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(50:33; Agonia Records)
2019 saw the Swedish band back with their latest album, ‘Garden of Storms’, which saw them complete the trilogy which started with 2012’s ‘The Weight Of Oceans’. It also saw them with a new rhythm section as bassist Pierre Stam departed (leaving singer/guitarist Tobias Netzell as the only founder member still involved) to be replaced by Sebastian Svalland (Pain (live), Letters from the Colony, Lindemann (live)) while ex-Katatonia drummer Daniel Liljekvist also left, after just one album, and was replaced by Joakim Strandberg Nilsson (Faithful Darkness, Nonexist, ex-Moorgate, ex-Thrive, Wolves Within). Recorded with Jonas Kjellgren, who was responsible for the sound of the band's early albums, the band says it is the: "most solid, honest and complete album to date, in times where things seem to scatter and change a lot around us". To me this album shows them move even more into different areas, with metalcore raising its ugly head among others, and to me this feels far more disjointed and less of a complete piece of work than the last one. Playing them back to back, there is no doubt this feels more commercial and softer in many ways, although they can bring the pain when they wish to, and the movement feels more clunky and not as polished. It is a much harder album to get inside, just because the listener feels they are being pulled from place to place, but more in a way that makes them seasick than in a pleasant journey where one is taking a rest at times. It feels less honest and more contrived, and while still an interesting album in many ways, it is quite a long way removed from the last one.
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