In the Woods... - _Live at the Caledonien Hall_
(Karmakosmetix / Prophecy, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
I shall skip the eulogy this time around: suffice it to say that if you like atmospheric metal and haven't heard In the Woods..., then you seriously need to remedy that situation (and buying _Omnio_ would be a great first step). About three years after the band broke up, we finally get the chance to hear _Live at the Caledonien Hall_, a double disc that contains ItW's final live performance. This gig, booked after the band had already split up, featured virtually all band members since the band's inception (only the two vocalists and the drummer remain the same throughout), as well as most of the songs they ever wrote. More specifically, it features _Omnio_ in its entirety, which is a massive bonus.

My anticipation of this album was huge, which brings us to what some will call nitpicking, and others will call relevant details. First of all, either due to the guitarists not remaining the same throughout or the sheer length of the gig, the quality and tightness of the guitar playing is not as consistent as I would have liked it to be. This is far from stating that the gig was mediocre -- it's a fine gig, but in spite of the good sound quality, it's not as near perfect technically as I hoped. Second, _Heart of the Ages_ is poorly represented. (The fact that no black metal shrieking can be heard should be a pretty good example -- no, not even that first piercing scream in the album.) And finally, there's a bit too much psychedelic, meandering tracks on the second disc (mostly from the vinyl EPs), which renders the full live experience a bit stodgy. Apart from this, it's brilliant. The live _Omnio_ is worth the price tag on its own, and there's several other good tracks as well -- in addition to the fact that this should be regarded as a valuable live document of an excellent band.

If you find the limited edition, you will also get a glimpse of the work being developed in the fledgling Karmakosmetix record label, to which some former members of ItW are connected, thanks to a promo CD that they've thrown in. All in all, _Live at the Caledonien Hall_ is not quite as rapturous as I hoped, but it is nonetheless very much worth owning.


(article published 30/1/2004)

5/19/1999 P Azevedo In the Woods...: ...of Delightful Melancholy
11/20/2000 P Azevedo 9 In the Woods... - Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage
2/13/1999 P Azevedo 7 In the Woods... - Strange in Stereo
10/16/1997 P Azevedo 10 In the Woods... - Omnio
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