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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.