There isn’t much that In Flames haven’t done in their career. It now spans over 30 years and they are one of the bands that helped to create the now classic Gothenburg sound out of Sweden. They are a band that have released some classic albums over the year but even they may have out done themselves with their brand new album I, The Mask because this people is a masterpiece.
Whether it be the fact that the band did things a little bit differently this time and work on the album in LA or whether it be that thirty years of experience have placed In Flames ahead of a lot of the bands in their class, but for some reason the band have nailed it with this album, an album that I can’t stop listening to.
That perfection is there from the very beginning. Opening track ‘Voices’ has a busy opening and then the masterful instrumentals kick followed then by the vocals from heaven (or should that be hell) of Anders Friden. This album shows that In Flames have evolved into the perfect band. The title track mixes the right amount of melody and pained screams while Tanner Wayne drums up a storm.
Every track on I, The Mask has the potential of becoming a fan favourite. The very catchy ‘Call My Name’ mixes genres with easy while ‘I Am Above’ draws the listener in with its sheer beauty… to be honest it is one of the tracks of the year. That same recipe for fan favourites continues with ‘We Will Remember,’ which you find yourself singing along to in an instant and ‘This Is Our (House)’ which becomes an anthem as it declares “I won’t back down… fight for our rights.”
One of the things that makes I, The Mask so amazing is the many twists and turns it takes musically – ‘Burn’ is sheer brutality while ‘Follow Me’ and ‘Stay With Me’ mellow out with the former even bringing in some pure acoustic splendour. There is another amazing twist with ‘Deep Inside’ that starts with a strong electronic presence and then contains Eastern vibes that The Tea Party would be proud of.
If there is any doubt that In Flames are sounding the best they ever have they are completely blown out of the water by the amazing guitar work of Bjorn Gelotte and Niclas Englein on ‘In This Life’ and then Friden’s stunning vocals again charm on ‘All The Pain.’
Once again these veteran Scandinavians have delivered something amazing in the form of I, The Mask. Every track feels like it has been perfectly constructed to the point that the album is a work of art. This album is going to go down as a classic and is proof why In Flames should be listed as metal legends.