In Lingua Mortua “Salon des Refuses” (2010)

Namedroppin’ anyone?

Say “yes” and visit the Termo Records page.

Say “no” and go on reading.

“Salon Des Refusés” by Norwegian all “star” band IN LINGUA MORTUA is out now and there are various details which should justify solid interest in that band. But whatever you read elsewhere, be careful: too many cooks spoil the broth!

It’s maybe seventeen years ago that I received a promising demo tape by the German progressive death metal band Dinas Emrys entitled “Like A Dragon In Autumnal Childhood Dreams”. Why do I remember exactly this title after such a long time when I listen to the refused Norsemen? I think both bands have / had a similar approach: they have / had many, many ideas and they want(ed) to realize all of them at once. Thus I kept the challenging demo from a nearly forgotten small band in mind, although I hadn’t listened to the tape that often back then, and so I will probably keep the name IN LINGUA MORTUA in mind, although I won’t listen to their new album soon again.

Lars Fredrik Frøislie might be known to some of you because of his excellent retro prog rock outfit Wobbler, a band which plays a so narrow-minded nostalgic style of rock with listenable passion, that it’s surely great fun for most music lovers who prefer Hammond organ wizardry to clean keyboard sounds. He uses this Seventies sound and experimental approach as well in his black / extreme metal band IN LINGUA MORTUA and there’s surely nothing bad about fusing those styles, considering efforts by Arcturus, Enslaved, Winds and some others. But while Wobbler’s albums sound like the band taking an unhurried trip through adventurous brushwood of a magic forest, the second effort of IN LINGUA MORTUA sounds like a trip through a modern horror cabinet with many high-profile performers who have been invited for the sake of taking part but who haven’t been told about the dramaturgy of the whole piece and thus tend to act unoriented or even uninspired.

There are differences in the quality of the performances, Frøislie is a master of the keys and some passages on this album reflect his richness of ideas and his ability to create a spooky mood within seconds, other passages nevertheless seem a bit too playful in the context of the specific songs. Jørgen Munkeby from Norwegian Shining must be named for his thrilling performance on the saxophone which adds a lot to the varied sound of the band, Niklas Kvarforth from the Swedish namesakes must be named as well for a nearly embarrassingly one-dimensional performance on most of the vocals which miss both power and depth.

One aspect reminds me indeed of The Kovenant: IN LINGUA MORTUA plays its symphonic prog black metal on a relatively high level, but it just doesn’t connect with me on an emotional basis. When I read that some of the lyrics and thus the music have been loosely influenced by Munch’s famous “Scream” picture and ideas on Nietzsche’s philosophy, I spontaneously thought that those influences should surely support a great listening experience – but until now I haven’t found my way out of this cabinet of curiosities and irritating musicians, and I would really love to escape and instead listen Wobbler again in order to relax and to enjoy the music… maybe I’m just becoming an old fart who prefers the vintage ghost metal music of “mainstream” bands like Opeth?

-Thor Joakimsson


Release:  2010
Label:  Termo Records
Avantgenre:  Symphonic Prog Black Metal
Duration:  44:46
Origin:  Norway + Neighbours
Official site:
Review online since:  03.11.2010 / 14:20:40


01 – Full Fathom Five
02 – Existence
03 – Darkness
04 – Catharsis
05 – Like The Ocean
06 – Into The Mincer
07 – Open The Doors Of Janus
08 – Electrocution
09 – Skjelvende Av Angst
10 – A Force Of Nature
11 – Cold Void Messiah

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