In Flames
Come Clarity


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
February 5th, 2006 | 802 replies | 59,441 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gothenburg's favourite songs bust out a fine return-to-form.

36 of 36 thought this review was well written

Being pioneers of the Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal sound has got to count for something right? Ten years ago, In Flames were being hailed in some circles as the new Iron Maiden, with albums like "Whoracle" and "Colony" proving that they knew their way around a harmonised riff or six. The future seemed bright... So what if 2000's "Clayman" and its follow up "Reroute To Remain" were a little less well-received? There's always a certain few who will profess to hate their favourite band as soon as they start to get a bit of mainstream success, right?

Then it happened... "Soundtrack To Your Escape." Gone (for the most part) were the magically intertwining guitars we all loved; in their place, "atmospheric" synth sounds. Even Anders himself had adopted a nasty vocal habit, reminiscent of a certain bagpipe-toting nu-metal moaner who shall not be named... It was supposedly the end of In Flames' reign as kings of melodic death...

...Ah ye of little faith!!! "Come Clarity" makes up for all that and more! It may be cliched to say it, but this is the best record of their career, with a more melodic feel than their recent albums, and a much heavier edge than their older material.

In truth, the only real problems with "STYE" were the simplistic guitarwork, and the way the band would build up a promising intro and verse, only for chorus to completely fall short... in almost every song. Well, one listen to "Take This Life" will cast away any doubts you may have had about IF's ability to make face-shatteringly amazing metal. The harmonised guitars are back (yay!) and the chorus is ***ing immense; its obvious that Anders has vastly increased his vocal capability.

These two traits are hammered home even further by "Leeches," which is host to a soaring chorus and a pant-soilingly brilliant lead section, yet also manages to incorporate the odd synth effect, albeit much more subtly (and to greater effect) than the overbearing synth presence on "Soundtrack..." "Reflect The Storm" showcases the guitar harmonies yet further, while slowing things down a little for another amazing chorus, and some more great solo work.

As always, In Flames have experimented heavily (it's fair to say they've never made the same album twice). Some good examples are the vocal trade off on "Dead End" between Anders and female guest vocalist Lisa Miskovsky (whose vocal style is reminiscent of Sharon from Within Temptation), the gang vocals and almost metalcore style of "Scream", particularly in the chorus (I know metalcore seems to be a dirty word these days, but make no mistake, these guys pull it off better than most, by integrating it into their own sound).

The largest departure would be the title track; it truly is an epic masterpiece. Beginning with some acoustic guitars, gentle basswork and slightly echoey drums (overall, quite reminiscent of some of the acoustic parts from the "Whoracle" days, but more atmospheric), Anders then joins in with almost pained-sounding vocals. Suddenly with a scream, the chorus erupts with a wall-of-sound of powerchords, driving drums, soaring synth line, and some of Anders' best vocal work yet. Then it happens... Jesper and Bjorn set the guitars on fire and churn out a long, slow, emotional, and truly ***ing epic dual guitar solo that is guarunteed to raise the hairs on you neck and make your spine tingle. Put simply, this song is a power ballad with huge balls, and quite simply what speakers were made for!

The six tracks that follow bring back the speed element into play, and all feature yet more amazing guitar and vocal work (I'm not trying to take anything away from the equally amazing drum, bass, and occasional synth parts, it's just that its the guitar and vocals which seem to define the songs, and are even more striking, considering the vast improvement in both since the last album). For example, "Crawl Through Knives" features some great vocal harmonies (and brutal screams too, I might add), and "Vanishing Light" is also notable for yet more amazing guitar work, particularly the frantic, jumpy lead section in the middle.

Closer "Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Everyone" is more of an outro than a full song, beginning as it does, with a few minutes of synthy noise and piano tinkling, with the faintest hint of some muffled drums, before breaking into a short, but not unimpressive main section of melodic vocals and crashing guitars. Hell, there's even an Iron Maiden reference in there, as Anders whispers "you make me understand the evil that men do."

Its hard to pick highlights from "Come Clarity." For one thing, every track is amazing without exception, and all are very memorable, thanks to some very distinctive melodies carrying each one. The lyrics are a vast improvement on what's come before, and the whole album seems propelled forward by some vast invisible rocket (even the slower parts pack a hell of a punch).

In conclusion, this is a storming return to form for In Flames, it's all we could have hoped for and more. I would do a pros and cons section, but it would be entirely pointless, as there's been such an improvement here that there are almost no cons to "Come Clarity."

If you don't like it, you are in my opinion, a cloth-eared fool.

4 outta 5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
nick962
February 5th 2006



377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

excellent review. amazing cd from what i have heard so far. i cant wait until it comes out this tuesday here in Canada. again, awesome review.

spoon_of_grimbo
February 5th 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks nick!

I can't believe I'm the first to review this!!!This Message Edited On 02.05.06

24.05.2008 - In a recent re-evaluation of my reviews, I've changed the rating for this album from a 5 to a 4.This Message Edited On 05.23.08

spoon_of_grimbo
February 5th 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

on the contrary Jom, i quite liked STYE...

i may have been a little harsh on the guitarwork, but the matter of the choruses was definitely an issue. one great example is "borders and shading." great prechorus (with some of the only harmonising on STYE), but the chorus ("you're so far behind me..." etc.) just seems to flail about in nothing. the only really great choruses on that album were "The Quiet Place" and "Touch Of Red" IMO.

i felt it necessary to compare CC to STYE, as it was STYE that caused a lot of fans to write off the band somewhat (just look at some of the comments on the STYE reviews). i was merely demonstrating how they've avoided making the same album again.

thanks for the feedback though, i'm always open to criticism, my reviews are far from perfect lol!

Storm In A Teacup
February 5th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I only have the four songs (thank you Jom ) Take This Life, Reflect the Storm, Dead End, and Crawl Through Knives, all of which reflect the album as probably being a 4 out of 5.

ShadowsFallen was wanting to review this, hopefully he still will.This Message Edited On 02.05.06This Message Edited On 02.05.06

spoon_of_grimbo
February 5th 2006



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh yeah, good point, i forgot about "my sweet shadow"! to be honest, the other songs hold their own with some of the other melodies, or sheer brutality, but the choruses i felt were a letdown for the most part on STYE. thats partly why i rate CC so highly.

out of curiosity, which songs did they make into videos/singles? i remember seeing videos for "the quiet place" and "touch of red" but i heard there were more...

Kage
February 5th 2006



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, aside from just a little bit of what I see as slightly unwarranted raving. Otherwise, I liked your style.

I like STYE a lot, and this album proves to be very good as well. I do need to listen to it more, though, especially given that I'm seeing them on Tuesday.

Some of the guitar work, though, sucks. Like at the beginning of Take This Life (I think), where the guitars just chug almost arhytmically. Sounds really bad to me. The good melodies are still there, though, so not a terrible loss.

Storm In A Teacup
February 5th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=Jom]In Search For I and Borders and Shading might be the other two, but the first four I mentioned are absolute.[/quote]
Naw, it's System, and Dial 595-Escape.

Wizard
February 5th 2006



19248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I havent heard the whole album yet (only the 3 songs offered on Ferretstyle.com) but they were utterly amazing tracks. I can't give a rating on your review yet but I'm sure when I buy the album on Tuesday, your review will get a good rating from me hahahahaha. Ive been playing guitar for about 6 years, and I would like to disagree with you and say that STYE has barely any easy guitar parts. Listen to the song 'Dead Alone'. The bridge has such a nice dual lead in it and than it breaks off into a heavier bridge with the guitars still dualing. This is just an example of the many great guitar pieces on STYE. Some of their tightest, but I will agree you, 'weakest' songs came off that album.

Digging: Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind

tele_death
February 5th 2006



27 Comments


Yupp....sucks its not out in the US yet....grr

Cravinov13
February 5th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is it really gonna be a classic?

Storm In A Teacup
February 5th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=Jom]Kripes: "System" is on Re-Route to Remain, not STYE[/quote]
Oh, I thought that he wanted to know which videos are on their dvd.

Shadows
Moderator
February 5th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, there goes my review.

Oh well. This album is hit or miss with me. Some songs are pretty good, others really suck.

Shattered_Future
February 5th 2006



1539 Comments


5 out of 5 my ass.

It's a step up from STYE, I think, but still not there yet. It has a very Soilwork type feel to it...that's not a bad thing, but it somewhat leaves something to be desired.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 5th 2006



7928 Comments


[quote=Shattered Future]It has a very Soilwork type feel to it...that's not a bad thing[/quote]

Maybe not for a Soilwork album, but this is In Flames.

Bfhurricane
February 5th 2006



6194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, i love this album.... every song (put aside Your Bedtime Story is Scaring Everyone) is amazing.... i think this is In Flames' best album. I personally like Come Clarity, Crawl Through Knives, and Vanishing Light the best, but just listening to every song theres always that part that makes me go "damnnn, this is a really good song!" I cant get enough of this

Shadows
Moderator
February 5th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't believe that people think this is so good.

Am I the only one who noticed that Ander whines like Jon Davis through the entire album? Reflect the Storm has to be one of the worst songs this band has ever made.

Bfhurricane
February 5th 2006



6194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got a lot of these songs a while ago by some means or another, and i never liked songs like Leeches or Reflect the Storm, but after a while I find myself appreciating every aspect of this album! Maybe im praising this album a little too much for what it is, but i still love it

Shadows
Moderator
February 5th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anders is definitely better then Jon Davis, but lately his vocals have been sliding into somethng similar. His screaming was much better back in the days of The Jester Race and Whoracle, as was his clean singing. Now his scream is decent, but his singing is awful.

Hammerheart
February 5th 2006



25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hahahahahahahahahahhahahaah, this album, a classic?


this album has like 2 good songs, leeches, and reflect the storm, the rest is bad.

Kage
February 6th 2006



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's actually cool that this album is causing so much controversy. It's refreshing from their previous two albums during which it seemed like everyone trashed them to no end.



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