IN FLAMES – I, The Mask

IN FLAMES – I, The Mask

28th February 2019 0 By Mark Booth

IN FLAMES are set to release their 13th studio album ‘I, The Mask’ via Nuclear Blast on 1st March and am sure this will have fans divided. IN FLAMES have split their fans into two camps, one side that yearns for them to revert back to their roots asn start releasing more/another Gothengburg Melodic Death Metal release such as ‘The Jester Race‘, ‘Whoracle‘ and ‘Colony which propelled the band to the top of the Swedish Death Metal scene. Will the other camp of fans have embraced IN FLAMES evolution to a “mainstream” metal band and using their Melodic Death Metal as a platform to build on and redefine their sound.

As you would expect the production is crisp, clear and everything is mixed beautifully and the different instruments shine through when needed to add the extra dimension to the sonic landscape oozing forth from the speakers. The evolution of IN FLAMES is gathering more momentum and although they still cling (slightly) to their roots, such as on songs like ‘I, The Mask‘ and ‘Burn‘ (probably the heaviest songs on the album) and have gone with a more groove-infused sound which is prevalent on tracks such as ‘Deep Inside’ and ‘(This Is Our) House’ and the band have also introduced a more softer approach to their sounds and this is showcased on tracks such as ‘Follow Me’, ‘All The Pain’, ‘Stay With Me‘ and ‘In This Life‘ and a mention has to go to Anders for the improvement in his vocal range, especially on the clean sections.

Overall ‘I, The Mask‘ is a very good and enjoyable album, if you are a fan of earlier IN FLAMES (such as myself) then if you approach this as an album by an unknown artist then you’ll find elements really enjoyable. However if you are craving for a return to former glories then you’ll want to steer clear of ‘I, The Mask’ as am sure overall you’ll be disappointed by the direction of the album. Then again if you have embraced IN FLAMES evolution then you’ll absolutely love this release as it’s better than a lot of their previous releases (although I have to admit I’ve only heard snippets of albums and ‘I, The Mask‘ obliterates anything I’ve heard). So ‘I, The Mask‘ won’t unite the two camps, but its an enjoyable metal album nevertheless and you if you are in the camp longing for a return to their roots. Then you should really listen to the album and see if it changes your opinion or converts you to their new sound, if not then dig out your old IN FLAMES albums and reminisce.
Do we scorn IN FLAMES for wanting to evolve and expand their musical territory and horizons and get their music out to a wider audience? Yes they are going in a more metal/hard rock sound, but that’s how they want to progress and we should let them. People still go on about METALLICA “selling out” but they still go out and buy all their new records and go to their shows (except the few elitists!).
(p.s. In my personal opinion I don’t associate ‘I, The Mask‘ with IN FLAMES, but as an honest reviewer (well I try to be) it’s a good album and I can’t deny that. It’s just not the IN FLAMES i remember as an adolescent teenager that holds so many good memories…)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmOJxULhHsY
SCORE – 8/10
Track Listing
1) Voices
2) I, The Mask
3) Call My Name
4) I Am Above
5) Follow Me
6) (This is Our) House
7) We Will Remember
8) In This Life
9) Burn
10) Deep Inside
11) All The Pain
12) Stay With Me
Release Date:
1st March 2019

Label:
Nuclear Blast

For all things In Flames, click HERE and to purchase the album, click HERE