In Vain - Currents album review

Nordic progressive death metallers step back from the brink

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In Vain’s last album, Ænigma, was a huge undertaking of grandiose progressive metal underpinned by crashing tides of orchestration and myriad vocal styles, finally giving Norway a valid competitor to Sweden’s grasp on progressive death metal. Boasting guest appearances from Matt Heafy and Leprous drummer Baard Holstad, Currents provides a similar acerbic slam dunk as Ænigma, colliding the frosty scream, growls and elevating clean-sung lines from three vocalists while hammering away at jagged riffs and pinsharp guitar noodling. However, it’s fair to say that In Vain have gone for a slightly different steer this time; their melting pot of sometimes blackened stylistics places them at the heavy end of scale but there is a dialling back on the nihilistic minor-key vibe, which only really unearths itself on the shattering Standing On The Ground Of Mammoths.