In Flames are one of those bands I never really got round to giving my full attention. I've been aware of their presence since they appeared on a Metallica tribute album back in '94. Said album also featured a band called Dark Tranquility who I believe went onto better things too.
According to the Oracle (aka Wikipedia), In Flames hail from Sweden and have been going since 1990. What started out as melodic death metal soon turned into something resembling Deftones if they'd listened to metal instead of new-wave. Whilst this may be a big deal to some, it does have the potential to be flatter than a Dutch pancake.
The opening song (In Plain View) is a big bag of wank. It starts off fine with a synth intro that John Carpenter would've been proud to call his own before descending into the kind of bollocks you hear at WWE pay-per-views. It tries to sound all loud and anthemic but the production is too weak to give this song that kind of pay-off. The vocals don't suit this music neither. Same with "Everythings Gone" and "Paralyzed". So far, the riffs have been pedestrian at best. The vocals are horrible. Sounding like either Chino Moreno or Ian Curtis is no bad thing but for fucks sake, try and make sure they match the music. "Through Oblivion" is a goddamn snorefest as well. Crooning like he's trying to woo teenage goth girls, the singer tries to inject emotion but sounds like he's ticking off a checklist.
"With Eyes Wide Open" sounds like Adema. This is NOT a good sign. Then after the intro we've got more bollocks off the lead singer while the musicians try and play music that doesn't sound like early 00's American radio rock. Seriously, I can just imagine the likes of Linkin Park singing this over the latest CGI video, the pages of Kerrang! awash with plaudits and accolades for this band. The next song - "Siren Charms" - has a funky beat in the middle and a nice solo. But even a turd sundae can look good with enough cherries. Mind, "When The World Explodes" is a good tune. Finally, a song on tihs album with a backbone! Nice crunchy riffs and vocals that sound like a tortured soul instead of just torture. There is also a female backing vocal as well, it's been done before but it sounds good. "Rusted Nail" then ruins the effect by being shit. The sort of thing that Stone Cold would stunner the bad guys to before drinking a couple of beers and then going back to the dressing room...
"Dead Eyes" goes back into pussy-territory with a vengeance. "Monsters In The Ballroom" has a decent couple of riffs but should be renamed "Monster Coming Out Of My Speaker". "Filtered Truth" comes and goes.
I can appreciate certain aspects of this album - it's easy on the ears, it can be played at your Grans house and she wouldn't get upset, and it's a good starting point for people who are just getting into rock music. However, I think it fucking sucks as it sounds like a genre from about ten years ago - a genre which lasted as long as a snowball does in a blast furnace. Maybe this was just an experiment and they're a really good band, I dunno...it's not the worst album I've heard (That honour belongs to those cunts Brokencyde) but it's not far off.
1/10. You really are touching the bottom of the barrel.
Top track: "When The World Explodes".
Yeah, it's on iTunes. Mind, I'd have been more offended if it was this album instead of the U2 one that ended up in my iTunes...
Amazon - if you have to..
Spotify - probably a good idea to listen to it first before buying...
(Look children, point at the shitty 2003-inspired music video and laugh)