In Vain
Currents


3.5
great

Review

by Madbutcher3 USER (89 Reviews)
January 30th, 2018 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Vain move away from the amazing consistency of Aenigma to a strong, ambitious, but fractured effort with 2018's Currents.

In Vain's 2012 effort, Aenigma, was an example of how to execute the progressive death metal style as securely and confidently as possible. Not particularly over-complicated or tricky, it managed to succeed due to strong songwriting fundamentals and some great orchestration, with a powerful wall of melodic vocals and harmonized guitars dominating the picture. Currents moves in a direction which is a little more complicated in places, and simpler in others, and as a result manages to occasionally hit upon greatness amidst some fairly average tracks.

Fans probably weren't particularly enthused by the singles shown off prior to release. Seekers of the Truth, which opens here, had some good ideas, but suffered from awkward transitions and some misguided instrumental arrangements. Soul Adventurers proved a much smoother overall experience, but still wasn't quite as good as the tracks from the previous album. Thankfully, whilst these two start the album off in a fairly lackluster fashion, the best comes in the middle and end of the effort.

Blood We Shed is easily the most meatheaded track on the album and indicates that the band is more willing to experiment with some of the more straightforward death metal elements, such as those of Times of Yore on the previous album. It's a welcome addition to this lineup of tracks and unlike Seekers of the Truth, manages to balance its uplifting melodies with the chunky rhythm playing a lot more skillfully, with some tighter transitions and songwriting generally. Whilst En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) suffers from some self-plagiarism, its overall atmosphere is far more haunting thanks to some well implemented organ parts and a suitable, consistent mid pace. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths comes from the same overall template, with some great melodies and atmosphere giving it a more poignant, sorrowful mood than anything on Aenigma; this could well be one of their crowning achievements to date, and is easily the best track here. It even manages to get away with a clean break with a saxophone/blues guitar duet, and it all makes sufficient sense to feel like a natural change of pace.

Further following the theme of heightened variation on this album are Origin and As the Black Horde Storms, neither of which sound like something the band could have come up with previously. The latter is perhaps a bit easier to define, given its very clear black metal influence, utilizing a mixture of furious blast beats and screaming chords, with a bit more emphasis on melody a la Krallice; the style works well for them, as In Vain's layered harmonies and vocals suit the blackened death metal format pretty perfectly. Origin is probably the closest the "good" tracks on this album get to Aenigma, but it still feels more heavily influenced by more traditional prog efforts than normal, thanks to some organ parts creeping in and a slightly higher emphasis on an ethereal sound. It's overall the most deservedly catchy song on the album, managing to bring out its hooks far more naturally and logically than the two singles.

Currents in many ways is the logical stepping stone, given In Vain have demonstrated before their ability to perform the more blueprint style progressive melodeath sound on their last effort. Currents diversifies and most often succeeds for it, but slightly falls behind on some of the more standard tracks due to a lack of the same fundamentals in songwriting as before. Nevertheless, Currents's high peaks help to make it an early progressive metal highlight this year.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 30th 2018


17623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

I've only heard the first song, so far. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grab me like the opener of their previous release.

Madbutcher3
January 30th 2018


2303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeh it's definitely the weakest track here. The later tracks are all quite a lot better

bloc
January 30th 2018


54725 Comments


Forgot this was coming out, will have to check

Digging: Way Out West - Intensify

Grimsjel
January 30th 2018


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Good and well written review! But did you also check the two bonus tracks? They are longer and more like the tracks on Aenigma, and actually some of the best on the entire album. The special editon version is the real album, not the normal version.



Madbutcher3
January 30th 2018


2303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't checked the bonus tracks, because I'm going off the Spotify stream of it. I'll check them out if I get a chance

Dedes
January 30th 2018


6317 Comments


I'm fucking stoked, Aenigma is such a masterpiece. If this is even half as good it's gonna rock.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2018


9384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is pretty decent

Edit: great review. Pos’d

Daedus
January 31st 2018


194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That Matt Heafy feature is fucking painful. Either the lyrics have gotten worse or I can just understand more of them.



Times of Yore was fun, though.

TheNotrap
January 31st 2018


9864 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rocks. One of the catchiest bands around.

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara

ProjectFreak
February 1st 2018


3447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was okay on first listen, I probably owe it a few more

Grimsjel
February 1st 2018


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Guys: You need to check the special version, which has 15 min more music and is the REAL album. You are basing your comments and reviews on the short version which is about 44 min or so I guess.. The bonus tracks are in my opinion some of the strongest tracks In Vain has ever released and it gives an entirely different balance of the album.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2018


9384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If it was the “real” version they wouldn’t be called bonus tracks?



Insurrection
February 2nd 2018


24717 Comments


great review. still gotta check this one out

Digging: Dark Tranquillity - Fiction

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2018


9384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How’d you go mate?

Grimsjel
February 3rd 2018


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I actually asked the band on FB before I ordered my copy. They told me that the special version is the real album and how an In Vain album has always been: about one hour of music. And that version was meant for long-time fans who wants as much music as possible.

The normal version was intended for reviewers, magazines, media, etc. because in the past they got the impression that many reviewers really did not have the time to properly listen to and review albums that are that long. In addition, the normal version was targeted towards the "modern music consumer", who streams music and listen track by track, etc.

The really doubt the two extra songs are excluded from the normal version because they are not good enough. Quite frankly I believe they are some of the best on the entire record! Perhaps misleading to call them bonus tracks. I guess it was just a way to get more people to buy the limited edition.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2018


9384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The normal version was intended for reviewers, magazines, media, etc. because in the past they got the impression that many reviewers really did not have the time to properly listen to and review albums that are that long. In addition, the normal version was targeted towards the "modern music consumer", who streams music and listen track by track, etc.




What a load of tiddly wank. Reviewers will review the original work in its completion. Could you imagine if they shut The Godfather down early because people are ‘impatient’?

ProjectFreak
February 3rd 2018


3447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"because in the past they got the impression that many reviewers really did not have the time to properly listen to and review albums that are that long. "



Uh, what world do you live in where long albums don't get reviews?

Grimsjel
February 3rd 2018


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I guess the point is that the industry is changing and there are not so many paid reviewers left in the business anymore. Reviewers need to review many CDs each month and I guess time can be a limiting factor sometimes.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2018


9384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This comment thread has been hijacked already so we might as well keep going with this...



I guess the point is that the industry is changing and there are not so many paid reviewers left in the business anymore. Reviewers need to review many CDs each month and I guess time can be a limiting factor sometimes.




Might want to stop guessing... or pick a site not already full of unpaid reviewers.

It’s true that the industry is changing but PR and critical analysis has pretty much run the same course over the last few decades. One main change is internet, allowing greater reach and accessibility from both faces of the coin.

Basically the assumption that reviewers don’t want to review is not doing your argument any favours.

Grimsjel
February 3rd 2018


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ok I agree with you. Anyway, my point was that I recommend you to check out the special edition with those extra 15 mins of two more songs. They are really long songs and more in the "old In Vain style", gives a better balance to the album in my opinion.



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