CD review IN FLAMES ‘I, the Mask’

(8/10) Sweden-based In Flames belong(ed) to the spearhead of Swedish West-coast death metal. They were initiators of a special sound which they step by step evolve, adjusted and/or changed.

The newest longplayer ‘I, the Mask’ has basically not a lot to do with the merciless and brutal early releases. In Flames went through a kind of organic transformation process, which led them to modern metal.

In Flames in 2019 stands for a contemporary metal sound that’s build on melodies, some heavier guitar outbursts and an underlaying level of melancholia. One of the few remaining trademarks of In Flames in the ’90s and 2019 is that none of the songs is a truly light-hearted one. Although catchy melodies sugar some of the tracks, it’s an certain balefulness that’s weaved in most of the tunes, also on ‘I, the Mask’

‘I, the Mask’ picks it up where the band left off with ‘Battles’ with the side-note that the melodic moments became even more of a centerpiece of In Flames sound. Generally spoken this fits the album very well but sometimes the quintet overdoes it. ‘In This Life’ is such a song, a track that is beside the point and not thrilling.

Fortunately these moments are limited and can be easily compensated by other smashers on the album. The following ‘Burn’, known from an earlier single release, fires on all cylinders. The aggressive title track brings harsh vocals to forefront and also the anthemic ‘We Will remember’ belongs to the great modern metal tracks on this record, showcasing a band that never stands still. Supported by an energetic and dynamic sound that tracks unfold their dark beauty right away.

In Flames 13th studio album is a logical next step for the band. The quintet perfections their shifted success formula and I guess it’s this album that will help again to widen the already big fanbase.


(8/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Voices
  2. I, the Mask
  3. Call My Name
  4. I am Above
  5. Follow Me
  6. (This is Our) House
  7. We Will remember
  8. In This Life
  9. Burn
  10. Deep Inside
  11. All the Pain
  12. Stay With Me

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: March 1st, 2019

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