The Latter Rain
Indie Recordings 2007
New and substantial record label, Indie recordings has discovered another freshly cut diamond in the insanely talented newcomers, In Vain. Musically this talented group effortlessly weave together disparate musical styles within a framework of extreme metal. Every metal style is represented here from death, black, doom, power, etc. and they even pull in some other styles such as folk and hardcore. My favorite song, Det Rakner! takes doomy passages and blasting death metal and sprinkles sections of poppy power metal throughout its lengthy 8:27 length. Plus they are great at sample placement such as the one they inject at the 5:27 mark where it recalls a southern evangelist discussing a trial of faith. Each song meanders in various ways from mountainous metal riffs to soothing valleys of keyboards and acoustic guitars. For instance the opening guitar strumming and poppy keyboards of October’s Monody flows into a passage of blitzing black metal ferocity and finally yields into a folky, almost Pink Floyd inspired section which morphs into some triumphant power metal. Also I Total Triumf uses an epic and classic heavy metal riff and then counters it with a chugging death metal riff and gurgling gruff vocals and then movingly incorporate a smooth saxophone and an array of other jazzy instrumentations which directly illustrate not only the breadth of their arsenal but also the ease with which these differing styles are woven together within each song’s loose structure. My favorite track is the also the one that moved me the most when I saw them live and it is track 7, the Titan. I just love the pounding guitar parts that are reminiscent of the giant footfalls of those mythical gods and it incorporates string instrumentation in the same manner as early My Dying Bride might have. It is sometimes hard to follow the flow of each song as it winds its way through all of the different shades and styles that construct its fabric but In Vain are skilled enough that they are capable of making most of these song shifts seamless. In Vain, though a fresh young face within the Norwegian scene, have the instrumental skills and compositional talents of seasoned veterans. Though The Latter Rain is their debut album it comes across as one that only a band with well honed skills through years of practice and effort could accomplish.