The World, The Flesh, The Devil (Metal Blade)
By Mike Delano
Some bands hate it when writers make references to other bands when describing their sound, but listen: We music reviewers are a lazy lot and we just don’t have the brainpower or desire to come up with fancy new words and phrases for every new guitar strum or cymbal crash that reverberates across planet Earth. When I say that Sweden’s In Solitude sound like King Diamond singing over some galloping Maiden-style metal, that clicks with a lot more readers than some high falutin’ clusterfuck from the depths of a thesaurus. Plus, if you’re one of the (poor, unenlightened) souls who never liked the more extreme highs of King’s voice or his theatrical lyrics or phrasing, singer Henrik Helenius’ more straightforward take on the art of extended wailing will be right up your alley, and potentially less embarrassing to play for your non-metalhead friends. The World, The Flesh, The Devil is a great record, and you even get that “early adopter” bonus for listening now: This is the sound of a band that’s lean and hungry, making their mark with perfectly formed burners like “Serpents Are Rising,” but they clearly have greater ambitions and a thirst for experimentation. The places they go could be grand indeed, but chances are your future self will still be complaining in five years that “I liked their older stuff better,” so might as well listen to that old stuff now, while it’s new.