Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
Three decades and fourteen albums have seen Sweden’s In Flames through some twists of changes and evolving development – The one thing I’ve always really liked about these guys is their ability to keep their dynamics open.
Never really, in my opinion, straight lacing with how the genres they touch upon should sound. Their ways of combining metalcore and melodic elements into some blends of different flavours often leave me wondering what to expect with a new release from them.
The Beginning Of All Things That Will End introduces the album on a stunning instrumental note, expressing ripples of light in a slight beautifully melancholic mood. This is the sort of start I’d expect to drift away to. It’s roughly two minutes long, though its a beautiful build up to what transpires into hurtling riffs and speed blasting of State of Slow Decay.
‘Vocally, State Of Slow Decay introduces Anders Friden’s much more range of depth on the album. Since 2019’s I, The Mask, I feel that Anders has evolved his style and range to a deeper melo-death than ever before. Through his high and re-developed depths of gutturals, his clean vocals entwined with Bryce Paul are still nostalgic to In Flames fans and give the pallet of moods in this album a huge part of it’s melodic backbone.
Harmonized riffs and speed induced drums cement the soundscape of the Foregone’s introductive moments, making the next stepping point to the listener drawn in to find out how each track ends.
The thrashes and grooves that lay within this album are throughout, Bjorn Gelotte is by far, one of the most under rated guitarists – his ability to change up the shift in mood with his riffs and melodies to create such power from one end of the spectrum to the other has always stood out to me sine i’ve started listening to In Flames. Foregone is no exception.
Meet Your Maker hurls a melodic and punchy riff storm into the album which also shows us some of Bjorn’s melodies bleed into eachother and support Anders’ vocally presented combinations in some beautiful moments. Heavy as brutally possible in some places and beautifully crystal clear in others, this track gives us the first taste of how diverse the album will be as you continue into it.
Bleeding Out is one of my favourites of Foregone. It starts with some key type synths and then skips into a chuggy and double beating offering before the riffs turn pretty nasty and Tanner James showcases some intense double beats. Anders displays some powerful vocals with his deep pitched screams and beautiful melodic clean pipes. Chris Broderick takes some shining moments, especially with some over laying of Bjorn – this is a track where these two work together beautifully and provide double the moods of the song.
Foregone Pt 1 and Pt 2 are interesting to say the least. On the former, we have some beautiful guitar shrieks and solos and some siren type synths lacing subtly beneath them where Pt 2 has a more rustic feel, more kit work shining through the melodies from Tanner – the melancholic moods come through from the beautiful vocals and more gentle ripples through this version. Injections of some death growls give the latter track some more shape, however never running away from that harmonious and stunning mood.
Pure Light of Mind is an uplifting and gorgeous track on the album – though that melo-death flirt with different elements is present, this track is a wonderful surprise. Talking to us of a deep rooted love and talking to someone at the centre of the listeners world, this song is almost a love song – but without sounding like a cliche. Bryce Paul’s bass is subtly the backbone of this track and branches off the mood of the song in different flows and direction,
The Great Deceiver and In The Dark are the two stand out heavy offerings on Foregone for me – we’re given a space to feel the dirty riffs and really absorb what deep gruffing wailing Anders is doing on the album. The acoustic guitaring is a beautiful touch and though you’d not think that it would fit somewhere on In The Dark – it works beautifully. Combine this with the groove notes and double bass blast beats on A Dialogue in B Flat Minor and you’re left with an overwhelming texture of moods.
Cynosure is another favourite of mine. It starts with a catchy and punchy riff with a blend of acoustic strings and mysterious synths to provide an immersive sound and though the vocals are cleaner, this song provides a crystal clear but absolutely gorgeous tone to the album before the finale brings us back to an absolutely filthy end on End The Transmission.
The guttural wails and heavy riffs absolutely absorb this track from the beginning. The end song is fueled with power and talks to us of hope lost. It’s one that knocks you right over – the almost breakdown type blast beats and riffs combine together and deliver an affect that wont let you forget that Foregone has very much an affect that wont be going away any time soon.
This is not old In Flames – this is an evolution. More ambience, more melo-death but MORE than that. I think this is their best album within the last 8 years and if you’re one of those that view In Flames as a bit like Marmite – give Foregone a proper submersive listen. There is so much more life into these guys on this album and stunning experiences coursing through it.
IN FLAMES are
Anders Fridén | Vocals
Björn Gelotte | Guitar / Vocals
Chris Broderick | Guitar
Tanner Wayne | Drums
Bryce Paul | Bass
Order the album here: https://inflames.bfan.link/foregone-newalbum.ema
FOLLOW IN FLAMES:
Official Website: https://www.inflames.com/