Album: Garden of Storms
Artist: In Mourning
Sub-Genres: Progressive Death Metal
Non-Airable Tracks: N/A
Progressive metal has been around for over 30 years, yet this decade has been sorely lacking in well established soon-to-be classics of the genre. Because of this, there has also been a lack of change in what progressive metal sounds like so most bands this decade all tend to sound like one of Opeth (death), Mastodon (sludge), or Voivod (classic/thrash). In the case of In Mourning, and especially on Garden of Storms, they sound like Opeth. While this is not a bad thing and certainly only accurate on the surface, it opens the door for a direct comparison to one of the most beloved bands of the genre which never goes over well.
So, what we have on Garden of Storms is a mix of dynamic and simple aggressive songwriting, clean and heavy vocals, and both catchy and symphonic melodies. The closer “The Lost Outpost”, which ends in a conclusive instrumental break down, is easily the highlight of the album. The opener “Black Storm” is also impressive for the band’s ability to set a mysterious atmosphere and the track “Hierophant” is a fine song to feast on. There are no tracks that stand out as bad either, all of them are enjoyable and free from mindless detours to fill up the length. One complaint I have is that the mix forfeits some intensity for enough space that every instrument is easily heard even when the band is at their most aggressive. This is most apparent when listening to Garden of Storms immediately after something like Opeth or Mastodon and it can be heard how a more potent sound could have been achieved through different mixing.
If you are a fan of progressive metal, Garden of Storms is more of that good stuff from the genre. It wont radically change anyone’s view of the genre, but it would make a fine addition to any collection of 2010s progressive metal. The album would also make a great introduction for newcomers to the genre or experienced listeners of classic progressive metal looking for something similar but modern. Garden of Storms stands as my favorite traditional metal record of the year so far and my favorite album I’ve reviewed so far for KAMP.
Sounds Like: Opeth
Recommended Tracks: The Lost Outpost
Reviewer’s Name: Bryan
Date of Review: 10/16/19