Sounds Of A Playground Fading Review

artist: in flames date: 07/01/2011 category: compact discs
in flames: Sounds Of A Playground Fading
Released: Jun 15, 2011
Genre: Melodic Death metal, Hard Rock
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 13
The illustrious Swedes pick themselves up and produce their first material without founding member Jesper Strmblad.
 Sound: 6.3
 Lyrics: 6.3
 Overall Impression: 6.5
 Overall rating:
 7.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 6.4 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 121 
reviews (6) 79 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: UG Team, on june 16, 2011
14 of 16 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's album number ten for In Flames, but a commemorative shindig isn't really on the cards. Founder and co-songwriter Jesper Strmblad departed in February 2010 after years of bubbling tensions, leaving the band fully estranged from its beginnings as, effectively, a Strmblad solo endeavour. Much has happened since then; the band has solidified as a unit, built a catalogue and acquired global recognition as both a pioneer and a member of the popular, contemporary metal fraternity. This tenth album has to serve as the start of a new era lest In Flames spiral into self-parody and vacate that position. "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" is not an exercise in artistic bravery so much as adaptation. Left to write an album on his own for the first time, remaining guitarist Bjrn Gelotte has put together something that seamlessly continues the gradual evolution of this band's sound from release to release. Guitar hooks are the steadfast foundation stone and most songs are anchored by slickly diatonic riffs, given an occasional rhythmic thump and always decorated by the band's signature harmonization in thirds. Many were expecting a crude Jesper - shaped hole in the wall on this one, and you can see some of the darker, more aggressive elements have been pulled from the mix, but Gelotte has plugged the gaps with his own ideas, different ideas that would have been lost to the mediation process in a creative partnership, you feel. Clearly liberated, the guitarist picks up some vibes from previous work and creates a few new ones, making use of multi-faceted clean guitar work, unusual instruments and a liberal smacking of electronic garnish to this end. The mix is eclectic for In Flames but the package remains thoroughly convincing thanks to quality individual performances and a state-of-the-art production job, utilising the band's own IF Studios to much better effect than 2008's "A Sense Of Purpose". Putting miserably cheesy power ballad "Liberation" aside for a moment, the songwriting has but one significant pitfall. Bjrn leaves his mark as a performer with gratuitous soloing, but unfortunately the act becomes shallow through sheer density, and in some cases the solo sections become a structural crutch rather than a feature with distinct appeal. But let us not forget that In Flames' sound is a saturated one, and that's thanks to the increasingly significant contribution of vocalist Anders Fridn, who has really come into his own here. // 7

Lyrics: Having struggled to find consistency since 2000's "Clayman", the frontman finally seems to have full control of his voice, and has unequivocally chosen melody as his driving force. Notes are pushed through a gritty inflection (punctuated rather than outweighed by screams and growls) and the careful melodic shape of big single "Deliver Us" not to mention potentially massive single "Where The Dead Ships Dwell" - is among his best "clean" performances of recent years. In places control forsakes the album's lyrics, however. For all the certainty in his delivery Anders' messages are typically vague, or "open to interpretation". Issues surrounding his absent friend and bandmate seem an obvious reading on "Fear Is The Weakness" and spoken word vignette "Jester's Door" but in too many cases we as an audience are not being communicated with, rather we are subject to personal musings not always fully formed. Despite the obscure meanings, Fridn's images are perfectly suitable for the style and with such a strong vocal performance across a variety of styles, the album suffers little from the odd hiccup. // 7

Overall Impression: Better than any one album in their catalogue, "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" exhibits this band's ability to weave their melodic practice through numerous styles and moods. The variety on offer makes it an indulgence for long-time fans while newcomers shouldn't have much problem finding an accessible point of entry. Is it a radical departure or transformation? No. Is it a return to the days of old? Barring the immensely gratifying late 90s throwback of "A New Dawn", not at all. Is it a professional, well-crafted record, more than enough to confirm In Flames as a band still worth a damn? Absolutely. // 8


- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2011

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overall: 4.3
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: EpiExplorer, on june 16, 2011
4 of 23 people found this review helpful

Sound: In Flames have always been a popular band, and why shouldn't they, they helped start an entirely new style of accessible death metal and have never slowed down since. So why then, after nearly 20 years of respectable metal do they throw this at us? It should be said, I'm not a huge fan of In Flames but I don't dislike them much either, so I'm being a bit more neutral than normal on this one. But even so, sometimes I feel like Anders Friden is deliberately taking the piss. The first two songs on the album are undoubtedly the two worst things to open an album with. Sounding more like Rammstein meets Threat Signal than In Flames's previously unique sound, the aim is obviously clear of what they're trying to do: Get more people to like them. But they don't need to do this, they don't need to weaken and soften their legacy to fit in with the crowd of child-friendly metalcore than dominates the metal charts, and its disappointing to say the least to hear that they're not turning around from this point on. That said, sonically it isn't awful. The departure of Stromblad is noticeable and Bjorn Gollette has done a pretty good job with filling the space yet I can't help feel that songs like "The Puzzle" and the single "Deliver Us" show that they really can't be bothered with their song-writing any more, the momentum is not what it once was and some of (note, SOME) the riffs sound like the wrong kind of 90's metal (think Limp Bizkit). But, the melodies are melodic, without being too family oriented like Parkway Drive, and the main traits of Gothenburg metal are still present, if buried under dense electronics and an almost continual four to the floor (Lars Ulrich-y) beat. And the less is said about the half-arsed breakdowns, the better. // 4

Lyrics: Despite the main sound of In Flames going downhill, Anders Friden is somehow still improving vocally. Although he has kinda stopped the harsh vocals almost entirely (with his current technique just not as punchy as it once was) which was one of the original defining points of In Flames, his clean vocal style has improved since I first heard him on some Metallica cover for some magazine years ago. But the thing is, its just not developed enough to be properly amazing, yet its only just good enough to make the entire farce that is this album sound a bit better. Lyrically, you can tell there wont be anything deep and overly meaningful with an album title like that. I never thought that Anders was a bad lyric writer, only that his themes were rubbish. And this album just proves that. The themes are focusing on some sort of self-betterment train-wreck, whether its a personal view from Anders or just lyrics for the sake of lyrics, they're easily written off when listening to the album. // 5

Overall Impression: In Flames already have their sound, but even without scrutiny of listeners, you can tell this is one of those ideas that should have been left in the back of Friden's brain. Dare I say that this is more accessible than "Toxicity" by System Of A Down? Well, "Toxicity" had death growls and even some actual death metal (in the loosest sense, but still). Stupid comparisons aside, unless you're one of those "with them till the end" fans or someone who thinks that harsh vocals are "unlistenable" or whatever, then there's not much of value in an album like this. Its more or less the re-affirmation of the spiral downward for the band, (this is perhaps unrelated) even Friden chopped his dreads off and started wearing flannel and a farmers hat. And the award for worst album title of the year goes to... Songs to look out for: for quick thrills, "All For Me", "The Puzzle", "Fear Is The Weakness", "The Attic", "Darker Times". The rest shouldn't be worthy of your time. // 4

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overall: 8.7
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: Crystallized, on june 17, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: First off for all the people that werent impressed by "ASOP", a band has to able to mature and evolve their sound, that being said In Flames did something much different here than I thought they would, it is a further evolution of thier newer sound, for long time fans the departure of jespers was a huge blow. Anyways this album surprised me by how it sounds like something from reroute or soundtrack mixed with the newer sound of "ASOP" and "Come Clarity". As a fan of reroute and soundtrack its a sound I was happy to here, Bjorn Gelotte has done a phenomenal job filling in the songwriting slot left by Jespers, he appears to have gelled well with Engelin, the riffs the two of them play remind of older In Flames. The two most under rated members of In Flames Iwers and Svensson have really broke through here, Svensson has most definetly gotten better as the years have gone by, and Iwers has always been just a smooth bass player with the perfect sound. The sound of In Flames has never been a problem for this band they appear to be getting better as they go. They experimented with a lot of electronics on this album and it has paid off. Although no "Clayman" or "Colony", it is the best they have sounded in a long while. A new dawn does sound like it could be plucked right out of "Colony". // 9

Lyrics: Anders has actually tightened up his technique a lot since the last album and it shows a lot, it does leave a lot of questions though? He appears to be moving towards not using his growls anymore. Although it may be a good thing as they move towards further mainstream success but it will continue to alienate purists from 1999 backwards. I do love that there are some instances of the old ways on here and they were placed and executed well. Anders actually did very good job of writing the lyrics for this album they fit the music perfectly. This is an album that will take a couple of listens too to fully embrace the lyrics but on first run thru they are good, but still not the gems that were songs like "Satellites And Astronauts", "Pinball Map" and others. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is something that shows a band can move on with the departure of a founding member. The skills of In Flames are progressing as they move more towards mainstream. This album while not the best in there catalogue it is a mature, handsomely executed blend of everything In Flames has recorded since 1999, with superb guitar work and above average vocals. If stolen I would buy this album again. The guitars drums and bass all blend into a beautiful sound. Faves: "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", "Deliver Us", "A New Dawn", "Enter Tragedy", "Where The Dead Ships Dwell". Worst: "All For Me". // 9

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overall: 6.3
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: Phaeo, on june 22, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you've seen the DVD of the recording process, you know, that the band wanted the album to sound expensive. And they succeeded, it sounds good, guitar tones are really edgy. Bass is aggressive, drums are tight and the keyboards and samples in the background add some deepness to the mix. Anders uses clean vocals much more often than he used to, which is kind of good, because it contributes to the "melodicness" of the songs, but unfortunately compromises the spirit In Flames had before. You can definetly hear Jesper Stromblad left the building - as the band members said in the short documentary film - guitars are much tighter, more synchronised, Bjorn had much more time and freedom to work on riffs on his own. As this might have been good for him, for us it results in worse songwriting. In comparison the A Sense of Purpose, whether you liked it or not, it sounds like a bunch of ideas stitched together rather than thought through compositions. I have no complaints about other members, actually drums sound better and it sounds like Daniel Svensson is on top of his game, so that's good. Album highlights: Track 9 - "Ropes" Track 10 - "Enter Tragedy" - sounds like good ol' times In Flames (think "Whoracle") mixed with the new approach and better sound. Track 12 - "A New Dawn" (yes, the string quartet sounds awesome, even though I am not a great fan of using that in metal). Album letdowns: Track 1 - "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" - I was so hyped before listening to the first track, I was dying to hear something new and fresh and a-s-kicking, that maybe it was too hard to fulfill my heightened expectations. Unfortunately I don't remember who did the sampling and keyboards, but he did a great job and you can hear that especially on the "Jester's Door" track (11). To sum it all up, this album is worse than I expected, but then again I expected it to crush my balls with a merciless storm of melodic, heavy sh-t. I'm disappointed. Still it is worth giving it a listen and as I mentioned, has some really catchy songs on it. // 6

Lyrics: I never thought of Anders as a great lyrics writer, for me it was more important how, not what, he let things out of his lungs. Being a guitarist myself I must admit, that no matter what I listen to, I focus on the melodies in vocals, not the lyrics. I'm happy with my attitude, because if I actually read the booklet, I may find myself thinking "What the..?!" (Let me remind you: "Neo-wolf, but older again Than the Lupus itself Linked its fur to the gyroscope of time") Fortunately by now Anders has learned English enough to write lyrics in that language himself, so now they at least make sense. Cannot say that they're heart gripping or that they make you cry or want to fight (anything by Slipknot), they're just there to provide a canvas for a melody to be painted on top of them. And that is just fine for me. // 7

Overall Impression: Compared to older if work, this one is really weak. Highlights I already listed. What I love about this album? The sound - it is really well produced. What I hate is that the songs are just not good enough. I definitely wouldn't buy it again if I lost it, I'm actually considering taking it back to the store and trading for something else, maybe "Wrath" by Lamb Of God (even though I already listened to it a thousand times, it's still worth having in a box on a shelf). Don't buy it if you're an oldschool In Flames fan. // 6

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overall: 8
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: seanl123, on june 27, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 01. "Sounds Of A Playground Fading": Definitely an excellent starting to any album. I thought it sounded so similar to "Touch Of Red" from their 2004 "Soundtrack To Your Escape" album after hearing the first riff when the band enters in full, but I still love the entire thing. Nothing bad about any of this song! 02. "Deliver Us": I watched the actual music video for this before the album was released, and I must say, it was worse than I had hoped. However, after getting the album, I played it back a couple of times, and my first belief that it was a bad song had changed. The synth intro really excites the sense, and sort of builds to a marching styled riff. The first verse is a bit of a downer to the intro that was created however. Once we reach the chorus, I feel this will be a favourite for fans to sing along with at shows. Bjorn's solo's sounds like they always do, and for me, I have no problem with this. They're just so melodic, and you feel like fist pumping through the entire thing. 03. "All For Me": First riff, instantly reminds you of the old In Flames days ("Colony" & "Clayman"). This ought to make the fans of the middle albums feel like their witnessing a return to the underground sound of old. All the way up until the verse, you'd be easily fooled into thinking old In Flames is back. In the verse, I'm not really sure what I'm listening to. It's not bad, but it doesn't sound entirely In Flames-ie at all... The chorus, has some resemblance of the old days, but with a new unknown twist on it. This track is much like old, but, in a way, it's not. 04. "The Puzzle": Straight away this reminds of the 2008 "A Sense Of Purpose" album. However, after this intro riff, the song doesn't really stand out much, and I feel like skipping it because of this. The only high point of the song would be the solo and harmonised riff which follows it. The outro is an interesting listening, but I feel goes for a tad too long. 05. "Fear Is The Weakness": Definitely a song worth listening to. It pretty much focuses as a instrumental track to me, as I don't find the lyrics and singing to stand out very much from the rest of the song. Once again, Bjorn's solo's are a stand out for me, due to the sheer simplicity of them. 06. "Where The Dead Ships Dwell": Interesting introduction, but I feel the verse's could have been better done with by Anders (vocalist). The chorus would be the high point for the entire vocal track sadly. The solo's show why Bjorn wrote the album, from the band's previous drummer, to the lead guitarist (before Niclas joined after the album was made). This song sadly, is not as great as it could have been. 07. "The Attic": The clean solo at the begin is quite a good thing to hear, because it gives a break from the usually constant fast paced albums of others. Anders lyrics, quite amusing as to how they don't rhyme. I believe this makes you pay attention to what he's singing/speaking. A pretty mellow track, not really bad. 08. "Darker Times": Intro riff and first verse, definitely not great. I was expecting something better after a slow song before it. Even Bjorn's solo's can't redeem this song in my opinion. The break before the last chorus reminds of something from Soilwork. The outro is quite amusing when it changes to blips, but overall a very disappointing track. 09. "Ropes": Intro riff, instantly love. This is something that makes me want to keep listening, but makes me feel anxious of what's to follow it. Luckily, the changing riff doesn't disrupt the songs good flow too much, and I am pleased with this. I found that if the synth in the background of the chorus was higher in volume, it would sound great. The final chorus in perspective could have been better, but it ends with the same intro riff, which makes it sound decent. 10. "Enter Tragedy": First riff sucks, second riff, love. Anders could have sounded better if he screamed more in the verse instead of tried to sing it. The chorus's backing chords should have been changed to a more melodic sound. And like previous, Bjorn's wah just gets in your pants. Not a great song in retrospective however. 11. "Jester's Door": An electronic song, if you could call it that. It's much like an letter to the fans of In Flames, however I'm not really sure what the purpose of this song was. 12. "A New Dawn": Old In Flames at it's best. This sure must bring longtime fans of the band to remember the middle albums. This is one of my personal favourites from the band. The only downside to this song would be the over eccentric chorus, too much synth! For any of the fans new to In Flames, I would highly suggest this song as a reference to the old "IF". This reminds me of the saying amongst the fans, "In Flames We Trust". And even more so, Bjorn's wah solo is just like ecstasy. How can metal be the music of the devil when this sounds so fantastic!? 13. "Liberation": The final track of the album. I've read many mixed reviews of this song, saying it's too pop influenced. In a way I would have to agree. It is a major pop song pretty much. But it's not a bad pop song by the band. there's a part in the verse that reminds me of Dream Theater for some reason. The chorus is designed to be as uplifting as they're willing. Bjorn's middle solo, mmmmm "rubs chest", this is my reaction to his entire soloing efforts. This song can either be considered good, or bad, depending on your taste. All I can say, is that apart from the solo, this is definitely not In Flames. Could this be the future of If? I hope not. Speaking form a positive stand point of the song, everything in it is great, everything besides the outro, which I feel drags on too long, and also ends abruptly. // 8

Lyrics: I had read that Anders was doing more singing in this album than screaming, luckily, I have to say that its not as bad as I originally thought. Anders is well renowned for having his unique blend of singing and screaming, and I would say that this album is well balanced. There are a few tracks in which his singing should be replaced with singing however, and thus fore ruins a section. I am proud to say however, that he still remains one of my favourite vocalists around. // 8

Overall Impression: In comparison to every other In Flames album, this has some tell tale sounds of previous ones. Particularly the middle "Colony" & "Clayman" albums, which in my mind, made the band. However, this is only prominent in a couple of tracks. IN FLAMES is a one of a kind band, and they still remain this way. The only other band to come close to In Flames sound would be Soilwork, (who happen to be friends with If). The most impressive songs from the album would be: "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", "Deliver Us", "All For Me", "Fear Is The Weakness", "Ropes", "A New Dawn". This album overall isn't as great as I would have expected from such a great band, and leaves me pondering whether or not Jesper's departure from the band was behind the lack of many exceptional songs. I still look forward to any more releases from the band in the future, and hope to catch them on tour down here in Australia. Peace out. // 8

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overall: 3.7
Sounds Of A Playground Fading Reviewed by: Bluesmetalguy, on july 01, 2011
1 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: In Flames album. This album, is... The beginning of the end for melodeath. In Flames has truly lost their might and their latest record symbolizes something more than just In Flames officially sucking. In Flames where the beasts of Melodeath, they were the guys taking metal to a new level. But that's all gone now, melodeath giants have killed themselves and In Flames is using pop layering for their choruses. All the majesty that was In Flames has literally gone down in flames. I am sorry to say it but these guys are no longer relevant. And melodeath as a genre is starting to lose its relevance. This album starts off with a quiet and calm acoustic solo at the beginning of "Sounds Of A Playground Fading". This song just reeks of sadness and it comes across as almost pathetic with it's poppish chorus. This song, is clearly not In Flames. But the title suggests something. It suggests that the playground and childish joy of In Flames is officially over. The playground has faded away and I think that as a consequence melodeath is going to start disappearing from mainstream metal. That is not to say that melodeath is over, there are still mindblowing acts like Frozen Infinity and Torchbearer, acts that have not yet reached great popularity/gotten a wikipedia page. In fact I think that melodeath will live on for centuries because the musical style is so complex and evolved it would be hard for them to die off. But still, now that the giants are effectively dead melodeath is going to start losing its popularity and it will be replaced, probably by metalcore, but more on that later. After the lead track comes "Deliver Us", a song with vocals that are often borderline clean. This song features another crappy chorus with poppish layering but even worse is the songs intro. The beginning of this song features a section that is almost trip-hop, but this won't be the biggest offense on the album. Still this trick is rather lame, there is some solid bass and guitar work but the vocals are just sad. They are pretty much clean in the chorus and I feel that In Flames has truly gone too commercial. The third track is called "All For Me", it with the fourth track "The Puzzle" are among the better tracks on this record, at least it does not make me feel physically I'll and sad for In Flames. Still the choruses are fairly cheesy and makes me very sad at the glory that has been lost. They do prove that good things can be done with this 4 man In Flames lineup, if all the tracks on the album were more or less like this one I would be fairly happy, but unfortunately they are not. And In Flames committed sins to atrocious on this album for me to ever really love their new releases. One of the tings they do on both of these tracks is that they have really cool beginning but then the last minute of both of these songs is just downright pathetic and limp. These songs show good things can be done, but they probably will not happen. The fifth track is called "Fear Is The Weakness", and it starts off with a really dull acoustic intro that is just weak. After the intro there is a reasonable melodic passage but then the atrocity comes. The lyrics, are literally a piece of emo poetry. "You, you are leaving me". It's like something an emo metalcore band would say. This is not In Flames. Then there is some hilarious hypocrisy where they sing about how they are refinding themselves because they lost their identity. Well guess what In Flames! Your last album was a lot closer to your identity than this mash up of trip hop metalcore and melodeath! This album is nothing like you guys. When you say in this song "We Have been on the same road for too long" you act like its a bad thing, but its not! On your original road you guy's were gods! Now you are just some stupid old farts who are trying to make money. The sixth track is called "Where The Dead Ships Dwell", this is one of the most atrocious song as it features clean vocals that just do not fit the whole In Flames vibe. The other problem with this song is that there are breakdown type things that are literally trip hop riffs! Now there's nothing wrong with trip hop but In Flames is not at all trip hop and never should be trip hop! However it will get worse. "The Attic" is one of the two worst songs on this album, it disgusts me, it makes me feel physically ill, it is nearly as bad as "Dancing Queen". Yes, that bad. It starts of with a stupidly simple non melodic trip hop type riff and then there are some stupid clean vocals that make me forget that I am listening to In Flames. Then a string section kicks in and you expect it to turn into an epic ballad, but it doesn't. This song just stays as a dull and flat piece that just curdles my ears and makes that open third floor window right next to me look very promising. When I heard this song I almost cried, how far can one band fall in just a few years! The eighth track, "Darker Time" just starts to make up for it, this is one of the better songs on this album and it is another song that proves that good things can be done with the new 4 man In Flames line up. Of course the chorus is a bit poppish, however on this song it actually kind of works because the rest of the song is awesome and high powered. So this is one of the few songs where the chorus actual lifts me up because the song itself is awesome. This is probably the best song on the album because at the end it does not die off and start to suck. Still the solo sounds like it was stolen from Zakk Wylde, it could do with more melody. The final chorus to this song is awesome. I can truly tell you that this is the one song on this album that would fit perfectly into Clayman. Of course the very next track is such a horrific abomination that the glory of "Darker Time" is just wiped away and pooped on. There is a cool intro, but then the song, it devolves into... A pop song? This song is a bad pop clich with a cool intro. The vocals sound whining and weak. There is no glory in this song, there are just weak and wussy vocals with a solo that comes across as limp. This track is an utter abomination and on it's own it nearly wipes away the glory of "The Jester Race". The band that recorded that album was significantly better than whatever this abomination is. The next song is "Enter Rage", it is very aggressive and has a cool sound that features heavy drumming and comes across very nicely. However it dies off when it comes time for the solo. For some reason the majority of the solos on this album just feel, lifeless. They feel weak and they fee like they have no passion behind them pushing the onto the next level. That's really one of the biggest issues with the songs on this album, the solos are dispassionate. Its very sad. Overall though this is a good track. Then there is the horror and doom of "Jester's Door" where In Flames just pees on their old classic and creates a new overdubbed track with sad clean vocals that are literally spoken for the first half of the song. Now this would be okay if the next part was really cool and blew my head off but it's not and it doesn't. It just transforms into some crappy trip-hop breakdown with a slightly crunchy guitar that isn't even that melodic. "Jester's Door" is a pathetic song and one of the worst on this album, it is truly disgusting. The next to last track "A New Dawn" is mediocre and it is extremely cheesy. In fact a lot of the songs on this album are extremely cheesy. I mean "I can't wait to see the sun rise again?". That is the cheesiest thing that I have seen all day! Then there are some meh clean vocals. However the guitar work on this song is sick and there are some great drum fills. In fact one of the things In Flames that has not deteriorated in quality is the killer drums. There is an acoustic part in this song that comes out of nowhere that takes away from a lot of the energy that was there. This is not a good thing for the song because the energy in this song was just about to takeover the cheese. But it just missed. The final track of this album is even more cheesy than "A New Dawn". "Liberation" starts off with some ridiculously weak and whining clean vocals that come across as pathetic. The guitar riff is also simple and not at all melodic or mind blowing. Then theirs the chorus with weak clean vocals. I will spare you the horror from having it describe to you. // 4

Lyrics: The overall lyrics are very cheesy and have none of the sheer brutality of In Flames previous work. While some of the songs are like corny 80ies anthems others are metalcore clichs. A few of the tracks do have decent lyrics however, the most notable one being "Darker Time", which revisits the brutal awesomeness of In Flames's past. The overall singing is unbelievably limp with In Flames experimenting with wussy clean vocals that do not at all work for this band. All in all In Flames comes across as a shdaow of its former self and has little of its former metal glory. // 3

Overall Impression: Overall this album is a failure and an abomination to all that is in flames. While this album definitely shows some promising songs and shows that the 4 man lineup can work they have some work to do before they re enter their glory days. All in all this album does not even feel like an In Flames album. The majority of the songs here are not worth listening too because some of them barely qualify as music. The synthesiser bits are truly depressing. There is hope, but not much for In Flames. May the gods of metal bless this band, may they rest in peace. // 4

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