In Mourning - Monolith
Pulverised Records
Melodic Death Metal
8 songs (57:07)
Release year: 2010
In Mourning, Pulverised Records
Reviewed by Goat

Although In Mourning's name doesn't mark them out from the crowd, the Swedish band's brand of violently energetic Melodic Death does. Driven by riffs and an intriguing grasp of the progressive, songs can last up to twelve minutes, the shortest being four and the average around six, so it's clear from the first listen that a good deal of influence comes from the more gloomy bands in the style - if you like, say, Insomnium the chances are that you'll love In Mourning. From the opening seconds onwards you're shunted into a whirlwind of riffing, For You To Know barely holding back before turning melodically prog in the middle with Canopyian stomp - it's more than enough to crush the likes of Soilwork, and clean vocals are at a minimum. Where the particularly true and pure may have a problem is with In Mourning's slight tendency to go a bit metalcore at moments, especially with some of the stop-start riffs, which are sure to cause serious pit action when the band play live. Still, the news that In Mourning uses three guitarists should assuage the fears of riffheads, and that the album was produced by Scar Symmetry guitarist Jonas Kjellgren should take care of the others.

What really matters is that Monolith kicks a lot of ass. The aforementioned For You To Know is catchy and opens the album well, moving into the almost Tooly intro to Debris, which soon turns to enjoyable mid-paced Prog Metal chug. It builds into an almost Dark Tranquillity-esque crescendo, albeit with a good deal more prog than the Melodeath gods usually partake of. The Poet And The Painter Of Souls follows, similarly riff-driven if a little speedier, and to be honest it's here where the band's biggest strengths lie. Everyone enjoys a catchy headbang, and whilst In Mourning are heavier than most and do introduce the odd bit of Opeth-esque meandering melody, it's that driving powerful Melodeath roar that Monolith shows off best. It certainly helps that the band have their songwriting down perfectly, knowing how to extend a song to really use all of its running time without getting boring or too repetitive, and having choruses that you can growl along too without feeling like a sissy. Of course, the musicians work together excellently too, the guitarists working as one and drummer Christian seemingly having multiple limb extensions to provide his multifaceted battery.

There aren't a great deal of surprises. Once you've heard half the album, you can pretty much guess how the rest will proceed, although the band keep you listening, and although it can seem a bit samey there's no denying the sheer enjoyability of it all. There are some gorgeous clean vocals in a melodic part of the eight-minute The Smoke, which goes onto nicely epic terrain, and A Shade Of Plague is enjoyably manic if a step too close to Deathcore territory for comfort. Thankfully, In Mourning make up for it on the following With You Came Silence, which sounds like Opeth's Blackwater Park distilled into six minutes of glorious metal magic, free of clean vocals and other superfluities. Pale Eye Revelation twists things up a little as the riffs get more complex yet doesn't really push at the boundaries - you have to wait for twelve-minute finale The Final Solution (Entering The Black Lodge) for that, which duly shoots for the stars with epic abandon, and succeeds in every way imaginable, marrying the by-now familiar formula to a wonderfully grandiose structure before going all calm and prog in the second half. It'd be amazing if the whole album was as stellar, but it finishes proceedings wonderfully, and is undoubtedly proof of the band's skills. Given another album and a more adventurous approach to songwriting in general, In Mourning will produce a masterpiece that will have jaws hitting floors worldwide. For the moment, Monolith is an excellent release that does a lot and does it well, sure to have discerning Melodeath necks snapping everywhere. Recommended.

Killing Songs :
For You To Know, The Poet And The Painter Of Souls, The Smoke, With You Came Silence, The Final Solution (Entering The Black Lodge)
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by In Mourning that we have reviewed:
In Mourning - Garden of Storms reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
In Mourning - Afterglow reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
In Mourning - The Weight Of Oceans reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
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