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In Vain - Currents album review

Nordic progressive death metallers step back from the brink

Cover art for In Vain - Currents album

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.

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.