Review Summary: Fourteen Songs Of Conscious Insipidity
I must confess I used to be really prejudiced about In Flames' latest work, "A Sense of Purpose". I judged the album by only a few songs, namely the terrible Alias and the atrocious lyric-ridden Disconnected. Yesterday I clenched my teeth and listened to that album all the way through, only to realize that in the end it wasn't half as bad as I'd previously thought. If one shut his ear to the abysmal lyrics, it turned out to be a painfully mediocre but listenable alt metal/borderline melodeath album with some saving graces. It turned out to be... better than this one.
Reroute to Remain marks the first sharp plummet in the band's descent into gayness, and a deep plummet it is. This album has also marked the beginning of a long tradition that In Flames have developed - a habit of containing desperate, metaphorical messages to their fans, as though they tried to announce how their label's manipulating them to make money (or how they sold out without the label's incitation, I don't really care). So this album's title tells us how the band has finally rerouted their ways and how it would remain gay for years to come. A self-fulfilling prophecy, but we realize it only now.
The album comes with a headline of sorts that says "Fourteen songs of conscious insanity". A neat marketing trick, but anyone who's already listened to the album will immediately realize how terribly absurd and fraud it is. When I read of "conscious insanity", I think of Strapping Young Lad, not of some jaded ex-melodeath band who's just made a ***ty album full of boring, formulaic and half-assed songs just to garner a wider audience.
The drastic change in style will immediately be noticed by the listener upon listening to the awfully happy and pseudo uplifting chorus of the opening track, "Reroute to Remain". "System" is supposed to be a heavy song, but the riffs are so boring they make Soilwork's "Blind Eye Halo" post musical school graduate virtuoso learning level. The next song, "Drifter" is one of the album's saving graces, being a dynamic song and not seeming entirely half-assed, similarly the single "Trigger" - one of the very few songs on this album actually containing any idea in it. The only other exceptions would be "Dismiss the Cynics" with a genuinely emotional chorus and the acoustic "Metaphor", albeit suffering of Anders' terribly whiny vocals. "Black and White" isn't terrible either, but its melody draws upon some very primitive emotions, it's all so terribly cheap. It feels as though the band was trying to insult us with poop such as the happy-go-lucky chorus of "Egonomic", the teenager melodies of "Free Fall" and the painful boredom of "Dawn of a New Day".
The few decent songs provide an almost enjoyable experience containing adequate levels of heaviness and melodies which invoke positive memories and sentiments (of earlier albums). Unfortunately, all of it is spoiled when the crappier tracks start and make you frown in disapproval. For someone unfamiliar with this album, finding a good song on it is like playing Minesweeper on Hard difficulty setting - pretty damn hard.
While the lyrics aren't as blatantly horrible as on "A Sense of Purpose", they're still mostly poop compared to In Flames' albums of old. All in all, the sheer level of fail contained within this album makes it SURPASS "ASOP" in terms of gayness and overall ill-appeal. This album MAY be a pleasant listening experience, but it's guaranteed that this pleasure will not come without at least an ounce of guilt, unless you don't take this album seriously. To sum up the review, a little quote from In Flames themselves (their song Egonomic), which foretells and illustrates the fate of this band:
"A liar’s ambition, praised like a king
Every day in every way we are getting weaker!"
I've already accepted that Sputnik treats Scar Symmetry as just as bad as In Flames these days, but myself I still think there's no room for comparison between these two bands. An unpopular opinion, but wtf.
This album isn't abysmal, but having four good songs out of "fourteen songs of conscious insanity" isn't a particularly impressive score.
Intro was okay but it all went downhill from there on. I can't stand the condescending tone of your writing and sorry, but I can't take seriously a review that regularly uses "gay" as an adjective to describe the music's sound. Also,
This album has also marked the beginning of a long tradition that In Flames have developed - a habit of containing desperate, metaphorical messages to their fans,
this is your written opinion that I can't contest, but damn is it a moronic one. Plus, some of your descriptions are very vague. For example, what exactly are these primitive emotions that "Black & White" draws upon? And what the hell is a "teenager melody"? And what about the lyrics, what makes them bad? Because I can tell you they do not literally contain shit, despite how much you want that to be true.
To all that, add grammar mistakes and awkward sentences and voila, your review is deserving of the same score you gave the album. No, actually, it'd be deserving of a 1.5 because of this gold nugget:
Reroute to Remain marks the first sharp plummet in the band's descent into gayness
Haha, I'm absolutely not upset about the score you gave this album, I always pos negative reviews of albums I love when they are intelligently written. Yours, however, is not, and the crit I gave is all valid (what you do with it depends solely on yourself).
Also, I'm not going to go into the "is gay a good adjective or not" argument simply because when you grow older and become smarter, you'll see that it really is not a fitting adjective to describe music with and frankly, whatever excuses you may bring to prove that it's a good word to use in this review, I'm not interested in them because they're all bound to be incredibly stupid, hackneyed or misinformed.