In Flames: Foregone. Album Review3rd February 2023 0 By Malli "Metalhead" Malpass
I’ll be honest, In Flames is a bit of an enigma to me. I would say I’m unfamiliar with them, I certainly can’t name three songs but for some reason, I could probably identify a track as In Flames, eight or nine times out of ten. They confusedly sit in my mental filing system around bands like The Haunted, At The Gates and for some reason, Five Finger Death Punch. I know! It makes f*ck all sense, right?! So when I decided to unleash my green-painted fingernails on a keyboard again, for the first time in a VERY long time and I thought the new In Flames album, Foregone would be a great place to start, to see if |I could unravel some of my preconceived ideas about the band, enlighten my ignorance of their music and maybe, just maybe by the end of this review be able to name a sufficient amount of In Flames songs to justify buying their merch.
February 10th sees the release of Forgone, In Flames’ 14th studio album (I have a lot of catching up to do if this review goes well). That’s a staggering back catalogue from a band that formed in the early 90s but as I hold no particular familiarity with their music, I’m going in with fresh, eager ears and a desire to discover. My question is, with such longevity, will this latest In Flames offering simply smoulder or will it rage and burn?
Foregone opens with The Beginning of all things that will end, a soaring acoustic instrumental that sounds a feels like the soundtrack to a sombre journey montage from epic fantasy, that wouldn’t seem out of place on The Witcher or Rings of Power.
As the listener, you know full well what this melodic inhalation is setting up and you hope that the arrival of something HEAVY is a ‘forgone’ conclusion (See what I did there?) and I’m happy to report that you will not be disappointed because track two, State of Slow Decay, arrives like a brake less articulated lorry on ice. With a clear, savage production and a guitar tone that sounds like dry bricks in a cement mixer, State of Slow decay sets a high bar and an excited expectation of what’s to come, and man does it deliver.
Enter the single Meet Your Maker (That’s it! That’s three tracks I can name. Someone send me a t-shirt right f*cking now) A track which punches and grooves with a determined ferocity from the get-go, then hooks one’s ears and reels you in with a super catchy melodic chorus. This track is probably going to be utterly anthemic live.
I’m not going to give a complete blow-by-blow track analysis here. Needless to say, there is so much goodness on this album that it’d probably be nominated for the Nobel Prize for its contribution to sick riff faces.
The vocals are searing in parts and crystal clear in others. All the elements and ingredients of a fantastic Metal album are there to be enjoyed. The thing that stands out most about the album is how fresh it sounds. It has the energy of an unfiltered, fiery debut but with the polish and finish that only years of experience can achieve. It’s a cracking addition to any die-hard Metalheads’ CD, vinyl collection or playlist but with the added bonus of being catchy and accessible enough to reach brand-new, young ears.
There is no smoulder here, it’s all fire. Sure the burning flames may settle in parts but there’s enough fuel to chuck another dry log on and watch it fire up fiercely. Forgone is an early 2023 contender for album of the year, for sure. I’m off to dive into the back catalogue,
1. The Beginning Of All Things
2. State of Slow Decay
3. Meet Your Maker
4. Bleeding Out
5. Foregone Pt. 1
6. Foregone Pt. 2
7. Pure Light Of Mind
8. The Great Deceiver
9. In The Dark
10. A Dialogue In B Flat Minor
12. End The Transmission
Release – 10th February 2023
Label – Nuclear Blast
About the author
I'm Malli 'Metalhead' Malpass. I've been Metalhead on five seasons of BBC2's The Ranganation and have been a front man and performer in Metal bands for years. Music has been my passion for as far back as I can remember and tends to dominate all aspects of my life and personality. I've been fortunate to have been asked to share some of that passion through All About The Rock