Sound — 8
This is a return to the old In Flames style that many fans are used to, however it still has touches of recent forays into melodic territory. However, what struck me the most about this album is the intensity of the performances. In Flames are known primarily for their harmonised leads, however more often than not on 'Come Clarity' they take a more death/thrash appraoch to the guitars in particular. A nice detour from the norm for these metallers. What also struck me about this cd is the quality of the melodic breaks, mainly in the choruses. Often the melodic parts can seem forced and contrived on previous outings, but they really suited the songs, fitting in well with the overall structures (e.g. listen to the chorus in Take This Life).
Lyrics — 8
As with most In Flames albums, lyrics are mostly subservient to the flamboyant guitar work. However, on this occasion, the lyrics have improved considerably, and no longer seem like random words strung together. Anders Friden's lyrics reflect on consumer culture, growing older and various other real world issues, which is a nice break from the traditional death metal lyric book. The most noticable factor of these tunes however is the marked improvement in Fridens vocals. While his death bellow has always been top notch, sometimes it strayed into self-parody and his melodic singing was never really up to scratch. This time around, both factors have improved considerably. His death scream is nice and clear and anle to show emotion, and his clean vox sound like a professional singer. Overall this is the best he's sounded on an In Flames record to date.
Overall Impression — 8
A more intense outing from the Flames boys, and possibly one of their finest moments to date. Take This Life, Leeches and Come Clarity are highlights, but the album really delivers on all fronts. If you're into death/thrash/gothenburg/melodic metal, get this: you will not be disappointed.