my opinion, I could hear it over and over again and never get tired of it, so it deserves a straight 10 out of 10, 5 stars out of 5, a S, the maximum value of whatever ranking system you know. If you have 46 minutes and 20 seconds to spare, listen to this album, because I'm sure as hell you won't regret it.

This is My Confession, I Thoroughly Enjoyed This. - 95%

IndividualThought, August 22nd, 2012

Sometimes you just know when you're holding a masterpiece...

Shrouded Divine is the debut album of progressive melodic death metal fiends, "In Mourning." The album offers a multitude of different experiences down to the very last cymbal-clash and note. This album is melodic, beautiful, dark and powerful; melancholic, brutal, and in extreme cases even worthy of a sing along or two, which is not a bad thing at all, mind you. Combining all of those elements in to such a work takes real talent, and these 5 dudes are nothing short of maestros.

Firstly, the guitars. The guitars on this album are truly the main show and they do a good job of commanding that you listen to them, with the awesome chugging and insanely quick technical parts, tremolo, and even the melodic parts that no one soul can ignore. Acoustic guitars also show, which in fact, happens to be my favorite thing about this album. These guys do not need blistering riffs and highly technical solos to show you their blatant beating of a record, they can do it with a pick and a wooden guitar, tuned perfectly. Other than that, the solos seem to be perfected on this album, and it's only a debut! They show real emotion and aren't your run-of-the-mill technical wankery. Having three guitarists is really working for "In Mourning."

Secondly, the vocals here, both clean and harsh are awe-worthy and powerful, respectively. Tobias Netzell really shines amongst the sea of monotone growlers that plague the scene. His cleans, on the other hand, are, in their own right, entirely amazing and should be praised. The drums do their job and keep a steady beat, thanks to Christian Netzell; he can get technical, and he can immediately switch to a simple beat as he wills it and that takes real talent. The bass is somewhat audible throughout the album, but that doesn't really detract from the albums awesomeness (give or take 5%).

For a debut, this absolutely stunning and deserves all the praise it has been garnering, from the brutality of tracks like "Grind Denial," and "Amnesia," to somber melodies like the acoustic bridge of "By Others Considered." I'm expecting many more years of great albums from these guys!

Their Finest Hour - 97%

OzzyApu, May 9th, 2011

Now this one’s phenomenal in every way. Shrouded Divine has everything I dig when it comes to extreme metal: dense passages, emotional melodies, production catering to the content, daunting scope, and well-written, well-played riffs. Band-wise, the group was set with a stable line-up after years of running through a gauntlet of demos. But don’t let that throw you off, either – this isn’t Gothenburg-y or run-of-the-mill modern metal. This full-length legitimizes their career and puts them ahead of anyone in their league.

The five-piece is a group of musicians without much credibility to their names that, in the end, accomplish more than thought possible. Every song on here captures the genre: acoustic / clean interludes, harmonic leads, roaring vocals, poignant atmosphere, and beastly riffs. The rich production job is fantastic, offering a crisp, burly tone to the blubbery bass and sharp guitar attacks. There’s the rhythm obviously playing low-end, dynamic riffs, and the other two guitars nailing sorrowful leads. The bass supports the rhythm with warm civility enhanced by the dreary atmosphere, and the drumming is anywhere from assaulting like crazy or cool and calculated. Every instrument lays an effective tune that together creates thoughtful, memorable melodic death.

A status above the other members is Tobias Netzell, clearly the brains in the group as the frontman / lead songwriter. He executes three styles: beastly growls, higher-pitched growls / screams, and clean singing. His low growls are scorching and punchy, the highs are condescending and chilling, and the cleans, while awkward and amateurish at first, sink in to become passionate and pleasing. The growling gets the most time, but the other styles aren’t petty, as they are always used perfectly in these compositions. Each song is cherished, sanguine negativity with the first half of the album being the voyage into despair and the second half outdoing the first half in atmosphere. While every song is worthy of being a classic, “The Art Of A Mourning Kind” and the two tracks that follow are the ones that propel this album to the top. They slay in every category, and push the boundaries of forlorn progressive melodic death metal.

Thus, Shrouded Divine has become one of my beloved albums. It does everything better than its peers, and with class to back it up. It’s melodic death with death/doom and prog influences that knows how to be rocking and dismal without becoming melodramatic. Listeners of the aforementioned genres would be a whole lot more content musically when listening to this album.

Genius piece of art - 90%

Misanthrope02, February 10th, 2009

This is a debut album!? What the fuck? It is probably the first time I have ever heard a debut album that sounded this great. The production even surprised me because of how good it was. It is hard to describe what genre this album is. I guess you can sort of say progressive/death metal but it is a mixture of so many things so I can't just call them progressive/death. This may take a while to really get into, but once you get into it you'll realize the beauty of this piece of art. At first, there is a slight chance you may think that 'Shrouded Divine' sounds too similar to Opeth albums but then again, once you listen to it very carefully you'll notice that it is something totally original even though the Opeth influences are obvious enough at times. There are plenty of Opeth clones out there, surely these guys are just another one, right? Wrong. Sure, the vocalist sounds a hell of a lot like Akerfeldt, and sure, there is a huge progressive rock influence in their otherwise melodic death metal sound, but these guys are another breed of the progressive death metal style that you might be used to.

This is like nothing you have ever heard before. It is extremely unique and appreciated by most if not all progressive/death metal fans. It is nice to see that there are still some artists out there who don’t want to follow the accepted formula. The drumming is good, if unspectacular, and the bass is loud enough in the mix but to be honest, it could have sounded a bit better. The guitar work on this album is literally perfect. There isn't even one bad or boring riff throughout the entire masterpiece. I should also mention that this album never gets boring or repetitive. They have too many great ideas; it is sometimes hard to believe. At first you might think they don't even know what they're doing because like I said earlier, it does take time to get into this album for most people so you have to be patient.

The only cons of this album are the clean vocals for one, are rarely used but sounded great when they were used on a couple of tracks and the bass could have sounded a bit better, not that it doesn't sound good at all. Everything else is just mind blowing. What makes me highly respect the band is that this is their debut album and it is actually almost flawless. That is not something you would find on most debut albums.

I highly recommend this to all death/doom/progressive fans. Don't judge it from the first listen. This album requires some patience in order to see its inner beauty.
'In Mourning' are too damn underrated and I truly think they deserve more support for this brilliant masterpiece. Folks, this isn't the "everyday" album you hear, if you know what I mean. So for anybody who reads this review, please give this a shot and support the band as much as possible if you enjoy their music.

Crouching Swede, Hidden Orgasm - 100%

kwentzell, October 22nd, 2008

At a first glance, it's not hard to see that these guys have a huge amount of creativity, influence, and musicianship. I won't start off by naming other bands that "sort of" sound like them, because they portray the core evolution that pushes metal to a greater variance of sound. A sound that is their own, they put an amazing variety of progressive, gloom, death together with very catchy, yet somehow non-repetitive unlike many bands that I would label "catchy". Somehow, In Mourning has created possibly the best debut album I've ever heard, not to mention one of my favorite albums out of thousands of albums I've heard.

Any fan of death, gloom, progressive, or merely metal at all will surely like, if not hump this album. The album has flawless production, to the point where you can hear every instrument at the same time, all the time. The music itself displays complex time changes, uncommon progressions, little filler if any, amazing atmosphere, and unique buildup as well as release of emotion, just to name a few.

I could make a mile long list of strongpoints in this group's talent and song writing, but that's not the point of this review. The real point here is, I've heard a bunch of shitty albums this year, and this certainly is as far as possible from that level. If you love bands ahead of their time, here's my advice: buy album, listen to it, fap, and repeat.

Portait Of A Black Parasite - 95%

Altisir, May 25th, 2008

In Mourning's Shrouded Divine comes as a shock for a few reasons: it's a breath of fresh air, it's an incredible, unique listen that doesn't get old no matter how many times you play it, and it's all that while being a debut. What we have here isn't just another upstarting Opeth clone - indeed, In Mourning are far from it. While there's definitely certain similarities, In Mourning carve a name for themselves in the Progressive Metal scene with this stunning and spectacular debut.

The first thing noticed upon listening to Shrouded Divine, is that nothing else sounds quite like them. Sure, plenty of bands mix melody with doom/death riffs, but not in the same sense and style as In Mourning. The riffs themselves are often simple, but are utilized in such a way to make it seem not the case, and is done so brilliantly. They are never boring, nor generic sounding, and will more often than not become immediately stuck in your head after the first listen.

Each song is unique - that in itself is enough to merit this album a high mark. There are no fillers to be had, and each song offers something that sets it apart from the rest. For instance, In The Failing Hour's chorus, By Others Considered's great acoustic break, The Black Lodge's amazing intro, and so forth. No song sounds the same, yet not to the point where coherency is lost - in fact, it's the exact opposite. This album is incredibly solid for being so diverse. Another point that must be made is the fact that it never ceases to be a fresh listen. On the first listen, you're rewarded with a sense of satisfaction at hearing overall good music. Upon further listens, however, it only gets better and better. Structures and riffs become more clear, and intelligent subtleties show themselves, only furthering the musical experience. Again, for this alone it would get a good mark.

There is something else Shrouded Divine possesses that isn't common within Progressive Metal, or metal in general beyond Black or straight-up Doom Metal: atmosphere. In Mourning manage to create an almost ephemeral and dreamlike atmosphere surrounding the music, most notably on tracks such as In The Failing Hour and The Black Lodge. The vocals are worth mentioning as well. Deep growls of the Akerfeldt sort are mixed with screams not unlike that found often in Melodic Death Metal, and, in the rare instance they appear, the clean vocals are a great addition.

This is an album of sophomore or even peak quality, which makes it so great as a debut. Already it is one of the best albums of '08, and that's saying something. By no means is it perfect (is any album?), but it's flaws are few and far between. This is definitely a band to be watching, for if they can top this album with a future release, then they truly deserve a spot amongst the Progressive Metal masters. In total, this an album worth getting by any means possible, and without hesitation.

Something This Good Only Comes Once in a Decade - 100%

serial_killer_miller, May 21st, 2008

In a world where it is impossible to do anything original in the metal genre with thousands of bands sounding too much like other bands a debuting band definitely has a rough time establishing themselves. With "Shrouded Divine" Sweden's In Mourning have done just that.

From the opening track "Shrouded Divine" it is plain to see that this band has to be one of the most promising bands that have come along in quite some time. Combining catchy riffs with a great mix of death metal and clean vocals you are treated to one of those rare gems that comes along well, once in a decade.

What more can I say about these guys? Other than they combine doom metal and death metal as if they have been doing that genre since the early 1990s. Listen to tracks such as "Amnesia" and my personal favourite "The Black Lodge" which has one of the catchiest riffs in the history of music . It may sound like I am overstating that but trust me when you hear it you will agree 100 % with what I've said. The best way to describe it is a riff you would use if you were struggling to overcome something such as a loss in a boxing or mixed martial arts fight and reaching your ultimate return to glory.

Surely, an album like this is one that cannot be passed over if you are a fan of true metal. By that I mean, people who enjoy all genres should surely listen to this album and be blown away by how incredible it truly is.