Norway has always been the most fertile of lands for experimental and avant-garde metal. During the last three decades fabulous visionaries have pushed beyond boundaries time and time again, propagating the ever-healthy metal underground and its myriad sub-genres. The most prestigious and mythical of all are the legendary In The Woods, the originators of truly progressive dark metal. Now, 21 years after their singular, beyond-classic debut Heart Of The Ages and 17 protracted years after last full-length Strange In Stereo, a re-imagined and revitalized In The Woods deliver Pure - a stunningly focused new record – a distillation of everything that makes them one of the greats.
The prolonged absence has led to a propulsive reinvigoration, a renewed directness and melodic refinement, a set of addictive songs grounded in the same strain of epic, atmospheric and psychedelic blackened prog-doom the band mined for their 1997 masterpiece Omnio – although this record is anything but a re-tread of old terrain. As always with ITW the exploratory nature of the music stems from the freedom of 70's progressive rock: the dreaminess of vintage Floyd and Camel, the skewed restlessness of prime Crimson, the perpetual questing of Gabriel-era Genesis and subtle Krautrock intimations.
The band have evolved, matured, the unit reveling in the pleasures of restraint. The mind-chaos of youth has transmogrified into the dark divinity of wisdom that only experience can bring - a welcome respite in times of ephemeral pleasures and hyperactive multiplicities. At its core Pure is a collection of huge-sounding, all-enveloping cosmic tales - a super massive record fusing epic dark metal with hook-ridden doom-tinged modernism, the mind's eye trained far beyond the archaic firmament deep into worlds unknown.