IN VAIN – Ænigma
- by Matt Coe
- Posted on 08-03-2013
Norway’s In Vain return with their third album "Ænigma"- and this sextet perform a diverse form of extreme metal with leanings to doom and progressive tendencies. They appear unafraid to inject free floating saxophone use during the 9:30 "Floating on the Murmuring Tide" and employ dual clean/ gruff death/black metal vocals through these 9 songs. "Image of Time" is a standout to my ears, the main riff embedded in my brain with this circular Paradise Lost meets Edge of Sanity / Borknagar edge to it while the accompanying multi-layered male/female vocal approach conjures up contrasting emotions.
"Ænigma" has broad appeal for those into the extreme metal scene: the band prefer to mix dark sounds with organs against school lead breaks for "Hymne til Havet", keeping the listener on their toes for shifting riffs and arrangements, and then crushing your soul with a Candlemass meets black metal trilling passage throughout "Culmination of the Enigma"- once again made all the more thrilling with special acoustic/ saxophone spices for dynamic push. For my first experience with the band, In Vain has an engaging, exploratory style that didn’t diminish as the 58 minutes pass from beginning to end.