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In Lingua Mortua - Bellowing Sea-Racked by Tempest CD (album) cover


In Lingua Mortua


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.20 | 8 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Bellowing Sea - Racked By Tempest' - In Lingua Mortua (6/10)

In Lingua Mortua is a Norwegian black metal band led by Lars Fredrik Frĝislie, a man better known for his contributions to the Scandinavian symphonic prog scene than anything traditionally grim or frostbitten. Although he may be considered to be something of an outsider given his status as a prog musician, Frĝislie and company perform a fairly convincing take on Norwegian black metal here. The music is well-performed, but painfully typical of the modern Norwegian black metal scene. Despite some interesting steps attempted to set In Lingua Mortua's sound apart from their compatriots however, 'Bellowing Sea - Racked By Tempest' does not pass as being much more than a clone of the once- great Dimmu Borgir.

Although Norway may be best known in black metal for a string of controversial crimes and classic albums from the early 90's, the bleak sound of the black metal second wave has generally given way to something more polished, melodic, and less offensive to the masses. Although the merits and demerits of this evolution could be talked about for weeks, it's clear that the sound is no longer aimed towards being completely dark and obscure. Some bands- like Dimmu Borgir and Ihsahn- have prospered under these new conditions, releasing stuff that rivals, if not surpasses what they first did. Of course, there are now legions of copycat acts, and despite their talent, this is an unfortunate pigeonhole I fear In Lingua Mortua falls into with 'Bellowing Sea'. Like Dimmu Borgir, In Lingua plays a highly refined style of black metal that gets infused with the undertones of a symphonic orchestra. Although the orchestra itself is programmed, there are instruments playing in 'Bellowing Sea' that are quite irregular for black metal, including the saxophone, violin, and flute. For the short amounts in which these instruments are used, they contrast the heavier black metal elements quite nice, but they are used too scarcely to effectively change my view of the album.

Although a programmed orchestra can often range from being cheesy to downright terrible, the orchestrations here are rich and effective. Frĝislie is evidently a veteran of the 'symphonic' sound, even regardless of his history with progressive acts White Willow and Wobbler. Although all of the seasonings show plenty of potential, it is the core black metal sound of In Lingua Mortua that feels a little lackluster. The music is played with precision and refinement, and there are plenty of synth arrangements to give the guitars a greater feeling of depth.Although a polished production is usually not an issue, here, the incredibly clear sound leaves little to the imagination, and while In Lingua Mortua has many of the things I love in black metal- eerie keyboards and guitar melodies, for example- the way they are tossed together screams emulation over innovation.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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