Released: Sep 7, 2009
Genre: Alternative Rock / Progressive Rock / Alternative Metal
Label: Graphite Records / Northern Music
Number Of Tracks: 12
On the whole, InMe's radical change and musical evolution has paid off well, to an extent.
UG Team, on september 07, 2009 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Before this album, I'd heard but one or two of InMe's songs. From what I've heard/remember, InMe's sound was generally focussed around grunge/punk, yet this album seems to see the band grow more around the metal genre. This rather large change in the band's music is largely down to the addition of a second guitarist. McPherson once stated that InMe had always wanted a second guitarist in the band, though the right person had never come along. With the inclusion of this second guitarist (Ben Konstantinovic), InMe open up to many new techniques that they may not have been able to experiment with fully on their previous 3 albums. Examples of these new techniques include harmony lead-guitar parts, which feature on songs like "Happy to Disappoint You".
Elements of the metal style, other than these fast solos, occupy most of album. They're heavily present in "Belief Revival" (which features a great tapping solo), "Nova Armada" and "Master Storm" (both of which couldn't be more metal). As well as metal, the band turn their attention to prog/experimental in areas of the album, with odd keyboard intros to various songs (one of those songs is the incredibly catchy "Captian Killjoy".
The band also keep their older sound on some tracks too, like the song "Ferocity in Desire", which I find uses some of the bands older techniques (like those of ska, grunge etc.) as well as impressive lead lines playing in the background here and there. The single, "Single of the Weak" also keeps alot of the original tases. I also find that they attempt at cleaner acoustic songs on 'Herald Moth', with "All Terrain Vehicle" and "I Will Honour You", both of which display great playing all-round (and both feature string sections); I'm guessing that McPherson picked this style of playing up more on his solo acoustic gigs.
One thing I found though is that, even with this wide range of techniques at InMe's disposal, some areas of some songs are sounding very similair. The last two songs ("A Mouthful of Broken Teeth" and "Master Storm") have simliar points, especially when considering the chord progressions around the beginning of the songs. // 7
Lyrics: The thing about InMe that I don't see changing is the vocals, which is a great point. McPherson's phenominal vocals feel as though they reach a personal best with this release. Dave maintains that signature tone and combines it with some of the most catchy melodies and lyrics that I've heard in a while. It would be pointless to go through the songs that stand out as catchy, as the chorus in pretty much every song is catchy in its own way. The lyrics in most of the songs really show that McPherson has put alot of heart into writing them ("All Terrain Vehicle") as well as making them incredibly catchy ("Belief Revival"); managing to do both of these is an incredible feat and should be applauded. // 8
Overall Impression: On the whole, InMe's radical change and musical evolution has paid off well, to an extent. I'm sure that they'll end up either making alot more fans, or end up losing alot of what they've already got.. Or both. Either way, their diversity and persistance should see them reach new heights. Ska; Prog; Punk; Grunge; Metal.. I doubt a band of this area could be much more diverse, but I'm sure we'd see in up-coming years.
Is it worth getting? Well, fans should definately get it and see if it fits their tastes. And people who like the sound of all those styles listed (but combined..!), then give it a go. If you're still iffy, check out the band's myspace; a few of the songs are on there. One song that isn't is the single "Single of the Weak" - once you hear this on Scuzz or wherever, you'll get a.. lighter idea of what the album's like. // 7
Horizons18, on october 06, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is the 4th album from InMe, and the first to feature a 2nd guitarist, Ben Konstantinovic, who was to depart after the album. The inclusion of the 2nd guitarist creates a much more riff based approach to song writing, with intricate lead work and solos laced throughout the album, usually characteristic of the metal genre. Despite this, they retain what they have already become known for - great melodic hooks, passionate vocals and memorable choruses. You just feel now there is more of a darker edge to the sound.
The first thing that strikes you about Herald Moth, is the top notch production, especially considering the album was self produced by the band. The rhythm guitars have high end clarity, but also enough low end punch, without sounding overcompressed like most modern bands. This suitably complements the bands attempts at using fuller chord sounds, rather than just basic power chords. This allows the bass to stand out in it's own right. The lead guitar has a great presence, and you are introduced to this in the solo to the opening track "You Won't Hear From Me Again" which is a very tasteful affair overall, especially if you are new to the band.
The fantastic start to the album continues with "Belief Revival" with Greg McPhersons driving slap bass in the verse and powerful chorus.
Another new inclusion are the synths, keyboards and strings which now layer the sound, allowing the band to make ordinary songs feel much bigger, without the focus being taken away from the other elements of the album. Unique synths sounds are used most notably on the outro to the riff heavy "Nova Armada" and in the intro to the dark "A Mouthful of Loose Teeth" They help the album flow as a whole, due to the mini interludes they provide in and at the end of songs. It's nothing that other bands haven't done before, but it integrates into the bands sound seamlessy while retaining the rawness overall.
The only time the other instruments do take the reins is on "All Terrain Vehicle" where the band take things down a notch or two. The acoustic guitar is merely a texture on this track, with the grand orchestral arrangment coming to the forefront, turning the song into one of my favourites on the album.
The lead work really shines again on "The Art of Moderation", with the surprisingly long tapped solo suiting the general aggression of this song. Unfortunately, either side of this song, I feel there a couple of more generic songs, where the structure begins to get predictible and boring and you feel they are repeating themselves. This is particuarly obvious in "Ferocity in Desire" where a good song is let down by a slightly out of place chuggy break section.
Although not the best song on the album, "Happy to Disappoint You" breaks this structural mould, opting for a more sedate chorus, compared to the verse, which contrasts well with the evil riff that follows. The solo is also more suitably sedate, gradually building up before it all breaks down again.
The final song is the epic "Master Storm" where the band ambitiously delve in a more progressive influenced song, with the technical intro channeling a sound similar to SiKth. The interesting chord progressions, simple yet effective lead work in the verse and cleverly arranged last 3rd of the song really give you the feeling a lot of effort went into this song. // 8
Lyrics: The thing that has always stood out with InMe's sound is the unique accented singing voice of Dave McPherson, which reminds me at times of Hundred Reasons. You may not like it, but won't be able to deny the character that it adds to the songs. He showcases his range throughout the album, with power, vulnerability and a warmth that makes him sound very accessible. The negative side of the vocal approach on this album, for me, are the aggressive vocals. Although not terrible, Dave's screams don't compare to bands who have utlisied the harsh vocal technique before, such as Alexisonfire. Thankfully, he doesn't do this too much, and it only drags the odd song down slightly.
In keeping with the music, the lyrics are also darker, while disguised behind cheerful vocal melodies, particularly on "The Art Of Moderation" with very direct lines like 'Pucker up and suck on a shotgun' Generally he takes a very honest approach to lyrics, such as "All Terrain Vehicle" and "You Wont Hear From Me Again", but often hidden in metaphorical symbolism and dual meanings. Sometimes this can alienate the listener, as it feels as if the lyrics are trying to confuse you, but they will definitely draw you in if you let them.
The biting irony of "Single of the Weak" you will either love or hate, with their amusing commentary on what's played on the radio these days over an almost painfully catchy song. "Master Storm" is a song based around a journey in the sea through a storm, which is a topic that everyone seems to be fascinated by these days, but by no means are they weak lyrics. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, the album showcases the bands ability to arrange heavy riffs with huge choruses, without it ever feeling cheesy or contrived. Stand out tracks are scattered throughout the album, and although it stutters slightly, it picks itself back up again for a great finale. At times, it frustrates you with some predictible songs, where some ideas feel like they are repeated and similar ground is covered again.
While the inclusion of the 2nd guitarist definitely expanded the sound of the band, it also encouraged more obvious arrangement choices, such as a solo in the bridge, where before, the song may have ventured down a different route. This makes a few solos not stand out, which takes away from their overall quality.
Funnily enough, arguably the best song on the album, "Master Storm" doesn't feature an outright solo, as there are vocals over the top of it. The band already have somewhat of a cult following, and definitely deserve more recognition judging by this strong album. // 7
Hammerzeit, on september 17, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: InMe have had a tough time in recent years. Since their debut album they have struggled for recognition and following the disappointing sales of their last album Daydream Anonymous (which is mystifying since it received great critical acclaim) they almost dropped off the radar completely. However instead of doing this InMe regrouped, added second guitarist Ben Konstantinovic and began writing for their 4th opus "Herald Moth".
I don't know what happened in this time, but InMe are now a different beast. The simplistic song structures that came with the Nirvana-esque nu grunge sound are completely gone. Herald Moth comes in all guns blazing with it's metallic chugging, mesmerising fretwork and soaring vocals from Dave McPherson all representing a massive improvement on their sound. Imagine a heavier Daydream Anonymous but improved in all areas or Meshuggah with Bon Jovi esque vocal melodies and tapping to the max. That's pretty much Herald Moth in a Nutshell.
The album starts with the upbeat and catchy opener "You Won't Hear From Me Again" which grabs you with excellent verses powered by sliding and bending basslines and a catchy chorus. It's not all about poppy hooks though; the mid section includes heavy riffing followed by 2 guitar solos including both a soaring harmony section and a melodic classic rockish solo from Ben Konstantinovic. Belief Revival is more of the same. The chorus is up there with the catchiest on the album; Greg McPhersons slap bass powers the verses on to heights never reached before by this band and the tapping solo in the mid section showcases Ben Konstantinovic's skills. Overall the opening tracks are brilliant but are just a mere taste of what is to come.
Track 3 "Nova Armada" is where things really kick off though. Sweeping electronica leads to a stabbing riff, heavy chugging verses and sublime bass tapping which is followed in true InMe style by a soaring chorus. The lead guitar work shines here again with Konstantinovic's furious fretwork once again to the fore in both verses and in a short solo. This is a true highlight of the album and showcases the new InMe sound perfectly. Track 4 "All Terrain Vehicle" allows the listener to come up for air with strings and piano adding to the drama and emotion of the song and taking it beyond where it would be with just a single acoustic guitar.
The middle of this album sees the material that most resembles old school InMe. The riffing in Tracks like "Captain Killjoy" and "Ferocity in Desire" retain the grungey bounce of the Overgrown Eden days but with a more modern edge derived from the sound InMe created on their Daydream Anonymous album. Although they sound closest to older InMe out of the 12 tracks they still fit in with the modern sound with the former containing a lengthy guitar solo which is a nice touch and the latter containing a heavy breakdown in the middle. Sandwiched between these two is "The Art of Moderation" which is a full on metal monster complete with shredding solo, superb double bass drumming from Simon Taylor and chugging riffery blended with catchy lyrics and a huge final chorus. "Single of the Weak" blends a sarcastic poppy verse and lyrics with THE catchiest chorus on the album and evens find room for a solo backed by complex polyrhythms. Although it can be argued that owing to the difference in theme (this track is nowhere near as dark or evil as the other 11 tracks) it is nonetheless a fun song and a superb dig at a shoddy modern day music industry which has chewed up and spat out InMe several times.
The last 4 tracks on this album see InMe produce their 3 heaviest songs to date as well as their most heartfelt. "I Will Honour You" is a touching ballad dedicated to Dave and Greg McPherson's Grandfather and is enhanced like All Terrain Vehicle before it with grandiose strings to give it a more epic feel. Sandwiching this ballad though are the 3 heaviest and complex tunes on the Album. "Happy to Disappoint You" is crammed full of crazy riffing, Converge-esque growls, superb bass tapping and melodic guitar work including another lengthy harmony solo. It is however probably one of the weaker songs vocally on the album with the chorus not up to the standard of the other songs. "A Mouthful of Loose Teeth" starts with a blast of tapping from both axeslingers as well as the bass player before switching into verses punctuated with odd time signatures, then moving again into a catchy chorus. It's worth noting that this song contains by far the best solo on the album, which has a real classic rock feel to it. The first 30 seconds of Herald Moth's final track "Master Storm" is easily the most technical thing InMe have ever attempted. It wouldn't sound out of place on a Protest the Hero album and it's probably more technical than most of what they do. This gives way into driving verses and eventually after about 2 minutes a massive chorus that will stick in your head like glue. It is possibly one of the best songs InMe have ever done and with it's beautiful melodic outro it's a perfect end to the album. // 10
Lyrics: Dave McPherson is a very underrated vocalist and has a voice as good as anyone in the modern rock scene today. He switches from feral roar to soaring falsetto with consumate ease that just shouldn't be possible. On most of the songs he provides excellent vocal melodies combined with superb lyrics. Lyrical high points include "You Won't Hear From Me Again" and the heartfelt "I Will Honour You".
The Lyrical Themes are (with the exception of Single of the Weak) much darker than on any previous InMe release and this contributes to the heavier and sometimes evil sound of the album. Most of the Lyrics deal with real life hardships (The death of his Grandfather in "I Will Honour you" and relationship difficulties in "You Won't Hear From Me Again"). On the whole these compliment the music well and most of the melodies are outstanding. There are some moments on the album that could be better in this area though, one of which being "Happy to Disappoint You" which lacks a truly catchy vocal line and "All Terrain Vehicle" which is lyrically weaker compared to the other tracks, relying on a single metaphor which stands out as Dave employs several on the album's other tracks. On the whole Dave has made a good effort here and his vocal delivery remains one of the best of his generation in his genre. // 9
Overall Impression: To sum up, InMe have taken another giant leap here. The progression from their first album is mindblowing and the improvement in the musicianship in all departments is terrifying even when compared to Daydream Anonymous. Particularly noticeable are the much improved basslines from Greg McPherson which add to the songs and gives them a new edge and the addition of a second guitarist which really thickens up the sound and offers more sonic opportunities. This album is comfortably the best thing InMe have ever done and they deserve a lot more than they have previously got.
Download (if you must only have a few): You Won't Hear From Me Again, Nova Armada, A Mouthful of Loose Teeth, Master Storm. // 10