OVERVIEW Atmosphere, melody and brutality collide on the debut from In Grief. Hailing from the frigid north of Norway, In Grief storms onto the scene with a fresh, unique sound for the extreme metal movement. The band incorporates elements from death metal and black metal while maintaining a very smooth atmospheric sound throughout, using haunting synths, lots of dynamic contrast, and catchy dark melodies amidst the crushing guitar attack, pounding drums, and brutal and haunting vocals. Each song contains a complex compositional structure and begs the listener to allow themselves to be absorbed into the various musical nuances. The end result is refreshing as the band explores the entire sonic soundscape, slowing things down and employing liberal decrescendos, synths and melodic guitars only to then crush the listener's skull with dynamic crescendos, crushing guitars with powerful and memorable riffs, and David Sandvik's well-accomplished vocals. "Deserted Soul" contains 7 songs but clocks in at nearly 50 minutes, and by the time the CD is done, the listener is already longing for more. In Grief is recommended for fans of Opeth, Soilwork, Amon Amarth, and Scar Symmetry, and fans of death / black that is both progressive and atmospheric. If your ears long for a musical adventure that is both soothing and brutal while never losing your interest, In Grief is the prescription. SELLING POINTS • First full-length album • 7 brand new songs clocking in at nearly 50 minutes • 8-panel stapled booklet • For fans of Opeth, Soilwork, Amon Amarth, Scar Symmetry, and death and black metal • Reviews and advertising in major publications • Active Myspace and web promotion TRACKLIST 1. Darkening Horizon 2. I Am 3. Invited War 4. Modern Truth 5. Deserted Soul 6. In the End 7. Weak TEETH OF THE DIVINE REVIEW 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 let's the listener know in no uncertain terms what they're in for. The refrain on the title track is very Katatonia-like in it's 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 it's own personality not to blend in too much. Give it a shot. Written by Shawn Pelata April 7th, 2009.