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  • In the context of the rest of their career, this In Flames album feels to me a lot like Metallica’s Black Album feels. They seem to have shifted their focus from the heaviness and intricate dual-guitar leads of their earlier work to a more accessible riff-based metal complete with catchy sing-along choruses. Don’t get me wrong, many of the songs still have some fast death parts, but almost all songs contain catchy segments as well (songs like “Egonomic” and “System” illustrate this phenomenon pretty well). They have also added more slow experimental songs here (“Free Fall”, “Dawn of a New Day”, “Cloud Connected”) in the tradition of Clayman (think “Only For the Weak”). There’s even a light song (“Metaphor”) that seems like it would fit right in on U.S. modern rock radio, something I would never have considered for In Flames before now. The end result is something I enjoy a lot. I’d recommend it for any metal fan who isn’t only into harsh death stuff. It’s very listenable still heavy enough to get the adrenaline flowing. But at same type it saddens me a little that they’ll probably never release another album in the style of Jester Race or Whoracle. If this is their “Black Album”, I sincerely hope the next one isn’t their “Load”.

    Posted on January 31, 2010