In Grey - _Liyah_
(Last Entertainment, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6.5 out of 10)
Sweden's prolific gothic metallers In Grey are back with a new album, their second full-length after a slew of demo CDs and a number of personnel changes going into their first record _Sulphur Tears_. The real question here, then, is finding out how successfully they have integrated their new members now that some time has passed -- which should give a good indication as to whether _Liyah_ turns out to be a more interesting and consistent record than its predecessor.

One minute into opener "End Is the Beginning" the listener is greeted by the first chorus, which is repeated less than another minute later. Clearly In Grey decide to place most of their chips again on the strength of their choruses; there is comparatively little to say about the opening song outside of that. Next up, "Once Again", previously featured on 2004's _XII_ EP, provides another strong chorus. The album goes on in the same vein until about halfway through. There is not much heaviness to speak of, but it has a reasonably balanced sound nonetheless; it isn't a whiny gothic metal album, relatively speaking (even though they do have a track called "Alone I Weep", which is incidentally more plodding and atmospheric than the rest).

While the choruses remain important throughout, that isn't to say that the band does not go off in other directions with the guitar and keyboard work -- but they are not what you tend to remember the album for. Their going for a ballad on "Emptiness" and trying different tricks in the second half of the disc is interesting, but unable to turn the album as a whole into something more meaningful and capable of making a really lasting impression. Overall, _Liyah_ shows what seems to be a more comfortable line-up than before, and constitutes an improvement on its predecessor. It's just not the album that will take In Grey to any great heights yet.


(article published 25/3/2007)

7/29/2004 P Azevedo 6 In Grey - Sulphur Tears
4/7/2005 P Azevedo 4 In Grey - XII
1/31/2005 P Azevedo 4 In Grey - MMIV
1/14/2002 P Azevedo 4 In Grey - Above
3/13/2001 P Azevedo 2 In Grey - ...And Once Again the Same Mask
8/12/1999 P Azevedo 4 In Grey - Seasons Change
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