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A Sense of Purpose

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Album Review

Frantic metal band In Flames can deliver a good melody around the militaristic, precision drumming of Daniel Svensson and the occasionally guttural yelps of frontman Anders Fridén. Whether it's a tight, polished effort like "The Mirror's Truth" with traces of classic metal à la Iron Maiden or especially Judas Priest, In Flames definitely bring a sense of purpose to this record. From there, the group increase the Metallica-ish franticness with "Disconnected" that relies on heavy guitar riffs but a far lighter, almost airy chorus and bridge. This is improved upon later on the album as "I'm the Highway" takes the record to another level. Probably the heaviest track is "Condemned," that again is driven by Svensson and the guitar tandem of Jesper Strömblad and Björn Gelotte. These less intense moments are rarities, though, as "Sleepless Again" almost contains slight "emo" characteristics throughout. The group truly strike gold with the deliberate but delectable "Alias" that brings to mind classic Led Zeppelin in the various twists and turns it takes. Following a beefy, brawn-saturated "Move Through Me," In Flames save the crowning achievement for the lengthy, winding "The Chosen Pessimist," which opens like a reflective, introspective piece of music by Sigur Rós before finding its way effortlessly. In Flames continue to make their mark by being rooted in a strong metal or hard rock foundation but being musically and creatively inquisitive enough to seek out something more. [Koch issued a clean edition in 2008 as well.]

Customer Reviews

In Flames we Trust

Many plp complain that In Flames has changed too much. Everything that In Flames has ever recorded is a masterpiece. In Flames has by no doubt been blessed by the metal gods and with this album the the show off awesome lyrics and even better instrument playing, (is that even possible?)

Another Breakthrough!

There is one constant with In Flames -- every new record has them sounding new, different and brilliant. Since Clayman in 2000, not one of their subsequent albums has been more than casually similar to the one preceeding it. Normal bands have the nerve to "experiment" with their style and one can only expect total disaster; not In Flames! "A Sense of Purpose" is well-paced, balanced between agressive and mellow, and even more experimental than "Come Clarity." I'm surprised they chose to use harsh language in places, and I know most of the other reviewers will be rating this "Clean" version low on the scale. My opinion is if you listen to this brand of music in the first place, you're the kind of person who's less concerned about the words than the context. This album is non-stop awesome from cover to cover, and I recommend it to all the fans!

clean rules!

not really... good music tho!


Formed: 1990 in Göthenburg, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After leaving Ceremonial Oath to form In Flames, founding member and guitarist Jesper Strömblad saw this project as a way of expressing his songwriting creativity rather than being stuck in the background. With the added influences of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, along with his own touch of aggressive metal that overwhelmed his home country of Sweden, Wrong Again Records took notice and released In Flames' 1993 debut, Lunar Strain. In the tradition of many other Swedish metal acts, In Flames also...
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