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In Flames: Come Clarity

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.

Track Listing
1. Take This Life
2. Leeches
3. Reflect The Storm
4. Dead End
5. Scream
6. Come Clarity
7. Vacuum
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

Added: March 17th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: In Flames Website
Hits: 2351
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

In Flames: Come Clarity
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-03-17 06:51:35
My Score:

In Flames are one of the founders of the Gothenburg sound and for years have led an Underground Metal movement that is an ever-growing army of support for the genre. With their new release entitled Come Clarity we find the band switching labels to join Ferret Music and also changing the direction of their sound a little more drastically than their long time fans might expect. The result is actually a very accessible Metal record with lots of twists and turns that will entertain and surely gain them a larger following than ever before. Musically this album is fantastic and there is enough solid head bangers and fist-raising songs that the listener will hardly know what is hitting them. Singer Anders uses a couple of different styles for this one by not only having his signature screams and growls but also a little more melodic styling. He is complimented by Lisa Miskovsky for "Dead End" which is an amazing track that will be right up the alley of those who enjoy female fronted Metal these days. The effectiveness of her voice makes me want to see her contribute more with this band and perhaps some others if
at all possible. While the direction has veered a little from their original course this is the kind of move that keeps a band fresh and their output ever interesting. "Take This Life" drives the stake they are taking right home at the start of the album and really showcases the drumming of Daniel Svennson (who is quite accomplished and solid on the whole album anyway). I also felt that both Bjorn and Jesper were performing some
amazing feats on the guitars, enough so that more people can enjoy the type of music that In Flames brings to you. I referred to it as accessible but that does not mean it is commercial and non Heavy, the record has some weight but I mean that it has the ability to reach beyond the normal scope. Other tracks I enjoyed were "Reflect The Storm" for its pounding chorus and title track "Come Clarity" that while slower does not lose an ounce of Metal dramatics. "Crawl Through Knives" is also interesting and uses the bands
name to some effect during the chorus.

The new direction of the group holds a lot for fans of Soilwork, Dark Tranquility and Mercenary. "Pacing Death's Trail" has so much of a Soilwork sound to it that you can see where that band had their major influence. Those who need convincing of the albums power will be impressed to know that it opened on the Billboard 200 Chart at #58. An impressive feat for a band that chose to mix some of the newer sounds of today with tastes of their classic style. Don't miss out on this one if you never followed them before
because with Come Clarity In Flames have begun a new journey into Metal that their fans would be wise join them on.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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