"The Inside Room"

By Earthdog

The comparison of this band to Warning is going to be inevitable, especially considering the people involved. After all, it has the unmistakable vocals of Patrick Walker so yes, this sounds just like a Warning album. This is not a bad thing however, considering what a great band Warning is but maybe this should have been another Warning album and left at that. What is striking is not only does it sound like Warning but the album is very similar to Warning's 'Watching From A Distance' album, so much so I often have to tell myself it is in fact a different band while listening to 'The Inside Room'.. One element to this album that sets it apart from Warning is it is slightly more uplifting (overall) with melodic, soaring guitar work being one of the album's high points but the atmosphere is still buried in emotion and harrowing beauty. Given that the line-up consists of Patrick Walker - Vocals, Guitars, Christian Leitch - Drums (Electric Mountain, The River, Warning) and William Spong - Bass, you would expect quality instrumentation and that is exactly what you get. There are 5 songs, all dripping with depressive emotions and some great variation via the inclusion of acoustic guitars.

It is true if you are already a fan of Warning, you know what to expect with this album - lethargic, melodramatic doom epics with the heartfelt vocals of Walker that really are incredibly passionate. While this is real doom metal, the performance is emotional and intimate so it makes this a real personal musical journey for whoever decides to take the plunge into these very dark and compelling doomy waters. The album is extremely emotionally charged but takes a while to really get going. Opening track, 'Restless' uses most of its 11 minutes building up its atmosphere only to end just as it gets there. Same can be said for 'Open My Eyes' as the song never really reaches a peak despite being utterly mesmerizing just the same. The guitar is of course immensely heavy but also layered just right not to be too suffocating and there is some great diversity in the playing that helps to boost the melancholy levels. 'The Inside Room' doesn't really hit its stride till track three, 'Between Times' and I guess that is because it is the first time in the album you get the feeling this is not just a 'recycled Warning' album. Patrick Walker's vocals reached an insane level of emotion that some listeners might find a little too much to take and musically the album has a slightly more unique feel by this halfway point in the album. Lyrically the album verges on balladry as in 'Carry Me Home.'

Far away from home
And everyone I really know
All at once I find
I'm a stranger even to myself
And like the snow that's falling
I've never been so pure before
Christiania, before I leave you
You'll leave a mark on me

I like the way you smile
I like the way you try to hide
And in my heart this moment
I like the way you seem to read my mind

Some of these lyrics would be vomit-inducing if it was not for Walker's masterful delivery. Without a doubt it is this band and Warning's most redeeming feature as musically, there isn't much here that hasn't been done before. My only other gripe is the way some of the songs sound unfinished to me as all they seem to build up atmosphere and progress only to finish on an abrupt note. For example the last track on 'The Inside Room' titled 'This Alone' is an amazing track once its reaches its 7 minute mark but then comes to a sudden stop 2 minutes later leaving you wanting a lot more. These complaints are only very trivial however and this album is still mostly satisfying. Whether you a fan of Warning or not will have a lot to do with how much you like this album. For me, I think it rates just behind the brilliance of Warning so it is still very good but take away the vocals of Walker and you would left with a standard doom-metal record. Judge it for yourself but I dig it......7.5/10