A Sense Of Purpose review by In Flames

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  • Released: Apr 1, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (298 votes)
In Flames: A Sense Of Purpose

Sound — 9
Many fans have been yearning for a return of The Jester Race era style of In Flames since they traveled from that path on Soundtrack To Your Escape. While this album isn't exactly what they have hoped for, it does serve as a good mix of both old and new In Flames styles which may keep old school fans interested. This album does not disappoint. These Melodeath Godfathers haven't lost their touch. The album is full of the guitar harmonies, melodies, and powerful choruses we'd expect from In Flames and are weaved throughout the album masterfully and the drums are phenomenal as always. They continue to show that they are masters of their craft. The album opens with the single The Mirror's Truth. Although the song is catchy, it's too short. Next is Disconnected, one of the most memorable songs on the album. This song features fast riffs and a powerful, anthemic chorus. Track 3, Sleepless Again, has a brief acoustic intro and is a very solid track. The acoustic guitars are put to better use in Alias with a brilliant bridge. Alias is a great song that features a melody reminiscent of Only For The Weak from Clayman. I could imagine Alias being a live hit, with a chorus you can chant along with. I am The Highway follows the trend of fast and melodic guitars and a sung chorus. Delight and Angers is another sing-along, anthemic song. Move Through Me has a more heavy feeling than previous songs on the album and has a nice groove to it. The guitar solos are a nice touch, too. The album then takes a bold, progressive step with The Chosen Pessimist. This is the longest In Flames song, clocking in at over 8 minutes. This is a slow ballad with an amazing climax, but it feels almost out of place at this point in the album. It feels like this would be a better album closer. The next song Sober and Irrelevant has a classic In Flames feel to it. The guitar solo in this song is fantastic, but it's over too soon, like some of the other solos on this album. Condemned features a heavy groove and some powerful guitar lines that accompany Anders' voice to make this an outstanding song. Drenched In Fear is this album's highlight song. The chorus reminds me of Reroute To Remain's epic chorus. The clean singing and vocal harmonies really make this song stand out. Some might feel that this song is too poppy, but there is nothing wrong with vocal hooks and melodies. Songs like this are what makes In Flames stand out in the metal world. The last song March To The Shore kind of pales in comparison to it's predecessors. It's a good song, don't get me wrong, but it leaves more to be desired and doesn't seem very fitting to be at the end of the album.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in this album follow the trend set by previous efforts, whereas they focus on internal struggles and conflicts with society. They have improved, though, despite a few lines here and there that come across as whiney. As for vocal skills, Anders does a great job. His raspy voice compliments the music well.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, A Sense Of Purpose is a fantastic album. It is without a doubt the best album since Clay Man. Possibly better! In Flames did a great job with this album by mixing aspects of their older and newer styles. Some fans of the old In Flames style may get in a butt-hurt over this album and refuse to give it another try, which is a shame. A Sense of Purpose does take time to sink in, and once it does, you can see it for what it really is a masterpiece!

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    flame843 wrote: I dunno why you guys are saying it's so whiny
    Because we think so?
    IfDaysEnd wrote: duncang wrote: Mate.Feed.Kill. wrote: Matt_1213 wrote: This album is brilliant. It makes me smile when the 'true death-metallers' rag on Flames for being 'generic', when they forget that they helped establish the genre in the first place. Doubtless they'll be posting below soon enough In Flames didn't pioneer death metal, they helped pioneer in the gothenburg era but the certainly weren't the first (see Entombed, Dark Tranquility). I like the first better The Jester Races lyrics were amazing. I'm definitely gunna check it out as long as it isn't another soundtrack, which I'm hearing it might be. Hah, since when did Entombed pioneer the Gothenburg sound? Anders was on Dark Tranquility... They exchanged vocalists a long time ago...
    I didn't say they were the only ones. But they certainly contributed.
    I love that even the In Flames fan base can be critical of an ablum and still love it. i think it shows true fan-ship. to see fans growing with a band like In Flames is absolutly awsome. i give it a 8.5/10
    I'm listening to it now. and I like it. its a long way from Come Clarity definitely. I don't think it's better than Come Clarity though, Come Clarity was their best album to date. regardless of what you tr00 fans may think
    I like it, not as good as the colony times but its far more better than come clarity imo. Over and out.
    I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Songs like I'm the Highway and Sober and Irrelevant (which IMO has the best opening riff ive heard from IF since Morhping into Primal) were standouts to me. They sort of re-added some of the cooler elements of the older stuff such as melody and harmony, but not enough of it. Theres some filler here, but its a decent album.
    Confetti wrote: flame843 wrote: I dunno why you guys are saying it's so whiny Because we think so?
    i.e. I don't know why you think it's so whiny.
    The JesterHead
    They say it's whiny because of the lyrics and the way Anders -sometimes- sings them. It can really be whiny, but in no way does that mean the album is bad, this album is great IMO.
    goin to see in flames april 30th so ill get to see the new album in full force mabey ill wright a review after .... good reviews. i personally enjoyed the album and will add it to the collection