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Live at the Caledonien Hall
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  • Initial pressings include a free sampler of upcoming Karmakosmetix releases.
  • Recorded live at the Caledonien Hotel, Kristiansand, Norway in December 2000.
  • As one of the most important purveyors of Norway's post-black metal avant-garde movement, the arcane musician collective known as In the Woods... dedicated their entire career to broadening the once restrictive boundaries of this violent musical style. So when the time came for the group to call it a day, it was only fitting that they culminate their decade-long trajectory with an all-hands-on-deck farewell concert in the Norwegian town of Christiansand on December 29, 2000. Thankfully, In the Woods... also saw fit to record this special occasion, and in keeping with their notoriously unconventional habits, a constantly shifting cast of musicians was responsible for the songs captured on Liveatthecaledonienhall, a sprawling double-disc set (which, incidentally, was also mixed by two different producers). Unsurprisingly, the resulting album is as rich in astounding music as it is lacking in relevant band information. And what music it was, as the 20 often lengthy (many running ten-minutes plus), always multifaceted tracks on hand here readily attest. Although ever grounded in hard rock and metal, formidable overtures like "Heart of the Ages," "Empty Room," and "Path of the Righteous" cover an incredible array of musical styles, including, but not limited to, progressive, gothic, and psychedelic rock (note the cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"). Such daring stylistic combinations don't always come off seamlessly, particularly where the group's multiple vocalists (male, female, animal) are concerned, but a complete performance of third album (and fan favorite) Omnio leaves little doubt as to In the Woods...' remarkable legacy. All communications with the crowd are conducted in English with an obvious eye toward the international market, and what spontaneity is lost through obvious studio post-production is easily rebuffed by the band's heartfelt stage banter, which includes a couple of "hello mom"s -- no kidding! All in all, this release provides a fitting conclusion to a singularly unconventional career. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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