This is one of Sweden’s biggest metal bands ever. They have built up a solid fan base over the years and that is not only in Sweden but in the whole world. Me, I have never actually been into In Flames, I have always preferred bands like Machine Head and Killswitch Engage when it comes to metal. Anyway, I heard some of the new In Flames songs on the Swedish radio and I thought I should pick up the album.
The first thing that strikes me is that this is very polished and produced music. Sure, there are down tuned guitars, lots of hammering bass and drum lines and screaming vocals from singer Anders Fridén. But where is the danger? I want my metal to shake me; it should be something that grabs my attention right away. This is so safe that I could probably play it for my mom without scaring her. Ok maybe not, but you get the idea, there is NO EDGE at all! This is more of pop metal than heavy metal which is weird. If you do not want your metal to be commercial and well produced you should probably stop reading right here.
The songs then, the singles The Mirror’s Truth and Alias are really good songs with killer choruses and nice riffs. Alias even has a nice acoustic guitar solo in it. That is the pattern for most of the songs here, screaming verses and sung choruses. There is a quite high tempo in the songs on here which I like. Disconnected has a very nice chorus so does Delight and Angers. The Chosen Pessimist breaks the patter with a slow, scaled down song. The rest of the songs are up-tempo and full on. I also like the song Eraser. That song might be included on the bonus track version only so make sure to get that version!
This album is packed with nice riffs, licks and choruses but I cannot shake the feeling that I am listening to a pop/rock album. If I was to choose metal album of the year, this would not be the one. I mean, it is a good album for the mainstream rocker and In Flames will probably sell a lot of copies of this one too. I am just not sure the real metal heads will go for it.