“Come Clarity” by In Flames is being billed by some critics as a return to original form, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As one reviewer very accurately pointed out, In Flames is one of the very few metal bands that can alter their sound successfully (for the most parts) with every release. The sound on “Come Clarity” could be described as more straighforward metal, and for the most part this CD is their heaviest in a long time. I’m not going to go so far as to say that this is their best album; for me, everything really came together for In Flames on “Clayman”. However, few fans of this album would disagree that “Come Clarity” is their best since that CD.
Regarding the songs, there are many good ones here. “Take This Life” is a very powerful opener, but it really just sets the stage for the rest of the album. “Leeches” and “Reflect The Storm” slow down the pace a little but are just as heavy, although I must say that the clean vocals on the chorus of “Reflect The Storm” didn’t appeal to me at first.
“Dead End”, which utilizes vocals by Lisa Miskovsky paced by Anders’ screams, is really one of the most interesting songs on this album. Normally I dislike extensive female vocals in heavy songs (Arch Enemy just plain sounds weird). However, it really works on “Dead End”, and the vocals combined with the speed and heaviness of the song make it very memorable.
“Scream” and “Vacuum” aren’t the best In Flames songs, but they’re not as bad as some reviewers have indicated. In fact, “Scream” is probably the heaviest song on the album.
Having said all of that, I would consider the stretch from “Pacing Death’s Trail” to “Vanishing Light” to be my favorite part of “Come Clarity”. All of these songs are very good, with “Crawl Through Knives” at the top.
Regarding guitar work, its much more solid on “Come Clarity” than on recent releases. You will find some very good solos as well as dual guitar harmonies that In Flames used to be know for (and do extremely well, mind you). Regarding the guitar harmonies, I’m not sure why more current bands don’t use this as it can really expand the complexity and power of a song.
This is a great release by In Flames. I’m not saying that STYE an RTR were all that bad, but “Come Clarity” is their best in awhile.