Fourteen years have passed, since IN THE WOODS disbanded, at the peak of their career. The band from Norway, have been reunited since 2014, with James Fogarty on vocals this time. Their first release since reunion, ‘Pure’, is a record with which they aim to come back at surface and own what they have conquered in the past, once more. And they succeeded.
Having releases like ‘Omnio’ in your portfolio, it is rather challenging to create anything unique and progressive after years of disappearance. However, the band worked hard and ‘Pure’ managed to be the release we all wanted to listen from every recently reunited band. With devotion, IN THE WOODS created powerful doom metal songs, ambient and sharp, whenever needed. The band put effort to sound slightly as they used to sound back in the 90s, embracing a warm sound, dark and focused on the guitars. The guitar riffs in ‘Pure’ are too many to count, bonding the songs together and creating the background for James Fogarty to sing upon with his melodic voice.
As true Scandinavians, the influences of the modern doom metal scene can be spotted on ‘Pure’, with the clean tone break-downs and the harmonic riffs, all over the album. In addition, the band added double-pedal drumming and chaotic, heavy guitar riffs to bond the songs together. ‘Cult of the Shining Stars’, ‘Pure’ and ‘Towards the Black Surreal’, all have something in common, they are multi-dimensional songs, switching from ambient riffs to heavy metal quite easily, as a physical continuation of each other.
The band is not getting too experimental, because times have actually changed. “Sticking with what you know best and prepare well your ideas” motive has helped IN THE WOODS release a great record. The lyrics reflect the esotericism of ‘Pure’, along with the artwork on the front cover. In ‘Transmission Krs’ this esotericism is easily spotted, it feels like listening into the doom-metal PINK FLOYD, a darker ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’, without the synths and the retro vocals.
Closing this review, it is highly recommended for fans of all metal genres to find time and associate with ‘Pure’. It is a revealing record, enshadowed, pure and intriguing. IN THE WOODS totally managed to bring themselves into the spotlight again.
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