In Mourning
Garden of Storms

In Mourning strike me as the type of band that know what they’re good at, and stick to that formula. Much like bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, or Cannibal Corpse, they’ve found their sound and don’t really ever deviate from it.

This approach can be a double edged sword. While their newest album, 2019s Garden of Storms. is filled with good songs, you just can’t shake the impression that you’ve heard them all before. I’ll admit that after multiple listens, nothing is really very memorable on this album. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it whilst listening, but the band definitely aren’t breaking new ground here. Even the cover art seems a rehash of other albums they’ve done. Crashing waves? That appeared on the cover of “Afterglow”. Giant sea creature? Seen that on “Colossus”.

Although the album isn’t a game changer, there are plenty of positives to be found. The production is spot on. I’ve always been a fan of In Mourning’s less overdriven, more crunchy guitar tone. It’s on display again here, and sits wonderfully in the mix with the drums and bass, giving a great doomy vibe throughout. Tobias Netzell’s growls are on point, giving credence to why In Mourning were hailed as ‘the next Opeth‘ a few years back (though they have yet to live up to this moniker, in my opinion). Once again, In Mourning make the most of having three guitar players. On multiple times throughout the album there are chugging, cleans and lead work all working in harmony to create some beautiful soundscapes.

One area that I feel the band have improved on within the last few albums is their use of clean vocals. While on their breakthrough album Shrouded Divine, the clean vocals were mostly used in a haunting and melancholy way, their use on this album moves more into epic, soaring territory. The last song of the album, “The Lost Outpost”, displays a brilliant vocal performance at around 7:00 which closes out the album nicely. But one can’t help but wish there were more moments like this throughout. The band have also introduce more keyboard work on their doomy, epic parts. Again, this stuff is brilliant – just give us more!

Garden of Storms isn’t going to be a genre defining album, but nor is it really going to disappoint fans. Does it break the mold? No. Have In Mourning experimented with their sound? Not really. Is it even their best work? Nah.

But all things considered, is this a bad album? Absolutely not.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Pat Hughes
April 16th, 2020

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