Miss the old days of OPETH? There are many who like “Orchid” and “Morningrise” over anything else in the OPETH catalogue, if you’re one of those you may want to check out IN MEMORIAM.
This German four-piece claim to be playing Progressive Black/Death Metal and that suits me fine. They’ve come up with four long songs and are surely influenced by a band like OPETH because both bands work with challenging songwriting, atmospheric production sound and write lyrics dwelling in gothic territory, the only thing that separates the two is that the Germans don’t use any acoustic guitars.
I’m not saying they’re as good as OPETH but they’re in the same boat, there are many things to be worked on. The sound on the first two tracks is as beautiful as a rotten corpse, seriously. The last two tracks have a much better sound. Songs require a lot of attention from your side; there are countless riffs and even more melodies to discover, a special tip to examine is the very long solo in the third track “Unbent By Winds” and the malevolent guitar assaults in the NAGLFAR sounding “Who Treads Thy Shore”.
The bands best quality is the cunning guitar lines, which change a lot and are well balanced. The guitar work is amazing sometimes; it makes me wonder if the line-up is made up by Metal veterans as they sure know how to play, I haven’t heard many demos with such brilliant guitar playing, actually I haven’t heard that many demos he he, but this is definitely good stuff. The two guitar players are very good but in some parts it sounds like they’re out of sync, I don’t know if it’s the greasy sound that prevents me from hearing straight or if the guys aren’t that experienced in the first place.
Vocals change from Abbath (IMMORTAL) like growling and screaming to spoken words. The clean sing is very much out of tune; whoever is at the microphone should really work on that, it sort of decreases the feeling of the lyrics.
So let’s draw a line: IN MEMORIAM aren’t really copying anyone, it reminds you of OPETH and the engaging Death Metal parts have the same technicality as SENTENCED’s old classic “North From Here” but they have a distinctive style, I hope they continue to develop this interesting style. Check their website at www.inmemoriam-metal.de and drop a line to the band if you’re interested in getting this promising demo. (Online March 15, 2004)