The Weight of Oceans
02. A Vow To Conquer The Ocean
03. From A Tidal Sleep
04. Celestial Tear
07. Isle Of Solace
08. The Drowning Sun
09. Voyage Of A Wavering Mind
Many years ago, Sweden gave heavy metal fans everywhere a new type of music to enjoy. From the likes of Dark Tranquility, At The Gates, and In Flames, melodic death metal soon took the metal community by storm. Slaughter of the Soul, some may argue, is THE melodic death metal record, one that will never be beaten and nearly impossible to match. Around the same time, Opeth was redefining death metal by including clean acoustic passages interwoven with blast beats and growling vocals comparative to some or the finest death metal out at the time. Many years later, bands like Daylight Dies and Elysian are carrying the torch alongside the godfathers of melodeath. One Swedish quintet, however, have taken the necessary steps to create what may be their own magnum opus in The Weight Of Oceans.
In Mourning’s latest release is a collective musical powerhouse. Their past two records seem to have built up to this one, with all the territories explored since their first demo in 2000 being combined into one 61 minute long album of fantastic metal. ‘Colossus’, the opener, gives the listener a very good taste of what is to come. The melodic intro breaks about a third of the way into this 9-minute long song and unleashes a triple guitar onslaught that even the most “purist” metal fan would enjoy. The rest of the song breaks between churning riffs and beautiful harmonies, with a spectacular end solo that invokes feelings of triumph in the listener.
The album continues to redirect itself throughout. The fourth song on the record, ‘Celestial Tear’, is mostly clean guitars with some lovely clean vocals over top. It is sort of a cross between Opeth and Alice In Chains, as the end of the song becomes laden with electric guitars and emotional, raw harmonies that can become stuck in the listener’s head for weeks to come. The following song, ‘Convergence’, is a personal favorite, transforming from the standard song into something more when the middle section of the song becomes just bass and guitar feedback, with the drums coming in with a very nice drum pattern, accompanied by the guitars moments later. The solo that follows is beyond awesome, and only adds to the beauty of the piece. ‘The Drowning Sun’ is another highlight, containing some of the most beautiful musicianship in recent memory. It doesn’t always take complexity to leave a lasting effect; some of the best songs ever written are simple and commanding. The last song on the record, ‘Voyage Of A Wavering Mind’, is almost doomy, with slow churning riffs, a few lines of vocals, and all the rest heavy, as if you were leading a funeral procession to the ocean shore, ready to dump the ashes of your loved ones.
The production value on this record deserves a perfect score. Everything is prevalent, balanced delicately like a trapeze artist spanning a gap of great heights and walking across a narrow rope. It is also the ideal volume, and with the recent LOUDNESS WAR, it is a refreshing change of pace for the listener to not have to adjust the volume on their iPod to accommodate for the earsplitting distortion. Jonas Kjellgren, who produced the album, is also a noteworthy musician, playing guitar for bands such as Scar Symmetry and bass for October Tide, as well as providing vocals for Carnal Forge on their first five releases. Nothing is better than having a musician from the genre help produce the record; it only enhances the listening experience.
This record holds everything true to melodic death metal that its predecessors set out to do back in the early 1990’s, beginning with Carcass’ Heartwork. As an embodiment of a genre that seemed to have faded away ever so slightly over the years, In Mourning have brought melodic death metal back to the metal community. No longer will people complain of meager decent releases and too many average records that leave the listener bored. This record will forever imprint the sigil of melodic death metal into your musical library, and encourage you to hold out hope, for there is light at the end of this tunnel, and In Mourning are among the first to reach it in years.
In Mourning – The Weight of Oceans gets…