Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.