In Vain


Album Type:
Release Date:
26th January 2018
Record Label:
Indie Recordings
Total Tracks:

My Northern neighbors from Norway will probably always be associated with the black metal genre and the creation of some of the most influential bands in extreme metal ever to walk on our precious world. With In Vain the viking-haunted land in the cold North will now also be put on the landmark for training some of the best progressive death metal warriors to walk our earth today. My colleague Reinier wrote a review of their album Ænigma, which came out in 2013. The band really had improved, but never really got the breakthrough on the metal scene and my attention they rightly so deserved. This sets the tone for their latest accomplishment Currents, which is claimed to be their strongest work to date.

The present world is characterized by continental flows of people, traditions and cultures. Migration of people across continents and borders. Cultures merging. Dramatic shifts in lifestyle from one generation to the next. These are all currents – movements that distort old patterns, create tensions as well as new opportunities. These enduring shifts are some of the topics that IN VAIN addresses on “Currents” /In Vain

With four albums, this includes their latest and greatest CURRENTS, in their bag, several line-up changes and more than 10 years after the release of their debut, this band has had all the time in the world to develop themselves over the years, and fine-tune their arsenal of weapons in their disposal. I actually have a sweet spot for Ænigma, swimming against the mainstream metal-head I assume, but it really had some interesting ideas going on, and with Currents they manage to develop their signature sound even further with less metal, more violins and melody and the occasional saxophone.

Since the release of Ænigma we have been unknotting threads, followed traces, found disparities and drawn new parallels. In search of both lyrical and spiritual inspiration for Currents we embarked on a journey that took us across several continents. We have put the utmost of our hearts, souls and minds into Currents and we are sincerely grateful to everyone involved in this massive musical undertaking. /Songwriter Johnar Håland

It’s still the original lineup of Ænigma consisting of vocalists Andreas Frigstad and Sindre Nedland, Kjetil Domaas Petersen on guitar, Johnar Håland on guitars and synth pads, and last but not least bassist Alexander Bøe. This time around though the fierce metal machine has been upgraded with an helping hand of the talented guests counting Trivium front-man Matthew Kiichi Heafy, drummer Baard Kolstad of Leprous and Kristian Wikstøl, most of the faces should be well-known to the majority of the metal community.

Through all the experimentation, In Vain has always had a solid foundation in aggression and melody, and Currents sees these two extremes united in a way that feels unforced, and pretty damn authoritative at the same time. It has been a long and hard process, but the result is everything we hoped it would be: Catchy, intense and unusual. /Singer Sindre Nedland

Their latest creation comes in two different versions, normal and special edition. I’ve decided to review the longest journey of the two, which is the special edition, and would recommend you to skip the normal edition as well. I have listened to the normal edition first, and it failed grabbing my attention during it’s first spin. The order of the songs didn’t work for me, and also the missing bonus tracks was a big letdown, since they are some of the highlights of the album.

I’ll start out with praising the high quality production on this album. Once again we have an familiar face on board, and Jens Bogren did an impressive job with crafting an almost perfect sound for the band. It’s crystal clear and intense at the same time, and Mr. Bogren manages to grab your attention by delivering a rich, dynamic and a melancholy atmosphere throughout on this dark journey.

The highlights on the album includes the bonus tracks ‘And Quiet Flows The Scheldt’ and ‘Ghost Path’. Both tracks delivers some of the best melodies and doomy passages crafted by the band yet. Adding crunchy riffs with the amazing vocal duels between grim growling, screams and clean singing by Sindre and Andreas maintains the proper balance to these slower tracks.

The song ‘Soul Adventurer’ is a true hit, and it’s understandable it was selected as one of the first videos to be released of the album. It features the guest voice of Trivium front-man also known as Matthew Kiichi Heafy. Especially the chorus is beautifully arranged and mesmerizing with such awesome voices on board!

‘Blood We Shred’ may be considered as one of their best songs to date along with the slower ‘And Quiet Flows The Scheldt’. I love the diversity and contrast of the fast paced and heavy riffs, combined with the extreme vocals and the darker slower moments showcased within the song. It’s a masterful performance delivered by the musicians and truly demonstrates the high dynamics of this record.

In Vain is sitting between two chairs, the extreme and the melodic side, and will for sure divide the fans out there, I did enjoy it though..a lot. Whether you need something extreme, doomy or melancholy to keep you company during the dark and cold nights of winter, then this one will be one of your first choices.

So I was a little late to the party, but with Currents I’m definitely here now, and will stay around for a while. You should come and join me, it’s glorious. The 1st true masterpiece of the year!


Normal Edition
01. Seekers of the Truth (5:11)
02. Soul Adventurer (5:10)
03. Blood We Shed (6:00)
04. En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) (6:27)
05. Origin (5:45)
06. As The Black Horde Storms (6:36)
07. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths (7:20)

Special Edition
01. Seekers of the Truth (5:11)
02. Soul Adventurer (5:10)
03. Blood We Shed (6:00)
04. And Quiet Flows the Scheldt
05. Origin
06. En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) (6:27)
07. Ghost Path
08. As The Black Horde Storms (6:36)
09. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths (7:20)

Playing Time: 42:30

Johnar Håland – Guitars, synth pads, bgv
Sindre Nedland – Lead vocals and clean vocals
Alexander Bøe – Bass
Kjetil Domaas Petersen – Solo guitar
Andreas Frigstad – Vocals

Guest musicians:
Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar) – Drums
Kristian Wikstøl (From Strength to Strength) – Hardcore vocals
Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium)– Vocals
Matthew Kiichi Heafy appears courtesy of Roadrunner Records
Simen Høgdal Pedersen – Vocals
Audun Barsten Johnsen - B3 Hammond and church organ
Magnhild Skomedal Torvanger – Violin and viola
Ingeborg Skomedal Torvanger – Cello
Line Falkenberg – Saxophone
Additional orchestration by MIDAS Productions - Music creation and production

Tommy Sonne Skøtt
About Tommy Sonne Skøtt 1877 Articles
I began my writing career in the year of 2012 due to my love for the metal community, and have since moved onto a second role as the Tech-Wiz of PoM - taking good care of our website. My favourite music genres are Progressive Metal in all its different shapes and Melodic Death Metal.

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