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3.17 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2009


1. Darkening Horizon (2:19)
2. I Am (7:14)
3. Invited War (6:38)
4. Modern Truth (6:50)
5. Deserted Soul (6:12)
6. In the End (8:20)
7. Weak (9:45)

Total Time: 47:18


- David Sandvik / Vocals
- Benny Røste / Guitars
- Jonas Andreassen / Guitars
- Tobias Odmundsson / Bass, Vocals
- Bruno Barra / Drums
- Daniel Sandvik / Keyboards

About this release

Full-length, Bombworks Records, April 7th, 2009

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"Deserted Soul" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian death metal act In Grief. The album was released through Bombworks Records in April 2009.

The music on the album is semi-progressive and melodic death metal with keyboards. Although In Grief are Norwegian they sound very Finnish to me because it´s acts like Amorphis and Swallow the Sun that I´m reminded of when listening to "Deserted Soul". The music is slow, doomy, epic and melodic with deep growling vocals and occasional clean vocals (which remind me of the clean vocals featured on some of Enslaved´s music). While the keyboards play an important role in the music I wouldn´t call them dominant. They are rather tastefully placed in the mix and provide the music with a majestic atmosphere.

The album features 7 tracks. The atmospheric and epic keyboard driven intro "Darkening Horizon" sets the tone from the beginning and when "I Am" starts and guitars, drums and bass are added, the overall music style is quickly revealed and there are only few surprises from then on out. All tracks except the intro are between 6 and 9 minutes long. "Deserted Soul" is well produced and maybe a bit more raw and brutal sounding than the above mentioned acts, but still in the polished end of the death metal scale. The band are skilled musicians and the songwriting is generally of high class so all in all a 3.5 star rating (70%) isn´t all wrong. A very strong debut release by In Grief. They can be proud of this one.
There’s no real way to lead into it, so I’ll just jump right in. In Grief sounds like a blend of Daylight Dies and Evergrey. It combines some of the darker Prog Metal of Evergrey (the soundscape/sci-fi keys, the fluid-like guitar shredding) with some of the slower, more dramatic dirges of Daylight Dies (complete with the combo growl/clean vocals). Now, depending on your view of these two bands, you’ll either be interested or turned off (the one-sheet predictably names Opeth as well, but that doesn’t really apply)…but suffice it to say I think it’s a cool combo. Sorry to put that up so early on, but it’s really the best way to sum it up.

The instrumentation, arrangements, performances & production are all very good. Everything sounds tight and clean and is fairly impressive to listen to. No one part is in and of itself anything really new, but when the parts interchange and swirl together, I think they come up with something interesting. The vocals, as stated, switch between a deep rooted Death growl and a more subdued clean, non-operatic tone ala Opeth’s Michael Akerfeldt. There are plenty of strong, head-thrashing moments as well as some nice atmosphere added in the form of slower tempos, keyboard layers and guitar counter melodies. “In The End” is a pretty good example of all of the band’s elements coming together in a single song. The obligatory intro track leads into “I Am” which, in all honesty, could have done without the nearly three-minute introduction. “I Am”, however, really sets up the album and lets the listener know in no uncertain terms what they’re in for. The refrain on the title track is very Katatonia-like in its monotone, depressive delivery.

So, what we have is 6 songs (plus an intro) of strong Metal music. I hear both a currently impressive band as well as lots of room for future expansion. It’s an enjoyable listen for anyone into the Scandinavian Death/Prog/moody vibe with enough of its own personality not to blend in too much. Give it a shot.

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