In Flames - _Reroute to Remain_
(Nuclear Blast, 2002)
by: Chris Flaaten (
I thoroughly liked _The Jester Race_ and thought they improved on each album up to and including _Colony_. On _Clayman_ [CoC #48], which -is- a good album, I sensed a small drop in intensity and enthusiasm. It sounded slightly more calculated, rushed and less elaborate. This time, these traits aren't something I just -sense-; they're staring me in the face! _Reroute to Remain_ starts as one would expect, with a bombardment of riffs and trademark Stromblad guitar melodies. The verse feels quite staccato though, and the chorus gives me nothing. In Flames continue to use more and more clean/semi-clean vocals. While this proves they're unafraid to explore new areas and adds a new dimension to their music, it would be so much more successful if Friden only knew how to sing. Throughout the album, most verses are uneventful, while the choruses are too easy listening. I have no problem with their formula, but they need more punch, contrasts and intensity in their music to make it work. While I enjoy this album more than the hopeless _The Tokyo Showdown_ [CoC #55], _RtR_ is the bigger disappointment. Two strikes in a row guys, your next release better be good! [Adrian Bromley: "I know, I know... everyone out there wants to hate the new In Flames album. Some say the band is becoming too commercial, others say it is because they toured with Slipknot in Europe. I admit I was very apprehensive about the new album, as I wasn't too into their last album _Clayman_. But with a new burst of energy and a clever title too, these Swedes find a lot of cool ideas to work with on the new disc, be it the bizarre vocal stylings, catchy choruses or some electronic elements. The success of this album relies on the fact that the band set out to make a record full of variety, to kind of step away from what had been part of their sound for so many albums, but at the same time not lose a grip on the "traditional" In Flames sound. This is one of the best albums of the year, not only because it is good but also for the fact that the band didn't follow any trend and did what they wanted to do. And for that reason alone, they remain one of the best metal outfits out there nowadays."][Pedro Azevedo: "Having seen _Clayman_ as a great record and an improvement upon its predecessor, I must now say _Reroute to Remain_ strikes me as a more sudden lurch downwards than one will be able to find in many a rollercoaster ride. Somewhere between the worthless nu-metal leanings and the sheer mediocrity -- by In Flames' standards -- of the remaining music, this record conquers its place as one of the biggest letdowns I've ever found in metal."]
(article published 1/9/2002)
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