In Flames Come Clarity

Although it is downright surreal to see the distinctive Ferret gun logo adorn an In Flames record, rest assured that the long-running Swedish melo-death group are taking a few steps backwards for every giant leap ahead, thankfully enough. Not a mosh part to be found, an abundance of the classic Gothenburg guitar harmonies, and the group still proudly sporting their flowing locks in promotional pictures are all a clear indication of how badly In Flames know they fucked up on 2003’s Soundtrack To Your Escape, and how thoroughly willing they are to earn their reputation back if necessary. Album opener and leadoff single "Take This Life” makes a clear statement from the get-go, galloping it’s way out of the gate with a full-on thrash attack, although still weakened by Anders Friden’s atrocious clean vocals. Strangely enough, his Korn-esque delivery and fourth-grade level lyrical stance are most tolerable where they are most dominant, such as on the title track. When awkwardly wedged in between the group’s more traditionally metallic moments, they stand out like a sore thumb and vastly undermine the disc’s stronger points. Much effort has clearly been put into this release, on both the band and label’s part, and while not the magnificent return to form it could have been, nor the abysmal failure that many expected, Come Clarity is doubtlessly a step in the right direction. (Ferret)