Dark, dreamy and Pure, the new album from Norway’s avant garde pioneers In The Woods… offers consolation for the many years they’ve been mute but in their temerity to redevelop the AGM flagship they’ve brought much nostalgia back for a time when exploring, what we would now call, musical tropes was fresh.
Featuring a newer but not so new line-up the band is now comprised of original members X. Botter, C:M Botteri and Anders Koboro while Mr. Fog (The Bombs of Enduring Freedom, Ewigkeit) takes up the sultry vocals and new comer Kåre “Corey” Sletteberg joins in on guitar.
Bands like Borknagar and later Arcturus were heavily inspired by the musings of In The Woods… and with Pure they hear that and give their Norwegian peers the thumbs up in return. Although silent since 2000 In The Woods… have developed in comparison to their younger contempories to manage a sound that’s both well endowed and conscientious in the way it’s delivered.
Pure is a distillate of the prior works with In The Woods… fully comfortable as an institution of black metal induced prog. Fully embracing their love of the genre with a twisted grip that lands on the edge between the two styles their entrancing compositions sit well in either trope. The riffs aren’t as fresh as they would’ve been back in the late nineties but there’s enough play here to take you back to times before the light.
They might not be as innovative as they once were but their might didn’t just lay in their sonal experiments. As that instrumental stage is over In The Woods… have found what works for them, and for us, where Pure is and was the harbinger of gothic psychedelica.
Bring it on though, from the start Pure is as captivating as an overzealous police offer. Arresting the heart and soul of the forest in a manner that will leave you bereft of thought. Thankfully I had the album on repeat as the run-time of seventy minutes doesn’t seem like a worthy sentence for this epic. I’m patiently and eagerly awaiting CD2.