In The Woods…, Diversum (Soulseller 2022)

Progressive black rock and metal band In The Woods… returns with a nuanced perspective on Diversum.

In The Woods… formed in Norway in 1991 alongside, in many ways, Green Carnation. Their earliest expressions were black metal, and later they were one of the first bands to refer to their music as pagan metal. I am most familiar with what sounds to me more avant-garde and prog-like from this group. The new album shines a light on familiar places as well as along less well-trodden pathways. The band is Anders Kobro (drums), Bernt Sørensen (guitar), Nils Olav Drivdal (bass, keys), Bernt Fjellestad (vocals), Kåre André Sletteberg (guitar, keys), and Alf Erik Sørensen (session keys).

“The Coward’s Way” is surprisingly straight-forward in structure with a gentle intro and an emotional rock delivery. It does swerve off into lands peculiar toward the end and that’s when I knew I was in the right place. “Moments” is a direct meshing of discordant elements in that the rhythm structure does not match, in a conventional way, the vocal presentation. As the song goes on, there is more of a meeting of the minds, but there is plenty of start-and-stop and swing and chop all the way through. “We Sinful Converge” is off in another direction, soaring on wings of high production. There is an episode of lostness in the middle, creating an important reference before the return to the earlier framing. It is a fascinating beginning.

“The Malevolent God” is very dramatic, taking the mood to a dire crescendo. It is my favorite track on the record for that set up and the amazing middle chopping riff and ramble, spiced with a slick lead break. I also appreciate the closer, “Your Dark.” This final song takes a soothing vocal mediation in precedence to screeching singing and heavy guitars, reverting at last to an off-balance placidity. A curious excursion indeed. Recommended.

Diversum is out now through Soul Seller Records. Follow up at the links below.




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© Wayne Edwards

In The Woods…, Diversum (Soulseller 2022)