MetalBite Review by Adam on 10/22/2002
Throughout the entire genre of melodic metal, no one sticks out more for me than In Flames
. Being one of the bands to ignite the spark of melodic death metal in the mid-90s, they continue to stay at least one step ahead of the rest. Nowadays it seems all too common to hear a band playing almost exactly what they did six years ago. Thus, it makes me incredibly happy to see bands like In Flames
continuing to forge ahead musically while still keeping their unique style in tact.
Like many of you I approached this cd with much trepidation. Once the cd was in and the volume was up, however, my anxieties were soon put to rest. Instead of setting the tone for the record musically, In Flames
decided to do it lyrically. The lyrics for the title track are placed alone on the first page of the booklet. Beneath them is a picture of a play button. This is a way of saying either you can move forward with them or stay behind. The choice is yours!
The majority of the tracks on this album are very much what one would come to expect from In Flames
. Some tracks remind me of "Clayman", "Colony"
, and even "Whoracle"
in some places, yet they are different in the fact that they are aided by a more well rounded production and an increase in vocal and keyboard melodies not just guitar melodies. There are still plenty of those patented In Flames
’ guitar harmonies to be heard but the band make it a point to not just survive on those alone but to try and do other things for a change. The album itself is one of the most diverse metal albums of the year so far. Tracks like ‘Drifter’
bring back the thrashier feel of the group’s earlier material while ‘System’
combine the In Flames
style with the feel of modern American metal.
One of the standout tracks is a completely clean sung and acoustic track entitled ‘Metaphor’
. Dubbed as “the country song,” this track has struck up quite a controversy as of late. The first time I listened to it I was unsure about what I truly thought, that is until the percussive driven interlude began. Backed by harmonious violins, this section of the song is one of the most beautiful things I have heard from this band yet. For me the song is a highlight. Another notable track would have to be ‘Dark Signs’
. The song showcases some of Anders’ strongest vocals to date and has one of the catchiest choruses they have ever written.
The thing that pleases me most about this cd is its diversity. In Flames
manage to take a bit of everything they have done and put it together while proceeding to try new things. This also marks the first time the band have traveled outside of Studio Fredman to record an album. Now we see the melodic section sharing a little more space with the rhythm section resulting in a fuller sound overall.
have charted a new route on the road of melodic metal. Whether or not you follow them is completely up to you. I am certainly glad I did. Fans of “Colony”
should not have a hard time getting into this one. Fans of “Jester Race”
who believe the band have been on a slump since then will most likely not enjoy this cd. If you find yourself somewhere in between these two standpoints, then this record is definitely worth checking out. There is a pretty good chance you will enjoy it! I believe that this is In Flames
’ most accomplished and inspired work thus far. Highly recommended to fans of pure heavy metal and open-minded melodic death metal fans.
A dynamic and diverse musical offering from one of the top melodic metal bands around! If you liked “Clayman”
, then odds are you will love this one!Categorical Rating Breakdown
out of 10