Posted by Nick Skog on Sunday, February 16, 2014 Under: Album Reviews
From: Black Phoenix Rising Forums
Published: February 15, 2014
Delicate Poison' is the second album from Italian band In My Shiver, an album that manages to combine familiar sounds and influences with an unusual approach to presenting them. It's a relatively accessible album for the most part, while there's plenty of black metal elements in here they're not overwhelming and it incorporates melodic and depressive rock as well. If you can imagine a sound that ranges from early to mid era Katatonia up to bands like Agalloch while covering many points in between you'll be close to the mark. I say it's *relatively* accessible though, I'd expect most of In My Shiver's target audience will feel at home with the sound initially but the way the different elements come together though, whether it be the interplay between different instruments and vocals in places or the way songs shift styles at certain points means it never becomes too comfortable or safe, and I'd expect that's exactly as the band wants it.
Initially it's a slightly unsettling listen, staying close to conventional styles but never quite adopting them, however musically this is pretty good stuff. It's got a clean sound with a fairly warm guitar tone for a good portion of the album, offset by harsher elements that provide good contrast and on the whole In My Shiver create a melancholic atmosphere that ranges from quiet reflection to claustrophobia and crushing despair. The musicianship is extremely effective, it's not a style of music where musicians need to be showing off their skills anyway but the three members of the band are more than competent and do what needs to be done to evoke the feelings and the aura they're striving for here. The guitars lay down some great melancholic riffs with excellent melodies throughout, the bass adds a good deal of depth to the sound and is very clear and audible, accompanying the music really well. Vocally we a see a variety of styles, a mixture of harsh shrieks and clean vocal parts, the clean vocals often have a discordant and jaded sound which might be a bit off putting to some but it actually works well with the feel of the album I think.
Delicate Poison consists of six songs, all fairly long though and each one is good in its own right, each has its own great qualities and throws in different elements and changes throughout. Highlights of the album include 'False', showcasing some excellent dynamics and interaction between the different instruments and is an epic song that provides a very complete example of what In My Shiver bring to the table. I'd also say the third track 'Liquid Hour' which has some great melodies on offer and great contrasts between the more melodic and the harsher black metal elements. There's no bad songs on here though, I could say good things about any of them and while there was the odd moment on one or two tracks that I felt missed the mark the majority of the time it all works pretty well. Overall the music is rich in sound and the emotions it conveys come across really well, I'd say it's an album that would be best appreciated with multiple listens though, the first one it's enjoyable and you'll get the gist but it'll take a second or more to really appreciate what In My Shiver are doing.
Summing up then, In My Shiver have presented us with another example of how a band can take their influences, bring them all together, add elements of their own and come up with something that's pretty damn good in its own right. It's an album you'll either love or hate I'm guessing, people wanting straight up orthodox black metal, or conversely like their depressive metal served neat without any overly harsh elements may find this album doesn't sit well with them. Delicate Poison does touch on mostly familiar reference points admittedly but it walks a fine line between them, taking paths from one to another and combining them in ways you wouldn't expect. It makes the album more demanding by doing so but also creating a unique style that offers something that you wouldn't expect to come from the ingredients that have been put in. On the whole Delicate Poison brings a different take on some popular styles and is something I'd recommend to anybody who has any sort of liking for black metal, shoegaze or depressive rock. If that's your bag then this is a pretty easy album to like so long as you have an open mind and are happy to accept bands on their own terms rather than your own expectations, but of course doesn't most of the best music demand the same thing? A really good effort anyway, definitely recommended and I look forward to seeing what In My Shiver do next.
Reviewed by: Demoniac
In : Album Reviews
Tags: in my shiver delicate poison black metal blackgaze post-rock depressive rock katatonia ulver solefald