In Flames – I, the Mask
When I was a teenager, everybody listened to In Flames. They were just gigantic and everytime they released an album, the hype went through the roof. Times have changed, and their later releases have not been able to regain their old status, which disappeared around the time founding member Jesper Strömblad left the band in 2010. I was never one of their greatest fans, and since what I’ve heard of the bands later material has not been able to catch my interest at all, I have kind of lost track of the band. That is until now.
When I listen to “I, the Mask”, it doesn’t sound at all as modern as I dreaded. Actually, it sounds like In Flames from back when I used to keep track of them. This is the same softsided continuation of the death metal genre, with growling high speed verses and melancholy pop refrains that made them break out big in the early 00’s. Among the highlights we find the opening “Voices”, half ballad “Follow Me” and closing track “Stay With Me”. Overall it’s an easily listened album with a couple of nice “death pop” songs. It’s not among the bands greatest releases, but it’s all right.
So if you are a fan of albums from the mid 00’s, this album might just be something for you! The sound reminds me of the fan favourite “Reroute to Remain” (2002), which is way more positive than what I’ve heard of the earlier 10’s material. So is this a comeback? Maybe. Time will tell! At least I know I liked this way more than I thought I would.
Band: In Flames
Title: I, the Mask
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 1/3-19
Stand out tracks: Voices