In Vain
The Latter Rain

About a year ago I had the pleasure of interviewing In Vain of Norway. Unsigned yet enthusiastic, the band was kind enough to send free EP’s for me to send to other writers and magazines. Honestly, I was blown away by the maturity of the sound and I have been keeping a close eye on their activities since. Extreme metal fans be advised, The Latter Rain is a monster debut album.

Wielding a design of assorted metal genres, these greenhorns achieve an amazing sound. There really isn’t a prominent category to assign The Latter Rain. You can hear black, death, doom, Viking, jazz, and even horns throughout the record. Think an orgy of Opeth, Emperor, and Enslaved, which produced an atrocious baby named In Vain. It is really a beautiful mix. The doom elements are surprisingly more striking in this release compared to their first EP Wounds. Astonishingly melodic, “The Midnight Hour” starts The Latter Rain off with slow doom ridden chords, which are soon overcome by a dazzling swell of emotional layered guitars and ambient screams. This song alone displays In Vain’s epic proportions.

Guest appearances from both Jan K.Transeth (In The Woods) and Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) only add to the impressive sounds laid before us. Lead vocalist A. Frigstad handles most of the vocal duties and while most of his voice is very doom/death oriented two other members of the band attribute beautiful clean vocals and black metal screams. Honestly, I don’t know who is singing what because they layer the vocals so much in each song. That’s one of the things that make this band so damn enjoyable. The clean choruses step into Viking like chanting material and it’s melded perfectly between all the members. A lot of the clean breaks in the music are triumphant as shit and sent chills down my spine on numerous occasions.

Guitar players J. Haaland and E. Fuglestad are quite accomplished already in their writing. Solos are executed wonderfully, very classical with plenty of arpeggios, finger tapping, and sweeps. With all that you’d think they are speed players that are showing off. Not even close. These solos are very stylish, mature, and melodic. The emotion just pores out of these guys. Most of the sound is reminiscent of Opeth, but this band is far from a copy. It’s the jazzy thing.

To be successful in metal today, bands must cross genres and do it well. We are too damn finicky as fans nowadays. Once a band conquers a sound, it inspires bands in the future. In Vain are on that path to greatness. There’s plenty of growing they will do in future releases I’m sure, but if this CD doesn’t show enormous potential I don’t know what will. The band is full of creative inspiration that just flowed out of them on the original EP and it continues with The Latter Rain. It’s enough to make me very excited.

Recently, In Vain was given the opportunity to tour with Vreid in Europe. Along with a new debut album, a label, and an amazing sound I believe we have only begun to hear from this band. At least I hope. Do yourself a favor and look for The Latter Rain.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
July 27th, 2007


  1. Commented by: Nick

    Absolutely stupendous album. One of my favorites of all time, and a debut to boot! I can’t wait for the new release.

  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    New album on the way in ’09

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