Review Summary: Past and current members from Tad Morose and Morgana Lefay join forces in a great first attempt to exorcise the inactivity of their default outfits.
In the field of clinical psychology, “invisible wounds” holds as the default terminology for a rather broad spectrum of mental, emotional and neurological disorders. The latter may be caused by the occurrence of unfortunate or horrendous events, such as the passing of family members or the unthinkable atrocities that take place during a war or a humanitarian crisis in times of “peace”. With regard to the obscure end of the Swedish heavy/power metal scene and with all analogies accounted for, two situations could definitely be characterized as “invisible wounds”, in terms of their impact upon scene aficionados.
The first is the prolonged inactivity of power/progsters Tad Morose, a really sad situation for those who rejoiced with their 2001 reunion and the three albums that followed, especially the magnum opus Modus Vivendi
, issued in 2003. The second is the rather unstable album output of power/thrash metal die-hards Morgana Lefay during the ‘00s. As both bands come from Bollnäs, Sweden, and given the infamous spontaneity of Swedish metal musicians in forming numerous projects in parallel with their default activities, it is really no surprise that past and current members of the aforementioned acts got to assemble a new project called Inmoria (more J.R.R. Tolkien, anyone?). Soon enough, the project began to operate as a full band and in 2009, the debut album Invisible Wounds
was released as a great first attempt for healing the invisible wounds (sic) caused by the anaemic record output of the two previously mentioned outfits.
As Inmoria are being comprised of past and present Tad Morose and Morgana Lefay musicians, Invisible Wounds
places itself in between the two mentioned outfits, albeit closer to Tad Morose and their last album Modus Vivendi
. In that light, Inmoria sound way heavier than the average “Central European” power metal band, firstly due to the sound production which is suitably adapted to the needs of an ominous, modern power/thrash metal band with a legitimate twist in terms of synth melodies. Christer Andersson’s guitars bare a crunchy and aggressive texture which perfectly complements his equally aggressive riffing. The tight rhythm section of Peter Morén (drums) and Tommi Karppanen (bass) balances greatly between the trademark power/doom ethics of their homeland (Candlemass, Morgana Lefay, Memory Garden etc.) and the more contemporary power/thrash patterns of Tad Morose in Modus Vivendi
, with the (abundant) double bass kick drums being coupled to the rhythm guitars quite often (“Fantasy”, “Misery”).
The twists of the album, though, lie in the keyboards of Danne Eriksson and the vocals of Charles Rytkönen. The former are really well balanced with respect to the rest of the instrumentation (with all analogies accounted for, the work of Kevin Moore in Dream Theater’s Awake
comes in mind). “Goth” and/or prog metal textures shift from the rear to the forefront and back (“Come Insanity”, “Alone”), whereas some awesome industrial/electronica snaps are strategically placed in certain songs (“Alone”, “Misery”). With their turn, Rytkönen’s vocals feel like the Swedish answer to those from Jon Oliva (Savatage). Aligned with the really bleak content of the lyrics, they considerably amplify the dark tone of the album, while his multi-voiced choruses on the first half of it, file under his best work yet.
Having said the above, the album's first half is more powerful for various reasons. With respect to Rytkönen’s vocals, although they are consistent from start to finish, the same does not apply for the choruses, especially in view of the relevant work undertaken on the first half of the album. Furthermore, the excellent "extreme" metal character of the first half has been traded for more laid back and simplistic riffs and drum patterns, whereas the electronica/industrial elements don’t really add much in songs such as “I Close My Eyes” or “Will To Live”. Despite the previously mentioned shortcomings, the debut Inmoria album is a great stretch for the band’s crew, whereas the promises given herein make the anticipation of a second Inmoria album worthwhile.