Jul 292013

(About one month ago, NCS writer Andy Synn devoted the 37th edition of THE SYNN REPORT to the discography of Norwegian metal band In Vain [here], and now follows that up with an interview of Johnar Håland.)

Hello! So to start off, please, introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi. I’m Johnar, guitarist and songwriter of the Norwegian metal band In Vain. We have been around since 2003 and released our third album, Ænigma, in April this year.

 

In your own words, describe the In Vain sound, if you would!

We have labeled our music ‘Progressive Extreme Metal’. The term ‘extreme metal’, due to our  combination of Death and Black Metal. The term ‘progressive’ because we are open-minded musicians and incorporate a lot of non-metal elements into our music. In my opinion, progressive also means to evolve and not to be static and stick to one musical landscape. When I write songs I try to combine what I consider as the strengths in the various genres that I enjoy. From the start, In Vain has had a vision of trying to combine all these elements, without making the songs chaotic and non-cohesive. That makes us progressive in one sense I believe.

 

You would be considered one of, if not the main, In Vain songwriting force, correct?

That is correct. So far I have written all the songs.

Jun 242013

(In this 37th edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography of Norway’s In Vain.)

Recommended for fans of: Vintersorg, Swallow the Sun, Leprous

Picking bands for The Synn Report is a task unto itself (I don’t just throw darts at a board, despite what you might have heard). Many factors are involved: the genre of the band (I like to keep successive columns varied if I can), the size of their discography (basically how much am I prepared to write at any one time), and the current status of the band are just a few. I recently bumped Man Must Die up the list so as to coincide with their funding campaign for their next album, I pushed Ludicra up the list when they announced their dissolution, and the last edition was written purely because I’d been putting off writing about The Funeral Pyre for far too long!

In the case of Norwegian prog-metal mobsters In Vain, the band made it into contention purely because their latest album was just released earlier this year, and has been sitting in my “To Review” pile for far too long. So it seemed prudent to kill two birds with one stone and fold a sort-of-review of their latest release into the traditional format of The Synn Report!

Apr 042013

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out the previous installments here and here.)

Day 2 of the festival had fewer bands I was particularly dying to see, so I decided to check out some different acts I’d never seen before, so as to make better use of my time and to fulfil my journalistic pretensions a bit more.

We decided to have a later start to the day, arriving in time to see Aeternus hit the stage and introduce the crowd (if any introduction was needed) to their twisted take on the darker side of the black/death metal aesthetic. Drawing liberally from all the various spheres of the metallic spectrum, the group performed like a well-drilled musical machine, though their focus on slippery shifts between styles meant that their live stage presence was a little more unassuming than most.

Though the band last played here 11 years ago, there was very little rust to be found on them, as they bled their instruments dry of every hypnotic riff and spiralling, dissonant lead they could wring out of them.

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