In Flames A Sense Of Purpose

In Flames A Sense Of Purpose
Ah, yes, the always controversial In Flames, the Swedes all extreme and true metalheads love to hate. On A Sense Of Purpose, the band continue down the path they have been on for a while, with less electronics and even more sense of song. Admittedly, as much as In Flames-hating is a pet peeve (c’mon: they’re a good band), it’s hard to not be a bit shocked when putting this disc on. Opening track "The Mirror’s Truth” is a good song, but between the weird production (too much bass, not enough mid, just generally awkward) and the streamlined, melodic, mid-tempo metal, it’s a bit of a shocker. "Disconnected” and "Alias” keep things going — both are great songs and ludicrously catchy — but again, who is this? It sounds like a band caught between the melodic thrash/death they helped pioneer and radio-friendly melodic rock. "Delight and Angers” has great melodies to it but "The Chosen Pessimist” is a drag, sounding like bad grunge, an experiment best left forgotten. The album is half-hit and half-miss; it’s great the band are doing what they want and some of the songs work wonders but others are unsatisfying. (Koch)