In Flames is one of those bands, who only know of one pattern, are characteristic of a specific sub-genre, and can be easily classified. They are Melodic Death Metal from Sweden, and they make catchy NWOBHMish riffs with growled vocals, and from what I can hear, sing of absolutely nothing of relevance, and the lyrics are typical metal, dragons and what-not. Oh yes, there are the typical dual lead harmonies, the soft interludes i.e called acoustic sections by the pros so on and so forth.
In this album they laid down the blueprint on which they have built the whole of their career so far, from what I have heard. They have produced a ton load of albums, and all of them are as relevant as Children of Bodom and Amorphis albums. Which to say, not at all. If you hear one, you have heard mostly everything the scene has to offer. Completely interchangeable, with minor variations. One problem I have experienced with metal bands, is that most bands, about 90%, tend to stick to stereotypical norms of that genre or sub-genre for throughout their career. Now take bands like,umm, Overkill, lets say. Would it really matter what album you pick up? They are all the same. There would be some which have more catchy riffs and are more memorable, and then others which are not that good, but in any case they are the same. Forgettable. I still keep searching for the great bands though, and I have found that searching for that “it” factor can be rewarding.
In Flames, never got out of the rut of being a steady, good band. They will never be great. After hearing a helluva lot of metal music, my favorites still remains the early Black Sabbath albums+Metallica’s initial golden run+Slayer’s Reign in Blood+ Iron Maiden friggin LIVE+ Motorhead “LIVE AND LOUD”+ Some Judas Priest.
However, what you should know is that they are part of the Swedish Death Metal scene, which mostly consists of them, Dark Tranquility, At the Gates and Edge of Sanity, EOS being by far the superior among all these, maybe because they were more innovative and liked to challenge themselves, while the others drove themselves into a rut, by doing the same thing over and over again.
Well, you have the gist. If you needs must listen to some entertaining music from this Swedish metal scene, you can hardly do better than to pick this one up, since it contains one really good gem of metal music, namely the short instrumental, “The Jesters Dance”, and also has a host of sweet riffers like “Graveland” and “Lord Hypnos”. After some time you will get the feeling that it is all the same, and you would be perfectly justified in switching to something which is less formulaic and monotonous.
Recommended Songs-The Jesters Dance.
– Baba T
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