Inwolves is basically a project by drummer Karen Willems (Yuko, Zita Swoon Group, Cycle with Dirk Serries), aided by the synths and guitars of Jürgen de Blonde and Ward Dupan. Together, they take the kosmische music of acts like Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple or Faust and give the whole a modern twist, and a whole lot of variation. The result is an adventurous and somewhat strange album that ranges from soft, gentle and modest to heavy, overwhelming and surprising.
Yet, most of all, this album is dark and dynamic, much darker than their previous effort. Opener 'I Va Va Vimedoom' quickly takes the listener into what could have been an intro for a symphonic black metal record. Don't worry, this is not black metal, far from it but you can expect some industrial influences along the way. We'll get to those shortly. For now, let Inwolves lure you in slowly. The hypnotic 'Minimal' could also do that trick. This immersive piece of work is probably one of my personal favorites here.
Belgium has a good tradition of looking back and forward at the same time (at least musically). I don't think it's a surprise that this album often makes me think about another ever-evolving act, namely Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat (yes, we're also brilliant with band names). Although quite different, both acts succeed in recreating a vintage and convincing sound with modern day equipment and influences. That is a talent, believe me, and certainly a talent that these people should explode further.
'Vladimir' even goes way beyond the realm of kosmische musik and krautrock and digs right into the psychedelic rock music of the seventies, completed by John Carpenter's horror sounds, haunting church organs and the stunning strangeness of Zappa. Did I already mention that this is quite a dark album? It even has some gothic metal arrangements here and there, even bringing acts like Tiamat to mind. 'Strange Waltz', another one of my favorites here, is a brilliant piece of music, one where you might truly feel the typical post-rock atmosphere.
I already compared Inwolves to another Belgian act and I'm going to do it again. I wouldn't be surprised if you made me listen to 'Intown' for the first time and told me that it's a Normann song. This track combines jazz with rock and, of course, the typical Inwolves synths and once again come out with something inspiring. It might also be the brightest and most joyful piece on this album; something 'Dirty Monks' clearly is not. Damn, this is a gloomy piece of industrial rock, fast, relentless and repetitive. And weird, man this is a weird tune.
This album should definitely be in your collection, otherwise you have absolutely no right to claim you know anything about the Belgian underground scene (unless you're a metal-only kind of person - but even then you should buy this). There's one more, brilliant, track to go through, but I'll leave that one to you. I'm just going to finish this review by mentioning that 'Involves' is a masterpiece, period, and I'm not just saying that because I'm such a nice guy, I'm saying that as a music lover who has been listening to all kinds of stuff for about forty years now.