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View Full Version : In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading


zerkz
06-19-2011, 05:28 AM
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lw1OXsj53fE/Tc3_JtLEnfI/AAAAAAAAGWU/MwBP1myX548/s400/In%2BFlames%2B-%2BSounds%2BOf%2BA%2BPlayground%2BFading%2B%2528Fr ont%2BCover%2529%2Bby%2BEneas.jpg

In Flames:

Anders Fridén – vocals
Björn Gelotte – guitars
Niklas Engelin – guitars
Peter Iwers – bass guitar
Daniel Svensson – drums, percussion

In Flames is often a band that gets tossed in with shit or gold nowadays, as their fans tend to borderline between "old" and "new" with few in between. Many crave for something like the Jester Race or Colony, while some fans may not even know more then three songs off of those albums. Regardless, its safe to say that after a few listens, Sounds of a Playground Fading offers something for every fan, and maybe newcomers.

Instrumentation:

The album opens with an acoustic intro, before blasting the traditional In Flames Harmony, before breaking into modern, more recent In Flames riffing. One can notice after a few songs that Anders Friden has improved his vocals tremendously, more so on the clean side, but also on the growl side. Much less prominent is the "cat stuck in a blender" screeching, or the whiny tone encompassing some of his past works. The lyrics have also improved from A Sense of Purpose (there's no more "I feel like shit, but atleast I feel something), and seem more poetic.

Which brings us to the guitar in this album. As some of you may know, Jesper (basically the founder and previous guitarist) left recently, leaving skeptical fans to wonder if the incredible solos that inhabited their albums throughout the years were going to disappear. I'm glad to stay this is not the case, and Bjorn (the other guitarist) stepped the fuck up with flying colors. The Guitar solos here are probably the best since their Clayman album. They are npredictable, yet quite fitting. The newcomer, Niklas Engelin, does not disappoint. However, some of the riffs (more particularly in All For Me ) can become very predictable and similar to other songs.

Drum production seems much better here as well. They drive the songs along nicely. Bass also seems to be in a much better form, and a bit more active.

Album Flow:

It's very important to listen to the album straight through. While not entirely a concept album like the Jester Race and Whoracle was, it is conceptual to a point. The album has a dark mood throughout the first 80%, and then starting with "A New Dawn" bursts into the happier sound from 1999-2002's In Flames. The album is also placed with two calmer songs, one being "The Attic" (think of a shorter Chosen Pessimist, with accordion), and the other "The Jester's Door". The later, while not the expected instrumental (like "The Jester's Dance" on The Jester Race), it is simply a spoken word song, with accordion, about their previous guitarist's departure. Songs can tend to sound extremely similar in tone and structure in the first half of the album, however.

Older fans might rejoice at some songs like "A New Dawn", which almost sounds like In Flames jumped back in a time machine set to 1999 or 2000. Anders is getting pretty old now, so expecting some demonic growl from the Whoracle album would be futile, but he pulls off one hell of a modern Colony-ish one on this track. Guitars are set up as if they were playing off of Colony or Clayman themselves. A cello even makes an entrance. Other songs like "Darker Times" or "Enter Tragedy" may impress them as well.

Newer fans also have songs they will probably admire. Songs like "Where Dead Ships Dwell", "Ropes", and "Fear is the Weakness" will attain the attention with their highly developed hooks and choruses, and are extremely catchy.

In Flames have also expanded their boundaries by experimenting with a "hard rock" track of sorts. "Liberation" ends the album sounding like it came from an A Perfect Circle record or some other alternative metal/rock band. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of the genre you will most likely admire this.

Conclusion:

Despite the lost of their previous guitarist, In Flames have successfully created an album to cater to most of their fan base, while experimenting and growing. Bjorn and Anders really have stepped it up, increasing their capabilities greatly. This is In Flames following their own path, even though "It's not straight, but the road lies open."

Recommended for any fan of In Flames, unless you strictly like pre-Whoracle.

A New Dawn - http://www.youtube.com/embed/JkQ7SKyGdZA

SomewhereInTime72
06-19-2011, 07:58 AM
Very interested in checking this out because I've heard several songs and they seem to be basically an improvement on the 'new in flames' formula from ASOP and Come Clarity - but something about the "feel" of the new songs (maybe it's the style of the melodies, no idea) that makes it feel more like older In Flames shit (ok, no older than Colony I'll admit, but Colony/Clayman is still massively good comparatively). Definitely worth checking out from what I've heard and you seem to be vouching for it :D. ....Too bad I have a massive backlog of albums I need to check out so I'm not quite sure how soon I'll be getting around to this.

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 08:02 AM
I surprisingly found this album quite enjoyable. There are some pretty damn catchy songs in it :D

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 08:04 AM
At first, I found it to be a mediocre, generic In Flames release, but boy, it's a grower! Love the first two tracks to death, and the rest of the album is quite great too. :horns:

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 08:15 AM
At first, I found it to be a mediocre, generic In Flames release, but boy, it's a grower! Love the first two tracks to death, and the rest of the album is quite great too. :horns:
Pretty much how I feel.

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 08:22 AM
Pretty much how I feel.

I'm glad they're doing a headlining show in Moscow this October. It'll be a better show than seeing them before Godsmack and Disturbed :barf:

daimonos
06-19-2011, 10:14 AM
I need to download this. I love A Sense of Purpose, I think it's a great rock record. But I probably only like it so much because In Flames was important in my metal upbringing, and I can remember buying it when it came out when I was a freshman.

The_jman
06-19-2011, 10:25 AM
I really enjoyed this album. Just really caught me in a way many other in flames albums never did.

and correct me if I'm wrong but is not Jester's door the actual letter that the band received when he left the band?

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 11:21 AM
I'm glad they're doing a headlining show in Moscow this October. It'll be a better show than seeing them before Godsmack and Disturbed :barf:
You suck :finger:
But I'm just glad I get to see them, because no one comes down to Florida :hmm:

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 11:26 AM
You suck :finger:
But I'm just glad I get to see them, because no one comes down to Florida :hmm:

Hey, it's okay, once I'm done with school here, my dad will probably make me spend half my life in Florida :tp:

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 11:41 AM
Hey, it's okay, once I'm done with school here, my dad will probably make me spend half my life in Florida :tp:
Then we can be best friends.


FOREVER

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 11:46 AM
Then we can be best friends.


FOREVER

AND EVER

I'll be living in St Pete/Tampa probably. :lol:

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 11:52 AM
AND EVER

I'll be living in St Pete/Tampa probably. :lol:

Are you going to go to College in Russia?

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 12:15 PM
Are you going to go to College in Russia?

No, California.

I just finished 8th grade, broski.

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 12:24 PM
No, California.

I just finished 8th grade, broski.
:confused:
... I'm older than you?

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 12:49 PM
:confused:
... I'm older than you?

I'm turning 16 this summer. ^___^

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 12:51 PM
I'm turning 16 this summer. ^___^

I....
I'm so confused.
You finished 8th grade when your 15? How does Russia work :hecho:

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 12:55 PM
I....
I'm so confused.
You finished 8th grade when your 15? How does Russia work :hecho:

I got held back twice when I was in Kindergarden for not knowing English properly enough. :lol: Russian is my first language.

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 12:56 PM
I got held back twice when I was in Kindergarden for not knowing English properly enough. :lol: Russian is my first language.

Ahhhh makes sense now :lol:

brutal_descent
06-19-2011, 12:57 PM
Ahhhh makes sense now :lol:

Don't worry, we can still be best frands! :hug:

masterguy49
06-19-2011, 10:38 PM
Don't worry, we can still be best frands! :hug:
Yeah, when we are old, retired metal heads who hate the young people in Florida. :D

brutal_descent
06-20-2011, 01:35 AM
Yeah, when we are old, retired metal heads who hate the young people in Florida. :D

:agree:

electrocute1031
06-20-2011, 01:08 PM
good album, give it 7.8 outta 10, on the first listen.will probably pick this up at mayhem fest.

Maideneer
06-22-2011, 10:33 AM
First full day listening to this, I am so completely bored. 3 years waiting for this? I really don't know what to make of this at all, I was in the middle of the record and after some random song was over, I shook my head and asked myself "What was the point of that song?".

I highly doubt this album is so technically or creatively brilliant that it got over my head, no chance of that. There's just nothing here for me, I nodded my head a few times here and there, but this all seems like a pointless endeavor and even worse, it now adds to the list of songs in the live set list that will take away of songs from years past that I love.

Completely average album from a band that doesn't know where to go anymore. Here's to hoping for another Passenger record sometime soon to ease the pain and boredom.

broncoz
06-22-2011, 07:51 PM
After two weeks of this cd I conclude this-

Fear is the Weakness, Ropes, A New Dawn, Darker Times are the only songs I can really see myself listening to in the future.

Despite this, I am fairly confident since In Flames is so good at picking the worst songs of albums to play live and make videos for that joining deliver us will be Where the Dead Ships Dwell, Liberation, The Puzzle, and probably SOAPF as well for live songs/videos.

Compared to ASOP which was utter shit this album is really good. Compared to CC, Soundtrack, and Reroute this album is just ok. Compared to everything Clayman and earlier this album is still shit.

Blew my expectations away after the disaster of ASOP, catchy songs, and a new dawn is maybe their most promising song in 5 years... for what i expected im okay with this album

zerkz
06-23-2011, 04:39 AM
First full day listening to this, I am so completely bored. 3 years waiting for this? I really don't know what to make of this at all, I was in the middle of the record and after some random song was over, I shook my head and asked myself "What was the point of that song?".

I highly doubt this album is so technically or creatively brilliant that it got over my head, no chance of that. There's just nothing here for me, I nodded my head a few times here and there, but this all seems like a pointless endeavor and even worse, it now adds to the list of songs in the live set list that will take away of songs from years past that I love.

Completely average album from a band that doesn't know where to go anymore. Here's to hoping for another Passenger record sometime soon to ease the pain and boredom.

Fair enough, but I think if you've been expecting more then 2 (being pre-clayman) even in a headlining set list, its probably not going to happen, and it didn't happen when I saw them in late 2009.

RustinPeace1113
06-24-2011, 01:02 AM
In Flames are my favorite band. The first time I saw them live was in 2002 opening for Slayer and Soulfly right before Reroute came out. Since then I have seen them 9 more times. (ozzfest '05, 4 times touring for come clarity and 4 times touring for ASOP)
This album is better than what I expected, with a title so horrible it's not too tough. I honestly think that Anders is holding this band back. Ever since Soundtrack his vocals and lyrics have been weak. Come Clarity was a very heavy album BUT it is SO obvious that there are distortion effects added to his "screaming." A Sense of Purpose had some great tracks musically but Anders ruined them with his horrible/generic vocal delivery/LYRICS. Sounds of a Playground Fading is no different.

Here is my quick and to the point song by song breakdown:

1. SOAPF: Solid clean intro, catchy riff once it bust's in, even Anders "chorus" isn't too awful.

2. Deliver Us: I hated this song when I first heard it but I can't help but head-bang now, it is pretty god-damn catchy.

3. All For Me: .........meh. I guess it.....doesn't suck?

4. The Puzzle: OH! it's fast! it's heavy! it must be awesome! lame.

5. Fear is the Weakness: Nice as a Soilwork cover, bad as an In Flames song.

6. Where the Dead Ships Dwell: VERY generic main riff but I'm sure this one will be fun to see live.

7. The Attic: ummm

8. Darker Times: Pretty "nu-metal" sounding but I don't mind this track.

9. Ropes: This was at one point the worst In Flames song I'd ever heard. That was of course until I heard the rest of this album.

10. Enter Tragedy: Not bad. Still pretty "nu-metal" but it has a nice solo (as do a lot of songs on this album, just wanna get that out of the way, better solo's than the last album DEFINITELY)

11. Jester's Door: ....maybe that Attic song wasn't so bad after all......

12. A New Dawn: By far the best song in years. Great melodic intro, great riff leading into the verse, great SCREAMING verse, even the chorus is rocking. Great involvement of the strings too. I honestly can't say enough about this song.

13. Liberation: THIS is the worst In Flames song I've ever heard. Absolute garbage. I've heard some incredible softer songs from them (Metaphor, Dawn of a New Day, Evil in the Closet) but this is nothing but "made for radio" shit.

zerkz
06-24-2011, 06:03 AM
In Flames are my favorite band. The first time I saw them live was in 2002 opening for Slayer and Soulfly right before Reroute came out. Since then I have seen them 9 more times. (ozzfest '05, 4 times touring for come clarity and 4 times touring for ASOP)
This album is better than what I expected, with a title so horrible it's not too tough. I honestly think that Anders is holding this band back. Ever since Soundtrack his vocals and lyrics have been weak. Come Clarity was a very heavy album BUT it is SO obvious that there are distortion effects added to his "screaming." A Sense of Purpose had some great tracks musically but Anders ruined them with his horrible/generic vocal delivery/LYRICS. Sounds of a Playground Fading is no different.

Here is my quick and to the point song by song breakdown:

1. SOAPF: Solid clean intro, catchy riff once it bust's in, even Anders "chorus" isn't too awful.

2. Deliver Us: I hated this song when I first heard it but I can't help but head-bang now, it is pretty god-damn catchy.

3. All For Me: .........meh. I guess it.....doesn't suck?

4. The Puzzle: OH! it's fast! it's heavy! it must be awesome! lame.

5. Fear is the Weakness: Nice as a Soilwork cover, bad as an In Flames song.

6. Where the Dead Ships Dwell: VERY generic main riff but I'm sure this one will be fun to see live.

7. The Attic: ummm

8. Darker Times: Pretty "nu-metal" sounding but I don't mind this track.

9. Ropes: This was at one point the worst In Flames song I'd ever heard. That was of course until I heard the rest of this album.

10. Enter Tragedy: Not bad. Still pretty "nu-metal" but it has a nice solo (as do a lot of songs on this album, just wanna get that out of the way, better solo's than the last album DEFINITELY)

11. Jester's Door: ....maybe that Attic song wasn't so bad after all......

12. A New Dawn: By far the best song in years. Great melodic intro, great riff leading into the verse, great SCREAMING verse, even the chorus is rocking. Great involvement of the strings too. I honestly can't say enough about this song.

13. Liberation: THIS is the worst In Flames song I've ever heard. Absolute garbage. I've heard some incredible softer songs from them (Metaphor, Dawn of a New Day, Evil in the Closet) but this is nothing but "made for radio" shit.

Ropes intro and outro remind me of Swim from Clayman.

also, about Liberation, I just think its truly experimentation... unless they decide to release it as their next single...then you can call it "made for radio" shit.:D