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In Flames – 'I, The Mask' Album Review


1. Voices

2. I, The Mask

3. Call My Name

4. I Am Above

5. Follow Me

6. (This is Our) House

7. We Will Remember

8. In This Life

9. Burn

10. Deep Inside

11. All The Pain

12. Stay With Me

In Flames have been around for a long time, yet have always only been on the periphery of my knowledge. I’ve heard a song or two of them, but never really been turned on to them and listened properly. So I was happy to get this review, as it meant I could give them a fair shake and see what they’ve got that everyone seems to love.

… and at the end of the album, I still don’t quite get it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that they are very good at what they do and I’m sure that they have a dedicated fanbase that love everything that they produce – and I did like a lot of bits and pieces throughout 'I, The Mask', however, as a whole it just didn’t grab me.

To find out why, I tried to dissect what I liked and didn’t like. There is a lot that I do like, there are some great riffs, their production sound is lovely and full, meaning that you really feel immersed in the music (especially if you are listening on a big fat pair of headphones). They gel beautifully as a unit, and there are some genuine moments that feel as if you are being pummelled with some great Metal.

But these are moments, not entire songs. And that, I think, is the crux of my problem with the album. You can be an accomplished band, you can have a great sound and some fat riffs, but if you don’t have songs that are memorable, then the album is never going to be anything more than background listening to me.

Now before I get roasted alive by In Flames fans, bear in mind that I don’t think the album is bad at all. I could happily have this on while I was doing other things, it’s just that very few of the songs actually grabbed me. The one I was most remember was “Follow Me”, which stands out purely due to it being a different tone to the songs around it.

If you are an In Flames fan already, then this is a well made continuation of what they already do, and I’m sure you’ll love it. For me it’s an album of brilliant parts that do not quite add up to a brilliant whole.

Review - Michael Braunton

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