A Sense Of Purpose Review

artist: In Flames date: 08/10/2009 category: compact discs
In Flames: A Sense Of Purpose
Release Date: Apr 1, 2008
Label: Koch
Genres: Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
If you enjoy intensely melodic metal, then this album is most definitely for you.
 Sound: 7.3
 Lyrics: 6.1
 Overall Impression: 7.1
 Overall rating:
 7.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 6.9 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 302 
 Views:
 1,512 
reviews (9) 177 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: UG Team, on april 01, 2008
20 of 22 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you listen to classic In Flames records such as 'Colony' and 'The Jester Race', that helped define the melodic death metal genre, and then listen to more recent tracks like 'Scream' or 'F(r)iend', the considerable difference can often spark a negative reaction, and has done in In Flames' core fanbase for years now. But you know what? It doesn't matter, because 'A Sense Of Purpose' is a truly brilliant album, and any critics who are still having trouble getting over the band as they were in 2004 are simply missing out. Their last effort, 2006's 'Come Clarity', was far from poor either, but 'A Sense Of Purpose' is the album that In Flames have been threatening to make ever since that oh-so-controversial change in sound. So, the sound of the album is an interesting one for In Flames fans, any review you read of this album will tell you that they've filled the album with lead guitar and the classic harmonies that really set In Flames apart from any pretenders. No matter how hard anyone tries, the sound of Jesper Strmblad and Bjrn Gelotte is impossible to imitate, as the two have always (that is, since Bjrn switched from drums to full time guitarist on 'Colony') gelled, and their understanding of harmony and their melodic awareness has remained intact since In Flames' inception in 1990. Sure, it wasn't that prominent in 'Reroute To Remain' or 'Soundtrack To Your Escape', but it was always there and since those albums it has really made a return and has become the most important part of In Flames' music once again. Not only that, but the clean vocals of Anders Fridn have taken up Jesper's style of melodic composition, and really work as In Flames melodies. Anyone who has heard songs like 'Come Clarity' will be glad to hear that the clean vocals, while a lot more frequent, have actually improved massively. In fact, the vocals as a whole have gotten much better. Anders actually performs with real conviction and strength on 'A Sense Of Purpose', and has abandoned the whiny half-assed muttering that truly ruined a lot of songs on 'Soundtrack To Your Escape' especially. If you really miss his vocal style as shown with his work with fellow Gothenburg legends Dark Tranquillity, then you won't be relieved here, but hopefully if you listen to the album openly you will recognise that the vocals here are solid in their own right. The drumming, as always, is top notch, with Daniel Svensson delivering yet another absolutely stellar performance, and even though his beats are not at all unique to each song, he performs with finesse and brings a lot of the songs to life. Accompanying him in the rhythm section is bassist Peter Iwers. Now, the bass guitar has never, ever been a particularly noticeable part of In Flames' sound, however Peter's thick bass tone compliments the multiple layers of guitars over it perfectly and really makes some of the album's riffs feel incredibly heavy. You know, even though this new album could be considered a real mixture of their previous work, the sound of the album is very consistent and every single song is enjoyable and valuable: that's not something that I could say about an In Flames album since 'Whoracle'. If you enjoy intensely melodic metal, then this album is most definitely for you. // 10

Lyrics: Honestly, the lyrics of 'Come Clarity' were pathetic. They were whiny, they were repetitive and they contained countless lines that just made you cringe. While I certainly can't say that the lyrics on 'A Sense Of Purpose' can be compared to the poetry of 'The Jester Race', there has been a dramatic improvement. The lyrics still seem to mostly deal with internal struggles and personal issues, however there is only one song on the entire album where the lyrics are so clich that it actually makes you stop and think what Anders was thinking whilst writing them (and all of their albums since 'Clayman' have had several such moments), and that's on 'Disconnected' (I feel like shit, but at least I feel something does not do it's anthemic chorus justice), and several of the chorus lines in particular have that quality that really have a lot of power even if you aren't immediately aware of what they mean, and that's something that Anders should really be proud of. // 8

Overall Impression: If you have truly hated every bit of music you've heard from In Flames since 'Clayman', then I can't say that you will like this album, however if you think that 'Come Clarity' was a definite step in the right direction, then you will want to hear this. It's the album that defines In Flames' sound as the band that they are today. It's played with total conviction and it shows that the recording process was a very enjoyable one (and you know this if you've watched their in-studio videos). It is, ultimately, just a fantastic In Flames album, boasting 12 songs of the highest quality that acknowledges the band's history, both distant and recent, and takes them into new places (the eight minute journey 'The Chosen Pessimist' is testament to that) that hopefully proves that In Flames have not lost their way. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 1
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: MHDrunk, on may 05, 2008
9 of 57 people found this review helpful

Sound: Wow! This is awesome! In Flames have completely left their nasty sound that characterised their earlier albums and opted for a more mainstream style that draws comparison to forgotten legends such as Evanescence and Linkin Park! I always hated their early stuff, like Subterranean, but A Sense of Purpose is really great metal! They've taken out the boring melody and solos and down-tuned their guitars even more so they could sound even more metal! Obviously this shows that In Flames look up to Korn (my favourite band). // 1

Lyrics: There are some brilliant clean vocals on this that would make Chester (of Linkin Park) himself she'd a tear. Every now and then there are some screams that represent the singer's troubled childhood and point to an even more extreme metal influence, like Slipknot or early Limp Bizkit. Unfortunately I didn't have time to listen to the whole thing so I'm not sure if they rapped or not. I hope they did! In Flames even cater for the less extreme among us by every now and then reminding you of bands such as Good Charlotte and Simple Plan with their vocals. // 1

Overall Impression: It is great that Linkin Park released their first album only 8 years ago and already has a legacy in the form of In Flames! It's not quite as extreme as bands like Slipknot or even the inventors of metal (Korn) but at least they got rid of their stupid melodies! Soon enough, A Sense of Purpose should break the top 40 and appear on the morning video hits TV show, I can't wait! Some said that metal died in around 2005 when Limp Bizkit sold out but In Flames have revived true metal with this amazing album! // 1

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.3
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: farfaraway, on april 12, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: A Sense Of Purpose is first of all, probably not what fans of In Flames older sound may appreciate as much, however, many elements included in tracks throughout this album dig into previous styles used in albums such as The Jester Race or Whoracle. The first track and first single, The Mirrors Truth features a sinister guitar riff that really builds up and complements the song as whole. The lyrics are very visual whilst also indulging in what would seem to be introverted lyrics, but also encroaching on many political themes. Fast and pounding, this track makes a good opener, and a good single. Disconnected is the second track, the first few riffs are very reminiscent of earlier albums such as The Jester Race, and throughout the chorus the song incorporates a very fresh and bright sound, with high harmonies which sound almost like Reflect The Storm from the previous album, Come Clarity. Sleepless Again is a slightly slower song and has many Clayman elements within the it, vocally and musically, and the use of synths in the chorus give a Reroute to Remain feel also. The harmonies work well and there are a few very melodical moments from the guitar which work flawlessly with the rest of the song. Alias has a very strong rythym which sounds like something that could be marched to, and has a more obvious use of synths, which reminds me a lot of Only for the Weak. There are a few slower moments in the verses which the guitars complement well in. A small acoustic section in the song also helps capture the atmosphere, and puts the rest of the song in a different perspective. I'm The Highway is a faster song with many cool harmonies. The verses feature many hard hitting blasts, which juxtaposes the melodic drifting guitars in the chorus without sounding out of place. There is a small section which the song turns very heavy, and leads into a very bright and almost unexpected solo. Overall the song is a strong and very well built track. Delights and Angers is a song which has many different sounds throughout, a good use of wah in the verses, and also clean guitars giving a few very melodic lines. The chorus is very sing-alongable, and very powerful. There is a small section which comes almost from nowhere and sounds very new to In Flames, in which the guitars and vocals become very melodic, but also keeping within the context of the song. Move Through Me features a very hard hitting and powerful intro riff, and a very subtle use of synths. The verses are also fast and feature many cool riffs. The singing is very melodic, complementing the riffs in a different way normally heard. The chorus is very strong, with the use of syths of the guitars. I could expect this song to be the next single. The Chosen Pessismist would probably be most conceptual song from In Flames so far, going completely out of their usual sound. At 8 minutes long it almost becomes a progressive song. The guitar riffs are very melodic and calm, and with a much larger use of synths as well as the use of violins, this song is extremely atmospheric. There are a few sections which In Flames are completely different, showing taht they are far more complex than just metal. There are a few sections which sound like this could have been a song released by Nine Inch Nails due to the use of very industrial sounding beats and sounds. The song builds and becomes very heavy and dark towards the end. The singing is far different from almost all In Flames songs, with a whole new pitch rarely heard, showing that Anders is more talented than most think. I can see this song maybe stirring up a bit of contraversy amongst the fan base, but with an open mind, as a slow ballad this could be seen as one of the best songs on the album. Sober and Irrelevant is a song which really has a lot of In Flames older styles in it, drumming and guitaring stretching back to Whoracle days, and has a solo that could have been placed anywhere in their timeline. The singing features a very low death grunt at one point, as well as a melodic chorus. This song is sure to please both fans of older and newer In Flames. Condemned is a dark song musically. The start reminds me a lot of of The Jester Race. Vocally this song features what is arguably the heaviest track, with very hard hitting verses and a few grunts here and there, the only clean singing really coming in to complement the chorus vocals. There is a breakdown which features a lot of synths, but only really acting as backing to the heavy guitar riffs. Drenched in Fear sounds very Clayman, with a cool intro riff which has a lot of harmony, leading into a verse that is has guitar riffs very reminiscent of Swim from Clayman. Vocally this song is very soaring, especially in the choruses. At some points there are very ghostly backing vocals creeping in, which have a very Soundtrack To Your Escape feel. The drumming can be quite dull at some points, but this is probably not to draw attention from the guitar riffs. March To The Shore, the final track (excluding any bonus tracks) is a very fast and strong song. It features elements from almost every sound In Flames have had in previous albums, with elements that sound like Soundtrack to Your Escape's heavier parts, verses with guitar riffs that sound like their earlier heavier guitaring, as well as additional Reroute to Remain-esque riffs, and with a solo that shows the guitarists are very skilled. The vocals in this song are very cool, especially in the chorus, and remind me a lot of the chorus in My Sweet Shadow (probably one of the best parts from STYE). Bonus tracks are Eraser, Tilt and Abnegation. Eraser has a lot of synth use, but not taking away from the very melodic lead line in the guitar. The vocals are extremely strong and heavy, especially in the chorus lines. The song overall leaves you wondering why it's a mere bonus track. Tilt is slightly slower, but has a very heavy sound to it, with a lot of blast beats in the verses. The guitar harmonies lead into the chorus very well, and blend flawlessly. Vocally this song is very good, the words are clear yet also screamed very heavily. Abnegation was originally featured on Viva La Bands, and is included here also. The first riffs sound slightly awkward, but are complemented well by the drums. The choruses are heavier than some other sections of the song, whilst having a very melodic, soaring vocal track over it. Overall, this album is very conceptual whilst staying in a metal context. The album furthers In Flames distance from what they sounded like in their early days, but is also keeping themselves just as heavy as they always have been. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically this album has a lot of ups and downs, as there are some songs which have very poetic and strong visual lyrics, and others that leave you either cringing or thinking you've either misunderstood something or it just doesn't make sense. One track namely being Disconnected, with the line 'I feel like shit, but at least I feel something'. For such a strong song musically, this line tends to drag it down a little. Another part is in the song Sober and Irrelevant, with the line 'is this how it feels to reach rock bottom, want to know how it feels to be forgotten?' This seems awkward and too much of a forced rhyme, and takes away from the flow. Whilst there are the downsides to the lyrics, there are a lot of moments which leave the listener thinking, about themselves and others, and many deep themes and many thought provoking introversions. Anders shows his skills as a singer at many points in this album, going from very heavy screaming to gentle clean melody in an instant, and being able to scream in a way that almost sounds painful to do compared to many other death metal bands. // 8

Overall Impression: Compared to other albums, this album shows In Flames have carved their own niche even more than they already have, further progressing in a new and original sound. Whilst there are many moments you can hear In Flames from older albums as well as newer, this album keeps the feeling and heaviness In Flames hhave always had. The most impressive songs on this album for me are Move Through Me and The Chosen Pessimist. The first time I heard Move Through Me I could barely sit still, the song is so exciting. I'm guessing this will probably be the next single. The Chosen Pessimist appears to be a very personal song, which I think many people will be able to relate to, making it an important track on the album. The thing I like most about this album is that the band have gotten more dynamic than they have in previous albums. A lot of these songs could have fit in well on other albums, and some could never have been released at any other time than now. If I lost this album, I would definetly buy it again, not only for how good the music is, but the beautiful booklet included, including illustrations from Alex Pardee (who previously worked with the likes of The Used and Aiden). This album is a must-have in my collection. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 1
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: Burning_Angel, on may 09, 2008
5 of 22 people found this review helpful

Sound: With Come Clarity, In Flames made me think perhaps they were going to go back to being more metal, less boring, and sure enough, CC had some excellent tracks. Where the hell did this come from? The music is overall really, really bland. By the end I have trouble recalling any more than one riff. This is probably due to the fact that they wrote one riff and made 12 songs out of it. The drumming is ok, but really far back in the mix, the bass doesn't contribute anything. Worst of all, is the production. The guitars sound way over polished, and lack any punch or heaviness. Also, all the rhythm guitars (which are boring, repetitive chug, if I didn't mention) completely drown most (if not all) of any would-be good melodies. // 1

Lyrics: I can't be bothered with such meaningless tripe. The lyrics are boring, whiny, mainstream crap, that are a mere shadow in the poetry of the likes of The Jester Race and Whoracle. "I feel like shit, but at least I feel something" is one of the many travesties contained on this recording. Anders has reached a new low with this album. His vocals are whiny as possible, and all around suck. His scream lacks any form of aggression or conviction, and his singing is whiny, and all around grating. They'd be better off kicking out Anders, and getting a real emo vocalist. // 1

Overall Impression: This album doesnt't compare in the slightest with albums like Lunar Strain, The Jester Race, Colony. It's boring, watered down, and uninspired (not to mention repetitive as hell). No songs on this garbage are worth listening to, and I'm really glad I didn't waste 15$ to buy this. Fans of the older style: avoid like the plague. Fans of the new style: enjoy listening in your blissful ignorance. // 1

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: The JesterHead, on may 02, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The first thing I noticed when I first heard "The Mirror's Truth" is the fact that the guys are really trying to make up for the lack of lead melody on the newer albums - and they're doing it quite successfully if I may add... I was quite impressed to hear Jesper and Bjrn doing some serious melody work on each song. One thing that personally thrilled me was the return of the acoustic guitar interludes we oh-so missed in the past few records, which give a folkish, old-school feel to the album. These can be heard as an intro to "Sleepless Again" and an interlude on "Alias". However, the production quality is somehow weak, at least with the guitars, which seem to have a very weak distortion that kills the overall impression. The other instruments, the drums, bass guitar and the synth are very well made and I've got no complaints what'soever to this part. This would be a 10, if only the guitars were a bit sharper. This is harldy Melodic Death Metal, so if you're expecting a new Jester Race or Whoracle - don't get your hopes up. However, I like to call this album a mix of everything In Flames made since Lunar Strain, as we can hear the melody of the old and the accessibility of the new - a bite for every taste. // 9

Lyrics: Okay, now for the lyrics. They're not made all that bad, but their idea is sometimes quite irritating. We've heard these kinds of lyrics way too many times, and they're all about Anders' internal struggles and problems. Sure, some people like that - and the fact that they can relate to these songs, but it's already overused and it sometimes seems that they are added just so the song wouldn't be instrumental tracks. In my opinion, these lyrics are well put, and aside from a few flaws they fit in very well. On the other hand, hearing lyrics like "I feel like shit, but at least I feel something" means something is seriously wrong with our favorite pioneers of Melodic Death Metal, which were introduced to us with those heavily-inspired legendary fantasy/mythology/astrology lyrics we all loved to hear. These lyrics we have today are over-used, and In Flames should really try and be more "global" with them, as "personal" is already old news. // 7

Overall Impression: When all is summed up, we have one decent album. In Flames put quite a lot of effort in this record, obviously trying to please both sides of the coin - the old and the new fans. If you didn't like Reroute To Remain, Soundtrack To Your Escape and Come Clarity, you definetly won't like this, but if you're searching for something new and fresh - I say you buy the record and take a listen. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.7
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 02, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.7
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 04, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is much much better then that of Come Clarity. Not to suggest that Come Clarity was terrible, but my main grievances with that album is that it sounds too monotonous. Aside from the title song, you can't distinguish one song from the other. However, A Sense Of Purpose is huge improvement in terms of sounding less monotonous. The guitar work somewhat reflects much of their past works like Whoracle, Clayman, and the Jester Race. If I where to give an accurate description about this album, I would say it's a tie between Clayman and soundtrack to your escape. 01. Mirrors Truth - a great song with great melodic guitar background. It's fast, heavy, and catchy as hell. 02. Disconnected - I know many people don't like the lyrics in this song, but I will have to differ with them by saying this is one of the best in the album. Great song. 03. Sleepless Again - shows how Anders' voice can coexist with the melodies of the guitar. With the opening of a classic Jester Race type acoustic strums, this song takes of to be one of the highlights of the album. 04. Alias - easily the catchiest song of the whole damn album. However, around the middle song, In Flames takes you through a time journey from Sound Track to your Escape to the Jester Race with an amazing guitar strum. It's great, haunting, and catch(again). 05. Delight And Angers - now this song has awesome melodic plucks that lead into the chorus. It's great and one of my favorites of this album. 06. The Chosen Pessimist - here we go. I know many Many people have complained about Ander's voice. I always thought that In Flames somewhat reminicent to Metallica. I know, you are probably cringing, for the bands sound nothing like. However, they are like Metallica by the way they have changed throughout time. Like my feelings toward Metallica, I have zero problem with the direction In Flames has gone to. The Chosen Pessimist is a fine example of how great New In Flames. Many will complain about Ander's voice, but I think this is one of the highlights of his career in a long long time. Ander's and company has to be very proud for creating something different then they ever have before. I like to think of this song as the song that never existed in Come Clarity. Where not for this song, I feel A Sense of Purpose would sound monotonous. This song changes the mood of the album drastically from heavy to epic. Great song and great lyrics. 07. Drenched In Fear - possibly my favorite of the new album. The chorus is incredible and goes real well with the impecabble guitar work. Though it might be a bit short, this truely depicts what In Flames is best at, melodic metal. 08. March To The Shore - finally the closer of the song, ends of with a thrash-melodic type song, where Anders screams "You are a killer" to perfectly end a great album. // 10

Lyrics: The Lyrics in my opinion are some of Anders' best in a long time. Again people mentioned their grievances they had with the song Disconnected. I, however, find them enjoyable and to be the best they have done since Clayman. The best chorus and lyrics would have to be The Chosen Pessimist. // 9

Overall Impression: If you are looking for a Jester Race Type album, this is not for you. However, if you are open to a new generation of great music by In Flames, I highly suggest you to listen to A Sense of Purpose. Yes the days of Epic Acoustic ballads where amazing, but, like Metallica, that time is long gone. That was the past and this is the present/future. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 6.7
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: castoo, on june 27, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is In Flames new CD, and I don't think it's that good. I loved R2R and I thought STYE was fairly good. Come Clarity was a great return to heavier metal. A Sense Of Purpose was quite a disappointment. This is still In Flames, it's a good cd, but not that great. It's less aggressive than CC, less catchy than STYE, lyrically it's not obscure, but it's nothing I really feel like singing along with. Also, the sound is just weird. // 7

Lyrics: Ander's voice took a nasty turn right here. I hate these vocals more than just about any other. The only song with good singing is Move Through Me with the overdubbed vocal harmonies, most of the rest sounds like trash. I Am The Highway promotes a view of life that I do not share. I really can't sing along with much here, it's either not universal enough or in agreement with me. // 6

Overall Impression: I realize this has been a negative review, and it's really not that bad of a cd, but I had high expectations. Disconnected is probably my favorite track, it's catchy, and some of the lyrics are gay (I feel like shit, but at least I feel something), yet other make up for it (there are marks in the pavement, you've walked this route too many times, is this all you meant to give? I am the highway is in the same vein as pacing death's trail (from CC). It has a catchy riff, but the lyric's drag it down. Sober and Irrelevant follows the same kind of as song as vacuum or egonomic (just listen to it if you don't know what I mean). Condemmned is pretty sweet the first few times, but most of them just aren't good songs. Drenched in fear as some emo singing, but I like it. March to the shore seems to be against religion, but has another catchy chorus. I wouldn't buy this cd, but some of the songs are worth downloading. In flames is ever changing, I hope they'll do better next time. // 7

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
A Sense Of Purpose Reviewed by: mynamehere040, on august 10, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: In Flames has changed a LOT since the days of Colony and Whoracle, some would say for worse- and I must agree. However, change isn't always the worst thing in the world. While A Sense Of Purpose isn't a great old In Flames album, compare it to new In Flames - Soundtrack To Your Escape and Come Clarity. Come Clarity was, to say the least, a disaster. STYE was better, but not by much. Since Reroute To Remain, the band was going downhill. But upon the release of A Sense Of Purpose, they showed that they could stay melodic while still managing to keep their newfound heaviness. Look at the solo at the beginning of "The Mirror's Truth." Look at the bridge in "Alias." Look at "Delight And Angers." All melodic in a sea of good ol' heavy metal. While it's not Colony, specifically "Zombie Inc.," it is still melodic and manages to fuse heavy metal with Gothenburg-style melodeath. An entertaining experiment and a complete 180 from "Scream," or nearly every song on Come Clarity. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrics are not even worth reviewing when it comes to In Flames. They are similar to bands like (and don't kill me for this) Slipknot in that they can string together cool-sounding phrases that make no sense together but definitely just manage to sound cool with the music. In Flames has never been able to write coherent lyrics, except maybe on "Zombie Inc." Instead, I'll talk about his vocals. Not growling like Whoracle. Not clean like "Come Clarity" (the song). Back to Soundtrack To Your Escape, one of the better In Flames albums vocally (since Clayman, that is). Anders' vocals might not be great, but they work with what they are given. // 7

Overall Impression: I love this album. It could just be a personal thing. My first In Flames song was "Colony." I bought the Colony album after my second In Flames song - "Zombie Inc." - which I still maintain is my favorite of all time. Whoracle was great. Clayman was great. The Jester Race was great. Even Reroute To Remain was great. So why can't A Sense Of Purpose be great? It may be different from the In Flames you know. Whether you're a new fan or old, it's hard to get into it without an open mindset. New fans will whine that it's not as heavy as Come Clarity because it's more melodic and music-oriented instead of heavy-oriented. Old fans will complain that it's too heavy, that they've lost their melody. But I ask you to look beyond first impressions, beyond lines of conserving old sound. "I'm The Highway," possibly the worst song lyrically, sounds the best on the album. "Delight And Angers," "Sleepless Again," and "March To The Shore" also hold their own. Listen to the album as though it were by a completely different band and then form your opinion. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Comments
BIU:)
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear