In My Embrace- Dead to Dust Descend

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, June 21, 2014

In My Embrace is a Swedish black metal band that recently released their debut EP Dead to Dust Descend. Although the group has been in existence since 2004, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that they started to record material. Their sound is familiar, taking the colder feel of black metal and adding some occasional flourishes of melodic death metal in the form of soaring leads and powerful instrumentation. The songs may not fully hit their stride until closer to the end of the EP, but there is potential on display here and In My Embrace could reach greater heights in the coming years.

The instrumental work on Dead to Dust Descend is undeniably black metal, but there are a few sections where the soaring melodic leads remind me more of melodic death metal. It’s a mix that works well for In My Embrace, as they are able to offer the intense, colder feel of black metal but are able to hit some of the hooks that may also draw in some of the melodeath crowd. However, while I did like the style the instrumentals were going for, I did find that the EP didn’t really reach its stride until “Diabolical Masquerade.” The preceding three tracks aren’t necessarily bad, but they sounded just a bit too familiar to me and didn’t quite reach the same heights as some of the others out there. But “Diabolical Masquerade” and “Nattvandaren” are where In My Embrace really seemed to hit their full potential. It may be because they keep things going full speed on these two pieces and don’t slow things down like they do on the others, but there’s something about the guitar leads on these songs that stuck with me. I’m also not crazy about two of the six tracks essentially being acoustic interludes on what is already a fairly short EP (the seventh bonus song is just an instrumental version of the first interlude length piece). I could see them working better on a full length record to break up the flow of things, but here they just felt like teasers for even more content.

Both of the core members of the band provide vocals throughout this EP, and while they have fairly similar vocal pitches I did notice that one was slightly deeper than the other which made it possible to tell when they switched off. The overall style falls somewhere between a scream and a growl, with the extra rasp of the main pitch giving In My Embrace much more of a black metal feel on each of the songs. Rather than going for clean singing or mellower ranges during the softer moments, on the acoustic track “Av Skymning Kommen, Mot Gryning Går” the group sticks with the harsher screams which I did think worked well during these particular instances. Moving forward I’d like to see even more interplay between the two members as I think their ranges complement each other nicely, but this first performance definitely has the right amount of intensity for what In My Embrace is trying to achieve.

It’s clear that the two members of In My Embrace have experience with this type of music, as there is nothing amateurish about Dead to Dust Descend. But for me, it wasn’t until the last two full songs that the band really reached a truly standout level and I wasn’t quite as thrilled with the reliance on acoustic tracks that felt more like interludes than full-fledged arrangements. The potential is there though, and now that the project is moving forward with recordings I believe in another year or two this could be a group worth keeping track of. For now I’m not sure that I’ll return to this EP over others, but if I do see the band name pop up again in the coming months and years I’ll be willing to see how they’ve progressed and see if they can truly capture the potential hinted at here.

http://label.sliptrickrecords.com/

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