When Nothing Remains – In Memoriam

A little more than two years after the splendid Thy Dark Serenity comes the third full length of the Swedish When Nothing Remains, one of the band that in the current decade has helped to raise the level of melodic death doom. Expectations were therefore many, since the previous album seemed preparatory to the publication of the ultimate masterpiece, able to transport the creature founded by Peter Laustsen and Jan Sallander up to the empyrean of the genre, where Saturnus is. Unfortunately the goal, at least for this time, is not reached: In Memoriam is a great work, let’s be clear, and confirms what good these Scandinavian musicians have shown since the first steps of the band, but the emotional level reached with Thy Dark Serenity is touched only at times. This observation was born from a simple experiment: at a certain point I stopped listening to In Memoriam and I programmed, one after the other, those two gems titled I Forgive You and Like An Angel Funeral and here, the infallible tear meter, very personal but reliable instrument to measure the degree of emotion, showed how much the pathos emanated by those two superb songs was never reached in the last collection of tracks. After the first listenings the album seemed to me even anonymous then, insisting and trying to clear my mind of those expectations that, precisely, prevented me from enjoying in a fluid way the musical contents, the goodness of the proposal emerged clearly enough to push me to talk about it in a way far from negative. The various Drowning In Sorrows, the title track, A Lake Of Frozen Tears and While She Sleeps are in turn precious tracks that lack only that drama can tear the soul and break down the remaining defenses that our psyche erects in front of certain touching representations of pain in music. That said, In Memoriam is a beautiful album that those who prefer this genre will surely love, by virtue of an enviable sound cleaning and a romantic and melancholic vision that pervades every note, but for the masterpiece we have to wait for the next round; I still believe in it.

2016 – Solitude Productions