Norway has always been the most fertile of lands for experimental and avant-garde metal. During the last three decades fabulous visionaries have pushed beyond boundaries time and time again, propagating the ever-healthy metal underground and its myriad sub-genres. The most prestigious and mythical of all are the legendary IN THE WOODS… the originators of truly progressive dark metal.
Now, 21 years after their singular, beyond-classic debut Heart Of The Ages and 17 protracted years after last full-length Strange In Stereo, a re-imagined and revitalized IN THE WOODS… deliver Pure – a stunningly focused new record – a distillation of everything that makes them one of the greats.
The prolonged absence has led to a propulsive re-invigoration, a renewed directness and melodic refinement, a set of addictive songs grounded in the same strain of epic, atmospheric and psychedelic blackened prog-doom the band mined for their 1997 masterpiece Omnio – although this record is anything but a re-tread of old terrain.
As always with IN THE WOODS… the exploratory nature of the music stems from the freedom of 70’s progressive rock: the dreaminess of vintage Floyd and Camel, the skewed restlessness of prime Crimson, the perpetual questing of Gabriel-era Genesis and subtle Krautrock intimations. The band have evolved, matured, the unit reveling in the pleasures of restraint. The mind-chaos of youth has transmogrified into the dark divinity of wisdom that only experience can bring – a welcome respite in times of ephemeral pleasures and hyperactive multiplicities.
At core Pure is a collection of huge-sounding, all-enveloping cosmic tales – a super massive record fusing epic dark metal with hook-ridden doom-tinged modernism, the mind’s eye trained far beyond the archaic firmament deep into worlds unknown.
The artwork for this gem was crafted by Max Winter from Teratogen. Debemur Morti Productions will issue Pure on September 16th.