In Mourning is back with Garden of Storms, their 5th album full of the progressive melodic death metal they are known for.
Metal music from Sweden has gotten to the point where just originating from that country means a quality release and bands like In Mourning is why that statement rings true. Now on their fifth album, In Mourning released their first one, Shrouded Divine, in 2008, followed two years later by Monolith. Somewhat surprisingly, the band has had a relatively stable lineup over their greater than 10yr existence, but has managed to go through a couple of drummers prior to Joakim Strandber Nilsson starting in 2018. At one point, Garden of Storms was #8 on Metal Storm’s top 20 albums of 2019 and was a #53 on the Heatseekers top 200 soon after release showing the critical and fan acceptance of the work.
Given that we are talking about progressive, melodic death metal, it should come as no surprised that the seven song album clocks in around 50 minutes in length, so there is definitely a lot to talk about here. “Black Storm” opens up innocently enough with some clean guitar chords, but the calm is short-lived as there are short bursts of the full band coming in with a heavy riff and pounding drums, setting the tone for the song. Tobias Netzell’s deep scream layered into the background is a good touch to the sound, which comes through in a well-mixed blast of noise. The melodic shines through in the main riff of the song as well in the more atmospheric-like moments that also feature Netzell showing some clean vocals to complement the growled death vocals. Being my first introduction to the band, I can’t help but be impressed with the drum work from Joakim Strandberg Nilsson who keeps a simple, slower pounding rhythm when needed but can explode into faster, approaching blast beat rhythms to drive the song along.
“Yields of Sand” opens up with jangly guitars and clean vocals, making me almost think I hit shuffle on a playlist and somehow switched bands. Again Nilsson’s drum work shines in the somewhat quieter setting of the song’s opening as does the bass of Sebastian Svalland. I doesn’t take long for the song to go into an entirely different direction as the guitar changes to more of a droning riff, Netzell’s vocals go to a deeper growl, and everything gets louder and more aggressive…at least for a while. The song does wander back and forth between the melodic death and clean alternative formats, which is not unexpected given the genre. “Hierophant” similarly opens up with a sound that seems a bit out of place on the album but the song quickly shifts to the melodic death in a style more similar to “Black Storm” before temporarily veering off into a section more akin to bands like Project 86.
“Magenta Ritual” shows the band taking on what could loosely qualify as a metal ballad where the drums actually dominate the sonic elements in much of the song. Netzell’s clean and growled vocals are both present in the track as is quite a bit of clean guitar and a more atmospheric, ethereal feel.
Almost as if to remind the listener what genre they are listening to, “Huntress Moon” explodes into a melodic death metal riff punctuated by the fast, pounding snare of Nilsson. The verse sections become a bit darker in tone and have a bit of an eerie quality to them. The band slow the tempo down a bit for “Tribunal of Sons”, which also features a quiet, atmospheric interlude that is largely driven by the drum and bass with chiming clean guitar chords layered over the top. A definite tension builds during the quieter section, eventually giving way to full band. The more I listen to the album, the more I appreciate the different guitar parts in the songs and how the layers of sound work together to provide the full experience.
The nine-plus minute long “The Lost Outpost” closes out the album and fittingly incorporates elements from the rest of the tracks on the album and perhaps expands them a bit. The quiet sections allow Svalland’s bass work to shine through and when the band comes back in the multiple guitar parts add complexity and texture to the overall sound.
In Mourning pull together influences from bands like Opeth and Insomnium on Garden of Storms and have put in the time to create complex arrangements that not only work well together and allow transitions from the quiet and atmospheric to death metal, all highlighted by strong musicianship and great production…an album worth a listen.
Written by John Jackson
- Black Storm
- Yields of Sand
- Magenta Ritual
- Huntress Moon
- Tribunal of Suns
- The Lost Outpost
Tobias Netzell – vocals, guitars
Björn Pettersson – guitars, vocals
Tim Nedergård – guitars
Sebastian Svalland – bass
Joakim Strandberg Nilsson – drums
Release Date: Oct 4th. 2019
Record Label: Agonia Records
Video for ‘Black Storm‘
Lyric video for ‘Yields of Sand’