Sweden’s In Flames release their 14th studio album of mesmerizing metal, Forgone.
Much has changed for In Flames in the past thirty years. There have been line-up shifts, and an evolution in the band’s sound as the decades have passed. What has been consistent the entire time is the quality of the music and the push for excellence. Whatever direction In Flames moved in, they moved with purpose and determination. The band is Anders Fridén (vocals), Björn Gelotte (guitar), Bryce Paul (bass), Tanner Wayne (drums), and Chris Broderick (guitar).
Talking about the new album, Anders Fridén says, “In a way, it sounds stupid to say we wanted to be more ‘metal,’ because we always felt that we were. Over the last couple of years, the world became even more hostile and evil in certain ways. We have a war in Europe. People, in general, are more stressed. All of that energy and anger helped fuel this album. We went in to make something on point, heavier, and yes, ‘more metal.’” He goes on to say, “This album is about lost time. Everything is going in the wrong direction. We can’t make up for the lost time. That’s why the album is called Foregone. We’re destined to end. That realization creates different emotions – panic, frustration, fear. ‘Scary’ isn’t a horror movie or an angry metal guy screaming. The real horror is what’s going on in the news from around the world. We are basically doomed. The album is about the few moments we have left and what we do with them.”
There are a dozen tracks on the new record. First up, “The Beginning Of All Things That Will End.” It is an acoustic mood-setting intro. It is quiet and sweet at first, then turns a bit melancholy as it progresses. “State Of Slow Decay” brings out the big guitar riffs at the front. Steady reckoning turns to a charging attack setting up the intense vocals, which are urgent to the point of straining. The tone becomes most ominous as the end approaches, and the darkness begins to swell. “Meet Your Maker” is fierce and speedy, more aggressive than its predecessor. But suddenly there is a melodic, almost lyrical passage that makes you begin to understand that what is happening in complex. Then comes “Bleeding Out,” a song that frees of the last of your expectations for the music and insists you sit back and listen. It has a surprisingly proggy presence (and lead guitar break) to go along with the alternating rugged and mellowing moments.
As with In Flames albums from the past, there is a lot going on here. That is one of the things fans like so much about this music – it gives you many perspectives and offers depth to go along with the singable choruses. Save a special place in your brain for both parts of “Forgone,” and, when you hear “In The Dark,” know that it will be hard to shake. In fact, the entire album will ring in your ears long after the turntable stops. Highly recommended.
Forgone is out on Friday, February 10th through Nuclear Blast Records. You’ll find more information at the links below.
In Flames website, https://www.inflames.com/
Nuclear Blast Records, https://www.nuclearblast.com/eu/band/in-flames
© Wayne Edwards