In the Woods… – HEart of the Ages (Review)

A Black MEtal CLassic!
A Black MEtal CLassic!

I wish I’d heard HEart of the Ages when it was released. Mixing extreme metal with prog and folk hardly seems all that audacious now but when In the Woods…’ debut album came out in 1995 this was a leap forward for black metal. There were similar attempts from Ulver and Primordial in the same year but, even compared to those great albums, HEart of the Ages sounds more forward-thinking and groundbreaking. 21 years later their style might not seem as startling but the music still has a fresh zing of originality and there’s plenty to love in its combination of Burzumic shrieking, melancholic doom, heathen folk and Floyd/Crimson soundscapes. Latecomers should buy the recent Heart of the Woods box set for a particularly plush version of the album. The Norwegians are also due to return later in 2016 with their reunion album Pure. If like me, you’ve missed out on In the Woods…, now is a great time to get involved.

HMO Rating: 4 out of 5

Plush box set from Debemur Morti Productions
Plush box set from Debemur Morti Productions

31 thoughts on “In the Woods… – HEart of the Ages (Review)”

  1. “Burzumic shrieking, melancholic doom, heathen folk and Floyd/Crimson soundscapes…” and 80s synth intro bits!

    This is really epic-sounding. A couple of interesting time signature plays in that track, too. Cool beans. Gotta say I’ve never heard of these people before, but that boxed set is indeed plush!

    NIce oNe!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I think you got lucky. Sometimes those Top Of The List records are not as good as everyone hypes them to be… that you got a keeper is a score!

        I don’t know why they do that with boxed sets. Just make it up right, make everyone happy, and move on!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right. I don’t take Top of the… lists as gospel but they can still be useful. Sometimes albums like this just stand out. I first saw this at the low end of a Top 40 and it just stood out as being one I thought I’d like. The cover helped!


  2. WHat a nice peaceful looking album cover! I think I’ll push play on this and…holy shit!

    This is great stuff, a little Ghost-like in the vocals maybe? Way before there was such a band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose it is a little similar to Ghost, hadn’t thought of that! I think this would make a good black metal gateway album actually!

      The cover got me too. Even better, when the band was asked to send their pics to journalists they used to just send pictures of trees instead!


  3. I heard about In the Woods in 2006. I listen first album again over again, and than few years later Omnio and Strange in Stereo strikes me like the Hammer! Now Omnio is eternal masterpiece for me and one of the best music albums ever. I compere it with Nick Cave – No more Shall we Part, I talk about quality I found in it 😀 Hail from Serbia to all ItW fans over the world!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Be careful with Omnio (and with Strange in Stereo after that), its the album that search for all your concentration and you need to be 100% in it. Lyrics are also very important segment. Whole Omnio is perfect, from Strange in Stereo best songs are “Generally More Worried than Married”, “Vanish in the Absence of Virtue”, “Closing In”.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes I heard it. I was really surprised when they announced their come back with new album. Compere to other albums the greatest difference is guitar sound, and whole production is merged so to say in one big echo/reverb sound. Its not their best work but still its nice to have some new songs from them. Do not expect anything mind blowing from this last release, but their discography as one solid entity is something unique. Remember that back in time Bathory shock everybody with Hammerheart, In the Woods do the same with Omnio.

        Liked by 1 person

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