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In Oblivion : Memories Engraved In Stone

Texan Funeral Doom band In Oblivion present an interesting, if slightly flawed, debut.

'Memories Engraved In Stone' is the first full-length release of American Funeral Doom band In Oblivion and it's also the first time I've heard them play too. I didn't really have any idea of what to expect other than that it'd be a Funeral Doom release, which did indeed prove to partially be the case.

My initial impression of the start of the album was that although the band didn't do much wrong, I didn't feel like they made themselves stand out at all. I appreciate that that can be a tricky thing for a Funeral Doom band to do because it's a pretty restrictive sub-genre to begin with. I just thought that they played it a little safe, to be blunt, and I was beginning to get a little exasperated. However, my impatience proved to be the only main fault as In Oblivion eased into their groove as the album progressed, changing their style and generating a more memorable atmosphere.

As it happens, In Oblivion did a very mature job of alternating their style and keeping their sound fresh. Vocally, the lead switches through a range from brutally guttural Death Metal to less-harsh melodic Death/Doom-style growls, with occasional blackened backing vocals. Synths are introduced as the album progresses, and the style varies between Funeral Doom and the odd surge of Death Metal. Indeed, I couldn't state that In Oblivion are solely a Funeral Doom band, especially not when the band they remind me of the most is Mourning Beloveth. I'd be more tempted to describe them as a hybrid of both Funeral Doom and Death/Doom with a stronger leaning toward the latter than the former. Even their Funeral Doom is a touch faster than most.

Still, that doesn't prevent the band from generating interesting atmospheres. Whether shepherded by guitars or steered by synths, In Oblivion keep things punchy and powerful. Their vocals are very good and although their songs sometimes feel a bit too long, I did enjoy the journey that they took the listener on. At times they reminded me of both Mourning Beloveth and The Prophecy but In Oblivion aren't a copycat band, which is good.

At the end of the album, I felt pleased to have encountered this release. It's not the best album I've ever heard but it's a long way from being the worst. I did find the mix a bit annoying at times because the vocals are too prominent but it was mostly executed well. The music kept my attention well and was generally performed in a manner that I liked. Again, you could make the argument that some of the songs are a touch too long but it wasn't detrimental enough to put me off. The less-harsh vocals sometimes felt like the band were trying to copy My Dying Bride too much without possessing the emotive qualities of Aaron Stainthorpe so that was a bit annoying too. Still, I'm curious to see what the next step for this band is because this was an interesting debut to build upon despite the odd flaw. They've clearly got some ability, In Oblivion, so let's see if they can take it to the next level to truly make a name for themselves.

Overall, I liked the release. It's definitely worth a listen. I doubt anyone will fall in love with it but I'd be surprised if anybody hated it either.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Wreathed In Gloom
2. An Eve In Mourning
3. Memories Engraved In Stone
4. In Perfect Misery

Duration : Approx. 67 minutes

Visit the In Oblivion bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-12-02 by Ian Morrissey
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