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Album Reviews : In Flames – A Sense of Purpose

By on April 11, 2008

After the bands much maligned, but admittedly also much loved change of direction, I was quite hesitant to give the bands new record titled A Sense of Purpose a listen. From their classic material of albums such as The Jester Race and Clayman, the band has since introduced elements taken from Nu-Metal/Metalcore, and a lot more use of clean vocals by vocalist Anders Friden. To be honest, it wasn’t doing it for me. When compared to their early material which is by far superior, In Flames were too far removed from their glory days.

But now comes the bands 9th full length studio release. The vocals have transformed from acutely annoying, to quite catchy and perfectly melodic. I still wish Mr Friden would revert back to his classic growling more often than not, but for clean vocals, he has improved by many points since the band’s last recording ‘Come Clarity’. Lyrically he sounds on bit on the ‘Emo’ side of things, but at least the emotion that is there feels real.

The familiar Gelotte/Stromblad guitar sound is back, and while not very technical or breathtaking, it’s solid and gives each song its groove; however the drums – while good – tend to drown out the guitars frequently. I feel some better guitar solo’s to match the solid riffing would have improved the album somewhat.

Apart from the atrocious artwork, I would recommend ‘A Sense of Purpose’ to fans of the bands recent sound. To fans of the bands early material, the album probably isn’t for you, but if you’ve nothing else new to listen to then give it a shot for sure. But for me now, some relief…. media player has moved onto Whoracle! 6/10

Band: In Flames
Album: A Sense of Purpose
Year: 2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Origin: Sweden

Track Listing:
1. The Mirror’s Truth
2. Disconnected
3. Sleepless Again
4. Alias
5. I’m the Highway
6. Delight and Angers (Reviewers Choice)
7. Move Through Me
8. The Chosen Pessimist
9. Sober and Irrelevant
10. Condemned
11. Drenched in Fear
12. March to the Shore