ALBUM REVIEW: Imminence – The Black

Arising from Trelleborg, Sweden, the ambitious quintet Imminence continues to reinvent Metalcore with their new album The Black. The group is known for breaking the genre’s boundaries with their use of violin and combining classical arrangements with breakdowns, blast beats and cataclysmic vocals. While Metal and Classical is one of the last combinations you would ever expect to hear, the band has always blurred the lines seamlessly between the styles. However, with this album, the Classical is more prominent than ever, while somehow making the Metal aspects hit an even deeper part of the soul for an almost spiritual experience.

Opener and lead single “Come Hell Or High Water” is a perfect example of why Imminence’s band name is so fitting; it is the musical epitome of brewing imminence. The spooky synths that start the song are the calm before the storm, and then the madness gradually begins to unfold. The violins and guitars build in intensity as background screams are thrown in with vocalist and violinist Eddie Berg’s harrowing voice. It doesn’t reach total mayhem until its final twenty seconds as the drums switch from half-time to rapid pummeling fills, while Berg lets out two searing screams over an orchestral string section.

The Black feels like a cinematic experience all the way through, especially once it starts reaching its halfway point with the rumbling drums and blustering violins of the heavy-hitter “Come What May”. Blast beats and relentless screams reach a higher magnitude than we normally hear from Imminence, just before the energy drops for a soft melancholic violin instrumental. It then dives into the industrial depths of interlude track “Cul-de-Sac” for some extra breathing room right before the uproar returns with the menacing chugs of “The Call Of The Void”.

Slow-burning ballads like “Death By A Thousand Cuts” are sure to tug at your heartstrings while getting stuck in your head. The contrast between Berg’s meek cleans and despairing screams of the line “Do you bleed for something, or will you die for nothing?” multiply the hard-hitting effect of one another.

The penultimate title track is a flawless demonstration of how powerful violins and heavy guitar chugs can sound together; It would take a heart of stone to listen to this and not feel anything. The instrumental outro “Le Noir” then wraps up the album with classical strings painting the aftermath of a catastrophically beautiful record.

With such theatrical innovation that challenges and transcends Metalcore, Imminence have become pioneers of a style that can best be described as Violincore. While each preceding album was a step in the right direction, The Black pulls off just the sound they were always meant to create.

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