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on 11 September 2005
This is quite possibly the finest album by this very overlooked and obscure band from Norway's pleasent #1 holiday destination, Kristiansand. It is quite possibly one of the darkest things i've ever heard. In The Woods... are one of those bands that don't even compare to anything you will hear in todays music because of their sheer diversity and mastery of song writing. This album is increadibly powerful, hypnotic and emotional, compared to their black metal past you might not believe it was the same band! But all the trademark sounds of In The Woods... are there. I'm not sure how to describe the style of music in this album, it's totally off the wall. It blends doom and gothic metal, with folk, classical and even blues/jazz. A lot more experimental than their previous album to this, Omnio. The title Strange In Stereo says it all. The vocals are probally some of the best on offer and suite the music extremelly well, ranging from the desperate yet majestic singing of Jan Transit to the lustful, breathy and jazzy voice of Synne Diana. The guitar work is very nicely interwoven a long with the other instruments used including sitar, slide guitar and violin as well as the synths and electronics. As a musician myself I can fully appreciate the amazing song writting of this band. Some parts of this album will uplift you beyond beleif and some parts may reduce you to tears, that is only a brief way of explaining how this album is. The music is highly atmopsheric and progressive, its one of those albums which never gets boring no matter how many listens, there is always something to come back to. It is also a great shame that this was probally the last 'proper' album by this band before they split up in 2000 (to form Green Carnation)
The other last two are a compilation of their vinyl presses, which includes some great songs as well and their outstanding double live album, also a tentetive listen. It's almost as this album is playing it's own soundtrack to the bands demise, ever so slowly. I would snap this album up quickly while stocks last, it's such a pity that maybe in 10 years time this band may be almost forgotten, I even searched their hometown for their albums and stocks had been taken away, but in the end found it on here.
To conlcude, In The Woods... made music that was so deep and ethereal that not many new bands will be able to match up to. We should never forgot the haunting sounds of this band, it's bands that make music like this that make life so much more worth living.
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on 13 January 2002
Not as much ambient electronics as in other In the Woods records, but still a very experimental release. It mixes up morose violins with harsh (slightly Black Metal) guitars and bizarre keyboard andd synth tracks. At times sounding much more Goth than metal (the first track being a little Sisters of Mercy in style). The male vocals vary from Bauhaus-style weepiness to Black Metal operatics. The female vocals on th eother hand are strained and histrionic, at times sounding like a Gothic 'Kick-Inside' era Kate Bush.
Despite the atmosphere of melancholy and menance, this record is strangely relaxing, to be listened to when one is in a peaceful but complex mood.
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on 8 February 2002
A hauntingly beautiful, powerful release. In the Woods are one of those very few Metal bands which possess an artistic quality that transcends the barriers of the genre.
The mood of this album is at once one of despair and of hope, both a lament and a celebration of joy. The vocals are flawless, clean and emotional, as beautiful as the abstract and enigmatic lyrics. The guitars are at times crushingly heavy and psychadelically erratic, often progressive and building up into unbearably intense emotional melodies.
Pure sonic ecstasy.
Many ITW fans consider this to be a their weakest album, which I totally disagree. It is certainly not as epic as the mighty Omnio, but that is not bad in itself. This has some of the most striking and inspired melodies of all time.
This album is (like any In the Woods release) a must have for anyone seriously into music. Have no doubts, buy this! A timeless masterpiece.
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on 1 December 2005
One day, a hundred years from now, someone will invent the words to describe this album. Until then, just listen.
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