With Sweden so rich in heavy metal history, you couldn’t blame a band for feeling the pressure of contributing to the legacy before them. For In Mourning though, the only pressure they feel is the pressure they put on themselves to continue to improve and write better music. Afterglow is the bands fourth album, and it’s their most impressive release. Recorded over a five month period, Afterglow is a continuation of the themes covering 2012’s The Weight of Oceans. That album ended with the sun crashing into the ocean; Afterglow sees a new sun arise leaving a trail of beauty and destruction before it.
Afterglow is the result of a mature band writing complex material, performing and executing in a careful yet passionate manner, coupled with clever; warm; and vibrant production. Afterglow sounds less polished than its predecessors, the lack of over mastering and manipulating however adds to the mood and allows the textures of each instrument to shine; for instance the bass is so vivid, gleaming with vigour throughout. This is a welcomed change, as heavier genres tend to bury the bass so deep that it blunts the sound.
Afterglow is heavy in all the right areas, the drumming is blazing, guitar riffs can crunch, pulverise and dismantle and the vocals cover just about every corner of the Death Metal spectrum. Yet, the melody contained within every track is equally important and intriguing. Clean sections of vocals and guitar weave throughout, leaving an atmospheric path of emotion and splendour. ‘Fire and Ocean’ has a groovy guitar riff, the gripping ‘Lighthouse Keeper’ is as aggressive as it is sombre and ‘Below Rise to the Above’ even carries a bluesy solo. The songwriting wreaks of a band reaching their creative peak.
Afterglow will be gladly accepted into the long list of Swedish metal achievements, it is currently the Melodic Death Metal album of the year, and it will take a lot to beat it.
Release date: 20th May 2016. Agonia Records
1 – Fire and Ocean
2 – The Grinning Mist
3 – Ashen Crown
4 – Below Rise to the Above
5 – The Lighthouse Keeper
6 – The Call to Orion
7 – Afterglow