In Flames had something to prove after 2004's Soundtrack to Your Escape, a strong modern metal album but one that left a bad taste in many ardent follower's mouths as being far removed from the classic melodic death metal sound that characterised the band's earlier works. Come Clarity is certainly no Jester Race, but what it does is take the commercial aspect of the 2004 release and combine it with some of the band's heaviest and most intricate riffs since Colony or Clayman, which will be good news to many.
Seriously, there's some real kick ass stuff here, not too mention plenty of dual guitar riffery and harmonies from Bjorn Gelotte and Jesper Stromblad. Tracks like the powerful openers "Take This Life" and "Leeches" blast you out of your chair with Anders Friden's barking vocals and miles of weaving guitar harmonies and molten crunch. The band manages to conjure up some catchy melodies on "Reflect the Storm", but the song is marred by some annoying and whiney clean vocal passages from Friden that simply don't seem to fit the piece. The gorgeous female vocals from Lisa Miskovsky mesh perfectly with Friden's maniacal rasp on "Dead End", a symphonic slice of melodic extreme metal that is one of the album's highlights.
If you like pummeling, fast riffs and frantic rhythms, look no further than "Scream" or the rampaging and deadly "Vacuum", two old styled In Flames barn-burners that harken back to their early years. The title track is a real nice piece, atmospheric and moody, with lush acoustic guitars, keyboards, and mostly clean vocals from Anders, who is still looking to master the non-death metal vocal attack but gives it a good go on this one. Other highlights on the CD include the complex dual axe-attack of "Pacing Death's Trail", the bludgeoning metal stomp of "Crawl Through Knives", the Iron Maiden influenced "Vanishing Light", and the doomy, progressive tinged dirge "Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone".
It's a safe bet that In Flames chose to embrace their long-time fans with Come Clarity, as this album sounds closer to their classic sound than they have ventured to in years, yet it still retains an accessible and modern element to it. Simply put, it's a very solid album from legends of the Swedish scene who are looking to evolve but still hang on to what got them here in the first place. Good job guys.
1. Take This Life
3. Reflect The Storm
4. Dead End
6. Come Clarity
8. Pacing Death's Trail
9. Crawl Through Knives
10. Versus Terminus
11. Our Infinite Struggle
12. Vanishing Light
13. Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone