In Flames Soundtrack To Your Escape

All ears are tuned into Sweden’s In Flames, no doubt, to see what this incredibly hyped-up buzz band will do next. And hey, they deserve it as much as anyone; not all their albums work out in the end, but Soundtrack To Your Escape does just fine. Oddly enough, as the band matures over time, their metal becomes less effective and their forays into the melodic and slower-paced realms become stronger. Case in point: "Evil In A Closet” is a powerful near-ballad, and one of the album’s strongest tracks; it is followed up by "In Search For I,” which just feels like rote melodic metal. This is a good thing, though; In Flames have been growing and morphing for a while now, and that is always a welcome thing in the often-stubborn realm of metal. Soundtrack To Your Escape proves to be a diverse listen that still has the In Flames trademarks all over it: memorable hooks, a sense of groove, that weird slippery production, and a nice mix of smarts and brainless pummelling. I don’t know why people are crying sell-out and nu-metal, except for the possibility that the population at large is deaf, or just really unintelligent; there ain’t no selling out going on here, so save your breath. Their best album in a while, and while I’m still doubtful as to how much of an impact these guys will make on the world at large, the future does indeed look bright. (Nuclear Blast)