IN FLAMES – Soundtrack To Your Escape

IN FLAMES - Soundtrack To Your Escape


Nuclear Blast
Release date: March 17, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

These Swedes rank among my very favourites, and their four or five last albums are all true killers in my opinion. Therefore, I was both very excited and very nervous when I received the album in my mailbox. Reroute to Remain, In Flames’ latest album, had shown the band exploring some more modern sounds. They have included electronic effects in the music for some time, but “Reroute…” had a much more modern feel to it as a whole – the production was different, and the songs were more US and less Iron Maiden, to put it in a way the boys wouldn’t like at all. Although that was a truly great album, I was a bit worried these elements had been taken too far on this one.

During the first few listens I was certain they had, and to be honest I wasn’t very impressed at all. The melodies were harder to catch, the riffs were more heavy than melodic, and the overall feel was more dark and aggressive than ever before. Although these are not necessarily bad things, it seemed like the quality of the songwriting had suffered under these elements. Still, as the Brave Warrior On The Search For The Finest And Noblest Of Thou Scandinavian Death Metal Treasures, I would not give up. I’ve listened to this album a lot after I got it, and I’m actually beginning to like it. It’s been more like your average acid trip than just listening to music, actually, up and down all the time.

There actually quite some great moments here. The opener, “F(r)iend”, has more power than ten cows full of methane gas, and this track is almost black metalish at times. Singer Anders Friden is more Shagrath than Shagrath himself during the choruses, and there’s plenty of great guitarwork here too. This track will crush live, no doubt about that. This track also features some of the more traditional parts on the album: the lead guitar interlude and the main folk-sounding riff, for example. This cannot be said about the next song, the single “The Quiet Place.” I can here both Pain, HIM and Limp Biscuit in here, and whether they say so or not I have a strong feeling this song was labeled “hit” ever since they came up with the first riff. Still, it’s a great tune, though, and I could easily imagine this tune being played over and over at MTV, Viva, or wherever. The feel is certainly quite modern, and the main theme is definitely catchy.

One of my favourites on the album is “Dead Alone.” The intro/outro, with the jangly, rhythmic idea in the background, is unbelievably catchy, and the verse and bridge are pure “The Jester Race”-era aggression. The chorus features Friden’s BIG and very powerful cleanish voice, and there are some great guitar fills in between too. Great guitarwork is also to be found “Touch of Red,” which features some of the album’s best and worst parts. The opening riff gives me absolutely nothing, but the very melodic guitar idea at about 1:56 is beautiful. Both the verses and chorus are also very good – the chorus is actually among the album’s best of its kin – and overall it’s another great number, albeit the shabby opening riff. “Like You Better Dead” also has a good chorus, although I find this one to be among the album’s more anonymous tunes, together with “Evil in a Closet” and “Bottled.”

“My Sweet Shadow”, is a riffer capable of competing with the best of them. There’s plenty of stuff here to seriously make your neck muscles move, and as a nice contrast to this, the verses are very mellow and calm. “In Search for I,” too, is a headbanger’s delight. Every time I listen to this one I find myself wondering why this tune bears that title – it’s one of the most “old-fashioned” on the album, and maybe the title represents that the two latest albums are a part of a search for what the band really wants to play?

“Superhero of the Computer Rage” is another favourite. The intro is moving in its simplicity, and the chorus is awesome, the album’s best. Unfortunately, the two last songs of the album are two of the most anonymous. “Dial 595-Escape” is a poor rendition of what the band used to do. A notable exception here is the guitar solo, which sounds fresh, and is an example of the guitar work we know the guys can do, but they show very seldom on this album. “Bottled” too is more of the same – boring song, but nice guitar interlude.

Overall this is not at all a bad album; actually, it’s quite good. There’s some real smashers here, but too bad there’s more fillers than on any In Flames album before too. It’s very tempting to say that it’s a very good album but not a worthy follow-up to the all-time classics these guys have produced. This is said without any concern to the “new” sound verses the “old”; I’m only talking song quality here. Still, as mentioned, there are still some true killers here, and seeing this album being performed live will probably rock more than a whisky on the … Did you get that one?


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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