In Flames is by far one of my favorite bands ever having been turned into a Jesterhead around the times of Napster’s peak as I found Clayman by chance. I fully acknowledge that I sound like a metal elitist with my current view of In Flames and am a dime a dozen when it comes to metal keyboard warriors ripping on bands for straying from their original sounds. With that said, I accept it, acknowledge it, and feel just fine doing so.
This brings me to my personal review of the latest In Flames tunes, “I Am Above” and “(This is Our) House”. Until the end of time, I will always have the subtle wish for In Flames to magically sound like the era of Clayman, Whoracle, Colony, etc… However, I realize that this is a far fetched dream that will never come to fruition.
Keeping in mind that is always my secret wish, I was pleasantly surprised at the first teaser for “I Am Above”. There was a 10 second teaser that included Anders belting out some heavy guttural screams and no signs of whining vocals in that short clip. The song was eventually fully released and I can dig it. While it’s of course no Clayman era caliber, it is good for who In Flames as become today and for what I’m hoping to get out of it. It certainly still has elements of Battles, but it also has a slightly nostalgic heavy feel to it. This song left me feeling hopeful.
Then came “(This is Our) House”, and I was brought back down to reality. I’ll never say (thus far) In Flames songs are poorly written or bad “music”, but they are not what I want. The 2nd released song sounds like it was the song they forgot to include on the Battles record. For my personal selfishness, that’s not what I was hoping for. My intrigue and excitement for the new album was lessened a bit with this release. We’ll see what the full album delivers, but I’m pretty sure I know where this will go. I won’t stop wishing for Clayman v2.0, but I know it won’t happen.
~ Devin Walsh
Image source: https://consequenceofsound.net/