01. Take This Life 02. Leeches 03. Reflect The Storm 04. Dead End 05. Scream 06. Come Clarity 07. Vacuum 08. Pacing Death´s Trail 09. Crawl Through Knives 10. Versus Terminus 11. Our Infinite Struggle 12. Vanishing Light 13. Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone
After the letdown of the Trigger ep, and for some old-school fans the entire last two CDs (one of our staffers even wrote a scathing Where Are You? column about the band), In Flames is back with a tremendous effort that should make metalheads across the world happy and pick up a bunch more along the way through the sheer force of incredible music. Many had eschewed the more experimental, industrial sounds of the last CDs and were afraid the band had run it's course or were moving off into unwanted directions. While the artsiness is still there, the attack of the earlier albums is much more prevalent. For a later listener like me who sees the older music as too thrashy and the newer songs as too esoteric, "Come Clarity" is the golden release that combines both legacies. This CD might have the catchiest heavy music around.
The twin guitar riffs are just as stark and cold as the white cover; shredding and biting into your skin like a freezing winter blast. Anders vocals are more harsh for the verses and often pained in the warmer melodic verses and the thick rhythm section. Lyrically, they sometimes verge on whiney introspective questioning, but it's poetic enough to allow plenty of personal interpretation making In Flames, to me, the perfect existential band of the new mellenium. It's a beatiful blend of metal stylings that is rarely done better. Forget about all the other modern thrash bands--In Flames owes this style and you'll be hooked into the opening "Take This Life", "Crawl Through Knives", and "Versus Terminus" with their consistent thrash downbeat propulsion into melodic choruses. "Dead End" had me instantly with it's lovely female vocals by Lisa Miskovsky and it's wall of sound chorus of dual vocals. Only the remarkable "Come Clarity" is ballad-esque and can you get a cooler title than "Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone"?
With killer recent releases from Soilwork and Dark Tranquility as well, this decade old style is still as fresh as ever. My faith in metal is renewed and with "Come Clarity", In Flames deserves to stand in the pantheon of the greatest metal bands of all time. It's the kind of CD that urges you to share its power and brilliance with everybody. Anybody into Melodic death/thrash and New Wave of American Metal bands should to pick this up.
I would recommend spending the couple bucks more for the extra dvd, but note that they aren't performing, though--it's the album played while they mimic the music and some band pics.
Bottom Line: Tight, abrasive, yet commercially accessible modern thrash. Not a bad song in the bunch for me so "Come Clarity" gets the highest marks.
Score: 10 of 10
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.
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