Until Rain, who originally formed in Thessaloniki, Greece some nine years ago, currently boast a multi-national lineup, with members from Malta, Switzerland and Sweden. Although they already have two albums to their name - 2009's 'The Reign of Dreams' and 2013's 'Anthem to Creation' - I must admit they were a new name to me when this turned up for review. I guess this is a good point to experience their recorded output for the first time, as press blurb implies they've evolved from generic prog to become a more genuinely progressive act, with their current sound characterised by "a mixture of dark alternative prog rock and metal." That's a fairly accurate description of 'Inure' and, although there are some standard prog idioms and motifs to be heard at times, it does elevate itself into genuinely progressive territory during most of the songs. And it doesn't necessarily achieve this through its fusion of styles (which are not overtly disparate in any obvious way, or revolutionary), or through any kind of wildly experimental flourishes... rather, 'Inure' feels genuinely innovative in the level of emotions that are conveyed through the songs, and the relatively organic way in which Until Rain achieve this. Some strong, original melodies help propel the album's general impetus into fully accessible, immersive territory, and there are enough natural shifts between light and dark dichotomies (mellow/heavy; melancholy/optimism; euphony/cacophony; etc) to forge an innovative balance of varying flavours that sound in no small way forced.
Vocally, the album's great, too. Well, at least in terms of clean vocals. While frontman Cons Marg has a very likeable, expressive clean voice (which comes across better in recorded format than when I caught the band live a few weeks back), his death growls sit more at the throat-clearing end of the spectrum, rather than adding any kind of biting acerbity. He's certainly no Ihsahn, Chuck Schuldiner or Tomas Lindberg. Then again, I've heard worse... they're not that bad; just very average.
Production-wise, the album also scores high. Self-produced by the guys themselves, and then subsequently mixed and mastered by Anathema's Daniel Cardoso, everything sounds rather wonderful. And, considering instruments and vocals were recorded across four different countries (London, Switzerland, Greece and Sweden), it still manages to retain its 'togetherness'. Obviously, there's no reason why a fragmented recording process of this nature wouldn't sound 'together'... it's become a more common practice during the twenty first century... and tracking instruments one at a time, it could be argued, whether all band members are in the same studio or not, will always inherently be a fragmented process... but, it's still nice that a cross-country effort can retain the essence of a band.
All in all, this is a strong album, loaded with fine performances and great songwriting. It's not a sonic mindblower, but certainly offers an emotionally immersive experience over the course of ten tracks, that seems to get better and better with each listen. This is definitely grower territory here.
Review by Mark Holmes
28th April 2017
1) Progressus in Idem
2) New World Fiction
3) Because Something Might Happen
4) This Fear
5) A Tearful Farewell
6) This Solitude
7) Butterfly Invasion
8) Broken Wing
10) Debate (Bonus)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"It's not a sonic mindblower, but certainly offers an emotionally immersive experience..."