If you were to judge IN MORPHEUS’ ARMS solely based on their cover art and the sex of their lead singer, you might be tempted to label them as yet another Gothic band. While they do have a number of Gothic tendencies, their hyper-technical playing style and instrumental mastery point toward a more Progressive label.
“Distrust The Mantra,” the band’s debut album, is opened by a brief intro before jumping into “Reality,” an almost nine-minute-long Prog epic. This song is fairly representative of the rest of the album’s material, as it combines impressive instrumental wizardry with a dark, brooding atmosphere. Guitarist Sascha Gutkowski and drummer Peter Rosinski are in perfect unison; sometimes it’s unreal listening to the stuff they pull off.
After a while, the album kinda seems to drag on a bit. Slogging through the three-part “Pandemonium” was a chore due to extended instrumental sections. At the same time, that could be a good thing, as singer Mira Kohli delivers some pretty darn lifeless vocals on this record. In a way, they do add a sense of Gothic darkness to the album, but they still rob the record of some of its potential, particularly when compared to the highly technical instrumentation.
“Distrust The Mantra” is by no means a bad album, though; on the contrary, it’s fairly decent. The fusion of Prog and Goth is an interesting one, even if the Prog side tends to be infinitely better than the Goth side. It’ll be interesting to see what these highly skilled musicians can cook up in the future.
(Online November 4, 2009)