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In Flames Soundtrack To Your Escape

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In Flames - Soundtrack To Your Escape
01. F(r)iend
02. The Quiet Place
03. Dead Alone
04. Touch Of Red
05. Like You Better Dead
06. Me Sweet Shadow
07. Evil In A Closet
08. In Search For I
09. Borders And Shading
10. Superhero Of The Computer Rage
11. Dial 595-ESCAPE
12. Bottled
Reviewed by: Ned   //   Published: 7/18/2004

With so many bands “genre-bending” nowadays to create more accessibility to their music, the direction taken on the new In Flames record is no surprise to me.It happened to Soilwork, Darkane, Dark Tranquillity, now In Flames. All these bands seemed to have traded their ferocity and aggression for catchy hooks, groovier melodies, simplified song structures and electronic overtones.All of which are incredibly apparent on “Soundtrack to your Escape.”And of all the aforementioned bands, it disappoints me the most with In Flames.“Soundtrack to your Escape” isn’t a bad record by any means. It just isn’t the caliber album one would expect to come from a band that released such classics as “The Jester Race” and “Whoracle”.

Let me start with the production. The album was recorded with Daniel Bergstrand in Denmark, and to my understanding, they recorded it in a house that they lived in for the duration of the recording. The overall mix is decent but not great. The only instrument that sounds natural is the drums. And I’m not crazy about the drum tones. Everything else is over-produced. The guitars have a very processed tone, and I don’t think there is one moment on the whole album where Anders doesn’t have some sort of effect on his voice. In some instances, this would be a bad thing, but with their more prominent incorporation of electronics as another instrument or entity to their music, it works. I’m just not crazy about it. It definitely sounds better than Reroute to Remain, which I thought boasted a terrible production job, but I would be really curious to see what would happen if they went back to Studio Fredman or tried recording at Abyss Studios. I think with the right production job, they could put out an amazing sounding record. I just think the overprocessed/over-electronic sound of the album drowns out some of the intensity they are trying to relay to the listener.

The songs themselves are decent. In Flames knows how to write songs. And there are definitely a few very catchy songs on this record. But the weird thing is, the catchiest tracks are probably “The Quiet Place” and “Like You Better Dead” which are the album's two singles. And it’s almost disturbing because I could see both of those songs being played on a mainstream radio station in the middle of the day after Linkin Park or Deftones. There are a couple attempts at bringing some of their older influence into the mix with “In Search for I” and “Touch of Red,” but they just don’t grab you like any of the older material did. They sound like B-Sides from the Clayman sessions. The majority of the album is mostly groove-based with catchy choruses and only 3-4 riffs per song it seems. There are hardly any leads, and from a band that used to play melodic death metal, you would at least expect “some” good lead harmonies. I’m sad to say, their sound is so streamlined that it pretty much sounds like two rhythm guitarists with an occasional harmony here and there. It’s disappointing.

Bottom Line: After a few extensive listens to “Soundtrack to your Escape,” I hate to say it, but I have almost given up hope for In Flames. There are a few redeeming qualities to this album, but they are so few and far between that you can’t look past the shortcomings.There are some decent overall songs, but nothing that really grabs you. In fact, I feel like the music almost loses you in a few places.If you are a fan of the new Soilwork material, or you liked the last In Flames record, I would recommend this album to you. But if you, like myself, thrive on good melodic death/thrash, this album will disappoint you. Go listen toDimension Zero or The Forsaken.

Comments
subterranean_   posted 9/24/2009 2:56:04 PM
Dude.. their new album finnally got me away from being deeply depressed at this direction, hell yea..
logan_   posted 9/11/2006 7:45:08 AM
as for the the whole "goin back to the roots thing".
what the f*ck ?
for a start, who the f*ck are you to form an opinion on what proffesional musicians should do ?
go out now, get signed, have a a succesfull decade long metal career, write a better album than this, let me listen to it and then ill judge you... hows that sound... fair ?
or even better you could send your sample to in flames ???
secondly, in flames left their roots for a reason... you dumb wankers... change happens.
logan_   posted 9/11/2006 7:41:19 AM
ive said it once and ill say it again... if you really care what someone else thinks... stop listening to my f*ckin music, bitch.
you want enlightenment read my post on "scar symmetry"
logan_   posted 9/11/2006 7:39:50 AM
this album is quality.
the secind one i bought but i now own them all.
"What f*cked up taste in music you have. This album is nothing more than genious. This is my favorite album to date. Just cause the album has a more systematic approach doesnt mean its shit"
correct.
this is clearly my favourite... even after listening to their "roots".
killwhitneykill_   posted 12/8/2005 10:54:00 AM
hmm....actually as much as i hate to say it, id say this review is acceptable at times...
one thing im not sure about and dont understand is the idea of "over production" im not really sure why its considered bad if a band sits down to take out the time to carefully mold a cd together...(outside of the actual writting process)......overall i thought this cd had its moments...call me a gay....but i think the electronics behind it help the music.....but thats just me.

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