Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S



In Flames
A Sense of Purpose

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Nailer
Genre: Melodic thrash
Rating
3



  • The musical equivalent of laying around on the sofa all day



  • I should've guessed from some of the title words what I was in for with the newest In Flames CD--'disconnected', 'sleepless', 'pessimist', 'irrelevant', 'condemned'. A Sense of Purpose is a misnomer unless the purpose here is to blanket itself in self-loathing.

    Where Come Clarity was a vital experience of melodic thrash metal (packaging aside), ASOP is a downer where the majority of the blame goes to leader Anders Fridén whose obtuse, poetic lyrics have gone American mainstream with dreary introversion that includes the now preposterous line of "I feel like shit, but at least I feel something" which is second only to "I hurt myself to see if I could feel" on the Emo-parody list. They have caught up to an approach that is past its prime coming full circle with the bands that have been borrowing from the In Flames sound for a decade. Even the guitar work is drab and largely void of interesting riffs or melodic lines with only some chorus hooks serving as the saving graces. I'll have to assume the cover artwork has a Freudian touch to it.

    I've been defending the In Flames direction and sound of their more experimental CDs like Reroute To Remain and Soundtrack To Your Escape to the consternation of the old-school fans who seem to have finally got over themselves and stopped grumbling for a return to the Whoracle, Jester Race and earlier era. ASOP has put me in the ironic position of wanting the prior sound I had been trumpeting while they become ever more popular with a new generation.

    Recognizing your sentiments and using them as source material is always a method worth exploring, but A Sense of Purpose is the musical equivalent of laying around on the sofa all day in a mire of dejection and I really don't have the motivation, or amotivation, to join them.



    About this Writer:
    Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: IN FLAMES
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    A Sense of PurposeIn Flames
    2008
    Frank Hill6/12/2008
    Come ClarityIn Flames
    2006
    Frank Hill3/8/2006
    Lunar Strain/Subterranean (Reissues)In Flames
    2005
    Eric Compton6/17/2005
    Reroute to RemainIn Flames
    2002
    Guest1/21/2003
    Siren CharmsIn Flames
    2014
    Frank Hill10/20/2014
    Sounds of a Playground FadingIn Flames
    2011
    Eric Compton8/5/2011
    Soundtrack to Your EscapeIn Flames
    2004
    Greg Watson4/30/2004
    The Mirror's TruthIn Flames
    2008
    Frank Hill3/14/2008
    Trigger EPIn Flames
    2003
    Frank Hill2/20/2004


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: IN FLAMES
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    BattlesIn Flames
    2016
    Eric Compton1/19/2017


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: IN FLAMES
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Anders FridenIn FlamesGreg Watson7/9/2004


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE THRASH STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Black League
    Ghost Brothel
    Crossbones
    Rock the Cradle
    Nasty Idols
    Boys Town
    Crystal Viper
    Queen of the Witches
    Banshee
    Mindslave

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Faith No More
    Sol Invictus
    Heidra
    Awaiting Dawn
    Architects
    Lost Forever/Lost Together
    Cradle of Filth
    Hammer of the Witches
    Audrey Horne
    Youngblood

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    In Flames
    The Mirror's Truth
    Madame Torment
    Lost Girl in the City
    Unleash the Archers
    Time Stands Still
    Crimson Shadows
    Kings Among Men
    Unleash the Archers
    Apex

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Wolf
    Legions Of Bastards
    Akercocke
    Antichrist
    Wolves in the Throne Room
    Black Cascade
    Naglfar
    Harvest
    Sanctuary
    Inception