Sound — 9
It's a good CD, let us just start there. I bought it and by looking at the titles it seems a bit emo. I started listening to it, and was blown away. Take this life starts off the album with fast guitar, a great ending and good singing. The lyrics are a bit darker than I feel like singing along too. Leeches is a sociopolitical song, and it's great, it's heavier than their old stuff (a turn in the metalcore direction), and they've matured in sound and in singing.
Lyrics — 10
A lot of improvement in the singing department. I think this is the best singing from Anders (or at least at the top). Lyrically, it's also the best (imo, best ever, I think Anders is getting the hang of the whole speaking english idea). In just about every song, there's a great line. 01. Take This Life - great singing, goes from light to soft, the lyrics are a bit emo, I'm not such a big fan of that. The best line is "The thoughts, burn a hole in my heart." 02. Leeches - Anders slurs a bit in this song, making him a bit hard to understand. It speaks against religion/social structure and talks about speaking for yourself (it's vague enough that most people can agree with it, or at least the points that it raises) "how does it feel to be alive" is a sarcastic reference to how some people live their lives in these structures. 03. Reflect The Storm - this is a bittersweet song, and talks about being open to the good and the bad and how during his problems he finds out who he really is. It also encourages people to try (and try again) in their lives, restarting when necessary "Take out the trash and burn it." 04. Dead End - this is a downer song. Good use of a girl's voice. It has a great reference to war "What decides when you've lost the war? When the first man falls or when they've erased it all?" It has the same theme as egonomic (that things are getting worse). The songs best line probably is "what will it take for us to realize, the more we provoke, winter will come twice." 05. Scream - probably my least favorite, chorus goes "you scream, we scream" (we all scream for ice cream). Has a decent theme, I just don't like how its presented, best line is "when we build up walls around us, we end up in a mess." 06. Come Clarity - not my favorite song, it's about seeking hope. Anders has computer playing with his voice, sounds good. However, it pales compared to dawn of a new day or metaphor. Not sure why this song ended up as the first single. 07. Vacuum - this baby is great. It's great. The lyrics are excellent and Anders singing is really compelling. It speaks against society and how we are so interested in news for the sake of news (as opposed to the actual person/problem). It also calls for people to step away from the TV "listen in silence, hear her voice, turn off the tv, exploding sympathy, the weatherman our trust our punctual company." talking about our reliance on the scheduled shows. 08. Pacing Death's Trail - the music and the lyrics and the singing just don't go together. Especially in the chorus "I surrender to nothing, so run as far as you can, I'm trying to hold onto what I believe in, but my heart is in a coma." It just trying flow together well. Not my favorite as far as the singing and lyrics go. 09. Crawl Through Knives - great lyrics, I wish the singing during the chorus was more audible "if you could be the things I need, I'd crawl through at the rate of an inch per year." 10. Versus Terminus - this song just questions how important life is. The singing is good, the lyrics follow the same structure, my favorite part is "when all the laughter dies, we'll see all the nothingness and realize, but does it matter then when all the laughter dies?" 11. Our Infinite Struggle - I like the singing, Anders uses a different scream in this CD than other (I like the changes), one line is rather touching "you should realize that it burns in me too." 12. Vanishing Light - this song some coming calamity, and says that people need to know what they believe "learn your ways, and find that your ready, this is a race, to no man's land with no certain direction." 13. Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone - this is a new voice of Anders, and a complete filler song. It says "you make me understand the evil that all men do." There's about 30 seconds of weird screaming and the rest is instrumental.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a great In Flames album, and my favorite. It's a lot more metalcore, but it's the best around. The only complaint I have is that it's short, I loved how R2R was a 14 track beast, where as this isn't quite as long. Your bedtime story is scaring everyone is a rip off of illusions by AILD (compare them, it's such a rip off). I love the cd, the only songs I don't like (since there's so few) are scream and come clarity, scream just isn't that good and come clarity is kinda weak for an in flames acoustic. It's a great CD, everyone should buy it and the cover art is the best for In Flames.