When I mention InMe, most people tend to recall their more popular numbers from the early 2000's - tracks such as Underdose and Firefly - which became anthems for the Kerrang kids of the era. Returning to these tracks certainly recalls a hefty dose of nostalgia in my case, but, as I'm sure is true for many, I hadn't heard much of these alt rockers for quite some time. However, being a huge fan of their particular part of the musical spectrum, I leapt at the chance to sink my teeth into their latest offering.
Once the CD was set spinning, one thing was clear - these guys have matured a hell of a lot. It's very much like comparing a supermarket Stilton to a fine, aged Gruyere (ok, if you're not a cheese person, just try to stick with me here). The earlier InMe stuff was great; it ticked all the right boxes - the tracks had riffs, melodies and hooks aplenty. But with The Pride, these guys have evolved their musicianship to incorporate more of those fine touches that separate simple songs from musical masterpieces.
The opening tracks 'Reverie Shores' and 'Moonlit Seabed' are perhaps the most similar to their earlier work - packed with head-banging riffery, foot stomping beats and memorable choruses. As the album progresses however, the sound soon begins to evolve; incorporating everything from tech guitar licks to electronica, all the while blending these disparate textures seamlessly into exquisitely constructed pieces of music.
The most startling differences for me - being most familiar with Overgrown Eden - were the refinement of McPherson's voice and the move towards more progressive, engaging song structures. Whereas within prior work his vocals have proven to be a perfect vehicle for delivering angst-ridden narrative, there's now far more depth and subtlety, with a greater focus on cleaner vocal styles. This works excellently with the heavily song-based focus of the album, and is perfectly exemplified in tracks such as 'Escape to Mysteriopa', with its beautifully haunting vocal melodies and masterful harmonies.
With a style firmly grounded in alt-rock, yet incorporating everything from Mastodon-esque guitar work to more epic progressive elements reminiscent of Coheed, this album truly is a delight to indulge in. Although this material is worlds apart from their earlier offerings, there's still plenty of InMe's musical DNA in there, and if, like me, this is your first foray into InMe for almost a decade, you certainly won't be disappointed. What you'll find is a breathtaking musical landscape that is a real pleasure to explore - from the dramatic heights of 'Halcyon Genesis' through to the trembling depths of 'Pantheon', each track introduces a new and brilliant aspect of the album's aural scenery.
In short: it's ace, buy it.
The Pride will be available digitally from the 19th of February and on CD and vinyl from the 20th of February. The band are also releasing a live DVD of Overgrown Eden, which can be purchased separately or as a CD/DVD combo with the new album. The album can be pre-ordered from Pledge Music via http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/inme and you can keep up to date with the band through their official site, http://inmeofficial.co.uk/