have you even met someone in an In Flames shirt only to find that they have never heard of King Diamond and found the In Flames side project Passenger to be “a delightful musical journey”. well the fact of the matter is that In Flames have become a very viable monetary asset in the metal world and these particular fans are popping up in droves. there’s never anything wrong with a band spreading their fanbase but, the question remains, “what is the cost?” any long time music fan could have seen the writing on the wall with Reroute to Remain (a perfectly likable if not softer album) as they did some years earlier with Metallica’s black album. this album doesnt offer anything particularly new other than some Korn style vocals and rather flat guitar riffs that never really catch your ear. it sounds more like rejected tracks from a previous effort than an album of new material. this record will send most die hard metal fans packing for good. and with good reason. it lacks any of the guts and bravado that metal so often offers. its metal recordings like this that make people buy the new Mithras record.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
i’ve been listening to in flames for quite some time, i own all of their albums except whoracle, which i expect to be nothing short of amazing. i’m a really big fan of their older stuff, anything off of COLONY is pure golden, but im also one of the few that still really appreciated Reroute to Remain. the clean singing was unexpected, but ive grown to love it. so i expected another stellar release from In flames with “soundtrack to your escape”, and i can’t really find anything worth listening to repeatebly. now, the first 2 songs i enjoyed, i think that f(r)iend is a nice new touch for in flames and its a very dark song, even for in flames, when #2 came on, i didn’t know if i was listening to old metroid music or the cd. you see, in flames have basically abandoned their beautiful melodies found on their older albums and have brought something that sounds similar to a casio keyboard. in other words, they replace melodies with these tedious video game songs, and to be honest, it sounds horrible, its a big reason why i couldn’t get into this album at all.second, the clean singing which i grew to love from RTR, has also vanished. instead, anders has introduced us a singing style that sounds like john davis of Korn. in other words, he does a soft whisper and goes into a high pitch yelp, which i guess in flames see as expressing emotion, but to me it sounds like anders is getting stabbed with a hot poker, and it just makes the songs even more annoying, on top of the stupid video game music.wait, theres more, in flames have tried to bring back their blazing solos of the old days and fail miserably, its to the point where i could play them, and i dont even play guitar. the drums aren’t anything special either, and the bass, well thats pretty much non-existent.the production wouldnt be so bad if there wasn’t this constant buzzing in the background, also, the drums sound horrible and drown out any sort of comprehendable music to be found on here.you can tell that in flames is really struggling to find their style of music. STYE sounds like a jumbled mess, it feels rushed in every way shape and form. overall, the songs on here just aren’t worth listening to, i found myself skipping every track after the first minute or so. i have a hard time listening to in flames anymore, even their older stuff, because i know that there is crap like this that they have under their belts. i really don’t know why they decided to change so much, but its bad enough to where they dont sound like the same band at all. i think its time that they throw in the towel and quit before they release another CD this bad.
Apparently some people can never deal with the fact that some bands actually try to evolve their sound over time (no I’m not talking about Metallica – Load). I’ve been a fan of In Flames for 4 years now, and I still think every one of their albums deserves at least 4 stars.
STYE is a continuation of what the band tried with RTR. Nu-metal? Hardly. For one, it doesn’t suck like any of the crap I hear on the radio here in the U.S., but I do have to admit it does have some “nu-metal” type elements. These aren’t exactly bad, they add to the music. After all, who said nu-metal couldn’t be done “right”?
This whole Korn comparison is complete BS too. I’d like to see Head (now left Korn because he found Jesus) or Munky write interludes of the same calibre Jesper and Bjorn can still write. And if you’re complaining about Anders’ vocals, apparently you didn’t hear him on Clayman or RTR. His current vocal style has been in-development for quite a few years now. There should be no surprises here!
All-in-all, STYE is an album that has grown on me as another reviewer put it. Like many, I was skeptical of In Flames’ “newer” sound, but it’s still far superior to anything Korn, Linkin Park, System of A Down, (insert any crappy nu-metal band’s name here) can come up with.
STYE may not be their most solid effort, but it’s still a good listen. If you can listen to this album with an open mind and not long for the days of Jester Race or Whoracle (2 very high-quality albums), then you should be able to enjoy it. Otherwise face it people, the In Flames of the “old” era don’t seem to be coming back. If you can’t deal with that, either stop listening or stop complaining!
Best Songs: Evil In A Closet, Like You Better Dead
Well, well, well…it’s been 2 short years since In Flames graced the metal community with REROUTE TO REMAIN. In that time, the album has become one of the most reviled, mocked and generally slandered releases to come from a band who once were held in the highest regard. At The Gates and In Flames set the standard for European melodic death and with the former’s quick demise in the mid-90s, In Flames soldiered on, carrying the torch and blessing metalhead’s ears with such landmark releases as THE JESTER RACE and WHORACLE. Then something changed. The band decided to lean more towards the melodic than the death beginning with 1998’s COLONY and by the time REROUTE TO REMAIN came out, they were almost a shadow of their former selves. The band had embraced some of the worst elements of the North American nu-metal movement causing many of their fans to turn on them, and metal in general used the CD as a punchline. It looked as if In Flames had, indeed, been snuffed out.With their new CD, SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR ESCAPE, expectations are higher than ever leaving many to wonder if the band will finally listen to their critics (and, more importantly, their fans) and take a more traditional approach to the songs. There are some songs that hearken back to what made In Flames so original: the dual guitar interplay, the intricate patterns and death-style vocals. Unfortunately, much of what went wrong on REROUTE TO REMAIN still exists and sadly, that will overshadow the positive.The first track, “F(r)iend,” starts off well enough and things sound good with a speedy riff and aggressive, though not “true,” death vocals. It is with the second track (and first single), “The Quiet Place,” that the ugly Korn influences trickle in. Anders Friden takes on this whiney-voiced clean vocal that is similar to Jonathan Davis of Korn. The same fate befalls “Borders and Shading.” At least “The Quiet Place” is catchy, but “Borders and Shading” is just plain dreadful. “Dead Alone” and “In Search For I” remind me of what some would call “classic” In Flames. Bjorn Gelotte and Jesper Stromblad’s guitarwork is excellent, Friden’s vocals have that gruff death style and the songs are fast and punchy. Speaking of stunning guitarwork, “Touch of Red” has a cool slow-building outro that segues directly into “Like You Better Dead.” That song is a decent mid-tempo track with a scream at the end that would make “Corpsegrinder” from Cannibal Corpse shiver. “My Sweet Shadow” and the oddly titled “Dial 595-ESCAPE” are bogged down with too many keyboards. Many of the guitar parts have been replaced by keyboard effects and, while this may work for, say, Children of Bodom, it doesn’t cut the mustard on an In Flames CD. “Evil in the Closet” raised my eyebrow as it is a full-fledged ballad for the first two minutes before turning heavy. There is a great guitar solo in there, too.The songs on the CD seem to be tied together by a theme of some sort, as there is a lot of static, noise effects, radio interference, scratching (not the rapping DJ kind) and such. What that common link is I cannot determine but there is definitely something the band is trying to convey here.SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR ESCAPE is not a bad album by any means. Many of the songs are heavy but catchy. Is that a crime? The dominance of keyboards on some tracks is a bit grating and Friden’s use of clean vocals on a few tracks leaves a lot to be desired. This CD is probably mellower even than REROUTE TO REMAIN was. Still, overall, this is an excellent metal release that will appeal to more than the core fans of the band. This is NOT THE JESTER RACE 2 or WHORACLE 2 and it’s a closed case to think the band will return to that sound. They have slowly moved away from the melodic death sound that they popularized in the mid-90s, to a more accessible (commercial, if you will) sound tailored to gain a broader audience on both sides of the ocean. No one can fault the band for seeking success; who doesn’t want “more?” To call In Flames “sell-outs” is unjust because “selling out” is appealing to the masses without pleasing yourself. The band claims that this is the music that they have evolved into making, so to judge this record based on what In Flames released 10 years ago is an injustice both to the band and to the music. KILLER KUTS: “F(r)iend,” “Dead Alone,” “In Search For I”
First off let me say just listen to this album yourself from a friend or through buying it or w/e before making an opinion about it. This album along with Reroute to Remain took a lot of trash from old school In Flames fans who felt that In Flames sold out with this album. While I cannot deny the elements of sell out within their newer music neither can I deny the blant fact that they were looking to make something new not Jester Race 2 or Clayman 2 and also they went somewhat experimental. This album is most certainly not like their older work yes melody is still here for sure but the instrumentals have taken a backseat I would say or sort of share the spotlight with Anders vocals. The album has some killer tracks and then lacks in others. Listen for yourself one things for certain its a change from their older work but it is still deff good music however deff not something I listen to a whole lot. But still good the polished production is at times very very lovely and at other times just annoying. I personally liked the album and thought it was good. Its just not a mind blowing classical like their earlier releases. Lets leave it at this, In Flames will be remembered for Jester Race, Whoracle and not this album but that doesnt mean this isnt still good music.