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In The Woods
Live In The Caledonian Hall
Released: 2003, The End Records
Well, I think I might have found my personal cure for insomnia. Over the years I’ve heard what seems like boatloads of praise poured down upon “the mighty” In the Woods, but I’ve never had the chance to hear their music for myself until now. LIVE AT THE CALEDONIEN HALL is the band’s posthumous swansong release, recorded live in front of their fans in Kristiansand, Norway. In the two full sets the band plays, they manage to cover a huge amount of their studio work, including OMNIO in its entirety. Impressive.
Opening with a medley on “Heartworks”, the band immediately succeed at weaving a deeply intriguing and inspiring spell. The band’s live sound is surprisingly full, with all instruments perfectly represented in the mix, no one band member more audible than the next. The vocals soar appropriately over everything, but do not overpower the songs. If nothing else, the band more than succeeds at creating the perfect mood for their tripped-out prog Floyd-metal.
The problem for me however, is the band spends FAR too much time simply dicking around. For example, disc 2 is almost a complete write-off as the band indulges themselves in endless musical passages that seem to go on without end. Disc 1 fares much better, with shorter songs and more interesting riffs. There is also more aggression and feeling (in my opinion) on disc 1 (see “Heart of the Ages”). New song “Beer” is a winner as well, fitting in perfectly amongst the older material. However, I just can’t see myself internalizing these songs to the point where I can declare favorites and feel the need to invest money in the band’s catalogue. I realize that isn’t the point of this CD, however even as an epitaph and “thank you” to their fans, this album really isn’t of interest to anyone who isn’t a hardcore In the Woods fan. Even causal fans probably won’t find much here.
Final verdict: interesting for a while, but ultimately overblown and tiring.
2)Medley on Heartworks
3)Heart of the Ages
6)Mourning the death of Aase
8)I am Your Flesh
1) Omnio (bardo + post)
2) Empty Room
3) Don’t Care
4) Dead Man’s Creek
6) Path of the Righteous
7) Titan Transcendence
9) Closing In
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