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In Flames | Reroute to Remain | review | metal | Lollipop

In Flames

Reroute to Remain (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

I applaud the band's widening sense of dynamic, but for the most part, I find the melodic bits (which are usually also the singing bits) jarring, shoved with a shoehorn into songs that are otherwise sawing away gloriously at the meatiest riffs on the planet. Anders has taken a lot of stick for his quiet singing on this album, and he deserves it. It usually doesn't fit, it's usually warbling, cracking, and verging on out-of-tune. It's a good place to hear his accent as well as the band's awkward English lyrics, which is why some silly effect is thrown upon it like a condiment on a hot dog. Suggestion: Next time, stick to melodic, doubled/tripled, thrashy melodic vocals, like those in "Free Fall," like those in the choruses of "Dark Signs" and "Egonomic," like those of Devin Townsend. It fits with the pure thrash sound, because it's at least of the same family.

Other than that, man, I'm digging the lion's share of this thing, because it's packed full of those shining-moment riffs that are the unanimous highlights of the past two albums. The guitars positively heave over unstoppable grooves, faves being "Black & White," "Cloud Connected," "Trigger," and the title track, ditzy blonde keyboards included. Nobody gets to this purely metallic place with this much frequency, save for my new favorite band of the '00s, Dark Tranquillity. In Flames possesses remarkably percussive riffs and the fuzziest, thickest guitar sound goin', one that incidentally has a lot of similarity with Anders' thrash vocals, another synergy, another reminder about discipline and cohesion. In effect, the heaps of chemistry in the band, when all - including Anders - are thrashin', is reason enough to stop trying shit for no other reason except that it's different. For example, the brief mellow smudge at 1:03 of "Dismiss the Cynics," or the tinkle at the start of "Free Fall" - both utterly pointless. Having said that, the completely mellow tracks work pretty well, one picturing In Flames working towards this brand name with a number of styles per album like the great gods of the '70s, even though, as I say, it'd best be served if ideas per song were kept to a minimum, and if they were closer brethren.
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)

   


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