Monday, September 21, 2009

Great Band, Terrible Album Pt. 6: In Flames: A Sense of Purpose

For shame, In Flames. I am not talking about the typical albums that compel vitriol in most metal fans here, although this album is no less-derided. In Flames was one of the leading bands in the Gothenburg scene, and the first such band to really jump the shark. Their style of melodic death metal was infused with folk elements on their early material which were quickly filtered out. Nevertheless, the band remained strong through Clayman. After that is where a lot of fans bailed out on the band.

The music on Reroute to Remain was different, I will grant that. It certainly paled in comparison to their mightier melodeath material. But it was catchy, and emotional, and fun to listen to. Reroute to Remain was my first In Flames album, and perhaps that is why I feel the way I do about it. Perhaps if The Lunar Strain or Colony was my first, I would hate Reroute to Remain. Nevertheless, I loved the album then and still do now.

After that album came Soundtrack to Your Escape and Come Clarity. Both albums retaining that infectiousness from Reroute while being less than well-appreciated in metal circles. I still enjoyed them.

Then we come upon A Sense of Purpose which is where I will be getting off of the In Flames bandwagon. I do not honestly know what I dislike so much about this album. It seems like most of the elements from the previous three albums, which I enjoyed, are still here. Perhaps the songwriting has become stale, perhaps the modern rock elements have started to dominate the sound further decreasing the metal elements. I do not really know. All I know is that something happened on this album, something that has lead me to not enjoy it as much as their previous albums. Perhaps In Flames will catch themselves before they fall too far, perhaps not. It has been a fun ride while it lasted, but it's time for me to get off.

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