In Flames
A Sense of Purpose



by Adam Thomas STAFF
July 8th, 2008 | 69 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Flames continue their evolution from Melodic Death Metal to generic radio Metal with their most watered down release to date.

In 1985 Coca-Cola changed its classic formula and committed one of the greatest sins in the history of soft drinks: The New Coke. Soon after it's release, Coca-Cola pulled the “New Coke” and order was restored to the universe in the form of Coca-Cola Classic. But lets imagine if the head honchos at Coca-Cola never brought back the old formula. What would you do? Would you learn to love the New Coke? Would you switch to Pepsi? Or would you become bitter, angry, and vocal about your lack of control over your once favorite beverage? Swedish melo-death pioneers In Flames have taken that latter path and with mixed results.

With the release of A Sense of Purpose, In Flames let us know exactly what they lack... A purpose. It seems as if In Flames went into the recording of A Sense of Purpose with the same apathy and malaise that many of their fans have after listening to any post-Clayman release.Which is strange because to me, "a sense of purpose" is what I thought they had found in Come Clarity. With Come Clarity it seemed that In Flames had regained their step after falling out of rhythm on Reroute To Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape. While Come Clarity was far from perfect, it saw a return to the speed and melody that embodied In Flames in their prime. But just like Reroute To Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape, A Sense of Purpose shows getting rid of what was intrinsically In Flames, the harmonies. Now in their place are hackneyed synth passages and down tuned nu-metal style riffing. In an attempt to grab the attention of the fans of nu-metal's corpse, In Flames have stuck it to their old fans, again.

Even at its best moments A Sense of Purpose just screams of a band playing it safe. While tracks like "The Mirror's Truth" and "Alias" stand out from the rest of the album, they still seem like Come Clarity B-sides. The rest of the album sounds like a rehash of itself. Sure, the songs are catchy, but they all run together and in the end I cant really tell them apart. Almost every song uses the same scream-sing-scream / heavy-soft-heavy structure that metalcore has been flogging to death for the last five years. I guess Victory records doesn't have a good distribution deal in Sweden, or else In Flames would know how banal and boring that writing style has become.

Anders Friden's lyrics and vocals have been progressively getting worse since the Clayman era and on A Sense of Purpose they reach a new low. His once powerful voice has been reduced to screaming such awful lines as “Oh I feel like shit but at least I feel something” in a frail, whiny, rasp. Anders' clean vocals sound like tired, feeble, whispers and for some reason are used frequently throughout the album. It just bewilders me that the man who sang on so powerfully on "Jotun" and "Food for the Gods" has been reduced to this.

I'm sorry to say it, but In Flames are out of any worthwhile ideas. They even admit it in the opening track of the album, "Without even trying" shrieks Anders on "The Mirror's Truth". At least he's being honest.

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user ratings (1587)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Scott M. Baldwin (1)
    Meaningful line that sums this album up perfectly: "You receive what you give, and this is...

    DinoX (4)
    A brash outing and a step in the right direction for In Flames...

    Crimsontide57 (4.5)
    They age like wine, getting finer with the years....

    Matthew Roe (3)
    Another In Flames album, another style change, yet strong production values and relentless...

  • BloodOfDemons (1.5)
    The pioneers of melodic death metal have hit rock bottom. They even admit it themselves....

    Jorn van Schaïk (3)
    There's something new on every In Flames album, but nothing radically different, and the b...

    when_darkness_falls (2.5)
    In Flames continue on their crusade of changing music, but this time fall flat on their fa...

    Corey (3.5)
    Are the best days of In Flames gone? Yes. Does that mean they can’t make a quality relea...

  • itachi1452 (3.5)
    Accessible, catchy, melodic, and somewhat loyal to their roots....

    Jom STAFF (3.3)
    The legendary Swedes' ninth studio album is a slower, softer affair with a few irritating ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2008


Another resubmit. Thank god for google cache.This Message Edited On 07.07.08

Digging: G.L.O.S.S. - Demo

Captain North
July 7th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Well, despite thinking you're wrong on many many levels, it IS a good review. xD

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

great review, much needed, plus the last line is awesomeThis Message Edited On 07.08.08

July 8th 2008


yeah, last line is great

July 8th 2008


Brilliant review of a poopy juice album

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I hate to be a party shitter, but the line is "Without even trying" not "We're not even trying."

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

hmm, didn't there used to be more reviews? Anyway, this rocks

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Vicarious shit pooped all over the reviewers face.

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

I hate to be a party shitter, but the line is "Without even trying" not "We're not even trying."

Haha. kinda ruins that last line.
Good review, although I obviously disagree. Step down from Come Clarity but still decent overall.

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

First paragraph is a bit contrived.

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

They even admit it in the opening track of the album, "We are not even trying" shrieks Anders on "The Mirror's Truth". At least he's being honest.

This is taken way out of context. Nice try putting a biased spin on that lyric.

In Flames continue their evolution from Melodic Death Metal to generic radio Metal with their most watered down release to date.

This is seriously a redundant argument. You knew full well what you were getting into when you looked in this album and yet you still complain. They are never going to make another Jester Race, so please (to everyone), stop making comments about how they have 'sold out' or 'watered down' their sound.

Review needs some fixing here and there and some of your arguments are weak at best. Not a bad review, just needs some stronger points.

Digging: Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat

July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

they sold out even though they didn't make another jester race

it's not about wanting to hear another jester race or whoracle

it's just that this album features mostly boring chug and awful vocals and 3 minute emo whine chorusesThis Message Edited On 07.09.08

Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2008


Album Rating: 1.5

Totally agree with the review, this album sucks. Good work.

July 10th 2008


hell yer man like woo

July 11th 2008


not much impressed by this review. this album is a comedown from come clarity in some respects and promising in others.

still an enjoyable album though.

July 11th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

**** pooped


July 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I liked the review, except when you bolded In Flames' name every time you mentioned them.

July 20th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

This album was a real letdown for me, has no replay value. Listneed to it for a few weeks when I got it, wasn't impressed and it is now collecting dust.

July 21st 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I think this has great replay value. I listen to this shit all the time and I still love it.

Digging: Ved Buens Ende - Written In Waters

Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2008


Ill get rid of the bolding to appease the anti-bold brigade.

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