IN FLAMES - "EIGHT SONGS"
("Century Media Records" / "Fighter Streets Records" / "Rock Hard Magazine"; CD):
This is a new promotional album CD by the swedish 'megasellers' of IN FLAMES. This CD comes as a free garnish of the current issue of the german "ROCK HARD" magazine and maybe it's for you a reason (or another reason) to buy it but maybe also not and if you're anyhow interested in it you may just choose to grab this CD anyhow and take it with you... Who knows? Anyhow, back in the 1990's IN FLAMES became totally over the top going Metal 'megasellers' with their melodic Death Metal the swedish trademark and style (or Göteborg Death Metal) and together with DARK TRANQUILITY they became something like the pioneers of what we today can maybe call the second wave of swedish Death Metal (second, after DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED, UNLEASHED, etc. pp.) and especially IN FLAMES really grew big and bigger over the last nearly two decades, from their breakthrough album "THE JESTER RACE" to their current full length album release "SONGS OF A PLAYGROUND FADING" (for all what I know released recently this month/-s), hm, and I have to admit that I really "NEVER!" was a fan of IN FLAMES, no: "NEVER!". But I have also to admit that things really changed heavily and what IN FLAMES do today is quite different compared with what they've done back then. From the sweet and catchy and totally annoying 'poppy' Girly Death Metal they seemed to have moved into a heavy yet still pretty melodic Modern Metal or Metalcore music direction (and this 'seems' not only so), all on a pretty high level of quality but also all maybe not oh too creative and stand-alone to judge by the two brandnew songs featured here on this one. Maybe some hardknock fans would still discuss it controversy (but after the change of direction was also started some albums and so many years back in time maybe only some total morons would start this 'controversial discussion' still today), maybe the Metal and or Metalcore writers would (or will) write about some oh so fresh and creative new wind blowing and howling through your speakers, hm, but I have just to say that this here is really good done stuff but it's also nothing anyone should give only one of his/her legs for. It's pretty funny that beside the almighty AT THE GATES also a band like IN FLAMES was undeniable a very important influence for the Metalcore and/or Modern Metal 'superstars' of today like for exapmle KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and also SOILWORK, and that now it seems like things have changed to 180° and that now the once influenced became the influence for the once that were back then primarly the source of influence. (I hope you know what I mean...) And if you like this bands in particular and other bands like this in general then you will also like (if not love) the new material that IN FLAMES give us here (at least via two new songs). Nice rhythm arrangements with some good and clever twists and turns in the structure and architecture of the songs, very heavy yet damn catchy and melodic guitar work (powerful and distorting riffs go hand in hand with symphonic goosepimple leads and some nice solo parts), great forceful work of the rhythm section, all settled together by damn good songwriting, all pretty interesting and grapping arranged and structured, and to play their instruments IN FLAMES use to know anyhow for many, many years already now. All made round by the typical ingredients of the Modern Metal and/or Metalcore genre that you may like or not but that all of you should know already pretty good anyway. Without a doubt it's all really, really good done and it all just sounds not all too enthusiastic because it's pretty much heard over and over again in some today only a little bit varying variations also if you're not a fan at all of Metalcore and Modern Metal (and I'm by myself not a fan of this music after all) so that I really don't know what to write here more and on. We get two brandnew songs ("DELIVER US" and "ENTER TRAGEDY") and both are really good stuff with a more sinister and melancholic, a pretty intense feeling to it and lyrics that are also probably some stuff like this (sinister and melancholic) but aren't printed and so I won't say anything definite, and then we get six more old songs, "DISCOVER ME LIKE EMPTINESS", "OUR INFINITE STRUGGLE", "DEAD ENTRY", "ANOTHER DAY IN QUICKSAND", "ONLY FOR THE WEAK" (live) and "CLOUD CONNECTED" (live), and I like especially "DISCOVER ME LIKE EMPTINESS" and "OUR INFINTE STRUGGLE" that are both pretty forceful smashers, and also the two live songs are really great stuff coming with a lot of nice suprises like the (pretty good done) clean vocals and so on. The lyrics are what seem typical today for IN FLAMES (what-ever this now may mean, especially after I'm and I was everything but a fan on this band), and the artwork looks pretty cool as well as the production sound hits the score. So, you see, for fans of the band or the mentioned bands and genres this one here (and so the new full length of IN FLAMES) should be necessary stuff but also all other interested in Modern Metal or Metalcore or modern metallic heavy yet melodic music in general should risk an ear here anyhow by grabbing this CD or buying the "ROCK HARD" issue or something like this and so I would say that this promotional CD at the end of the day truly fullfilled its destiny. Ah, btw, after I lost IN FLAMES after their "COLONY" release at the end of the 1990's or so totally out of sight (but not because I thought or think this album was or would be total garbage, no, instead of this I would still name it a pretty good album, no, but this band and I never found together- or I found never to this band and never will- and so I lost totally any at all even pretty small interested in them and lost them totally out of sight) I really have to admit that the development that they've taken is really a impressive one, respect for this anyhow. (8 of 10 points)