Band: In Flames
Released date: November 11th, 2016
Genre: Alternative Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
I was once a fan of the classic works of one of the pioneers of melodic death metal, In Flames. The band’s debut album “Lunar Strain” and their sophomore “The Jester Race” had all the goods that you can find in a melodic death metal record. EP’s like “Subterranean” and “Black-Ash Inheritance” were also both decent releases that are worthy of adding into metalheads’ album collections. And then along the line, after finding success in the mainstream metal scene, the band’s musicianship and overall song writing declined. They became boring and less interesting.
A band who once broke new grounds, and helped introduced a new sub-genre of heavy metal, is now just a mere shadow of its former mighty rank. The band suffered a great decay for selling out their music to the popular audiences. Those who knew the band well and had heard their earlier crafts can totally understand what I am talking about.
The band’s contemporary released “Battles“, which went out last November 11th of the year 2016 under the banner of Nuclear Blast, is a living proof of In Flames‘s continues descend to mediocrity. This release appeared worse in quality like the previous seven records, starting from their new millennium release “Clayman” up to “Siren Charms“, that they had put out. Gone are the memorable melodies, remarkable riffs, and powerful and catchy drum work that was once strongly present in early In Flames offerings.
The guitar work here is really lousy and pathetic. The riffs are at a bottom level than of that what the band had provided decades ago. And the drums are very generic. I think even modern deathcore drummers can do better than what Joe Rickard had provided behind the kit in this offering. The lyrical content also showed the band’s deteriorating song writing ability. Björn and Anders came out like little wankers trying to write lyrics for teenage girls just to score a pussy. I still can’t believe that the creativity of a group who released the highly praised “Subterranean” had totally collapsed.
This album is entirely made up of continued sequence of mainstream heavy alternative metal tracks plaited together to form an insipid record. And yes, like the other modern releases that the band had produced, Anders Friden‘s formerly impressive growl cannot be found in this offering. This whole album was clearly fabricated to catch the attentions of scene kids and trendy hipsters. After listening to “Battles“, I had come to a conclusion that In Flames are not willing to go and finally make a new album that would contain a pack of punch and would amuse their old school fans.
I really cannot find any more reason to still listen to this trash of an album again. Fellow extreme music connoisseurs, stay away from any new release that these guys are going to put out. The band had made it clear to us that they are having so much joy in producing run-of-the-mill metal music. This whole thing is just miserably inadequate in every way.