IN FLAMES – Sounds Of A Playground Fading

IN FLAMES - Sounds Of A Playground Fading
  • 6.5/10
    IN FLAMES - Sounds Of A Playground Fading - 6.5/10


Century Media
Release date: June 20, 2011

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Ready or not, this is it. The well-known Swedish Metal act In Flames released yet another album in their new form, entitled Sounds Of A Playground Fading. This album is also the debut of the band’s new guitarist, Niklas Engelin, who joined the band after founder, Jesper Stromblad, decided to leave a year ago. Engelin’s arrival didn’t change the twisted shape of In Flames’s musical direction, as now they certainly cannot be acknowledged as Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal, and once again they haven’t came close to their true legacy.

You might have noticed the change in the band’s direction started out back in 2002 with the release of the album Reroute To Remain. After listening to their previous Clayman, it was a bit hard to accept Reroute To Remain, yet it still fit under the Melodic Death Metal banner. The album that came out afterwards, Soundtrack To Your Escape, sent a rather clear message that In Flames were leaving the subgenre that they were partly responsible for creating. With the release of Sounds Of Playground Fading, In Flames sound more Americanized… more towards the area of Metalcore, less Melodic, and more into Mainstream Modern Metal.

The material presented on the album went both ways. The opener, “Sounds Of A Playground Fading” was a rather good song that implemented catchy features of a Modern Metal song along with some melodies. “The Attic” was a touching, short tune that reminded a lot of “Dawn Of A New Day” out of the Reroute To Remain album. Unlike the others, this one had a pleasing atmosphere that was created by harmonious guitars along with a touch of keys. “Enter Tragedy” began with a nice old In Flames melodic riff, and has some solid riffs and a great solo and chorus. “Ropes” was probably the greatest reminder of the older In Flames even with the more modern approach attached to it. There was an excellent chorus and great performance.

You can say that the vision in Stromblad’s mind back in the early ’90s of infusing Death Meal with Iron Maiden-type of melodies is all gone and forgotten. Moreover, the current manifestation of In Flames partly sounds similar to the band’s vocalist, Anders Fridén, Modern Metal solo project:  Passenger. It seems that there is no need to hope In Flames will come back to rediscover their older selves. Sadly as that thought is, it won’t happen.


  1. Sounds Of A Playground Fading
  2. Deliver Us
  3. All For Me
  4. The Puzzle
  5. Fear Is the Weakness
  6. Where the Dead Ships Dwell
  7. The Attic
  8. Darker Times
  9. Ropes
  10. Enter Tragedy
  11. Jester’s Door
  12. A New Dawn
  13. Liberation


Anders Fridén – Vocals
Björn Gelotte – Guitar
Niklas Engelin – Guitar
Peter Iwers – Bass
Daniel Svensson – Drums


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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