In Flames
Siren Charms


2.0
poor

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (66 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2014 | 229 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whilst featuring enough acceptable content to not be genuinely unlistenable, the excessive focus on Anders' poor vocals results in this being the band's worst album.

In Flames has been speculated to be on a descent since Reroute To Remain, which is honestly pretty debatable; there has been no extreme or fatal lapse after their shift to their new groove metallish sound. Certainly the band's songwriting hasn't really taken too big a hit in a while even as their musical direction shifted into increasing commercial territory. Until now.

Regrettably, Siren Charms is probably the first genuinely terrible album by In Flames, and it's easy to trace the reasons as to why. The increased focus on Anders Friden's clean vocals has happened across the last decade but had never reached a point to which they critically hampered the overall quality of their material, but now the massively amplified commercial focus of the band's music has driven them to the forefront in almost every song present here. This is not a good thing because Anders is not a very good vocalist and never has been; his efforts have always been passable at best, and here his performance is among the worst he's ever provided. His clean vocals are poor and clearly show his lacking range, whilst his growls and screams have long lost their guttural power and all their energy.

What helped cover for Anders poor quality vocals in the past was the band's crispy clean production quality and the strength of the band's core songwriting, whereas on Siren Charms neither feature is present and accounted for. The mixing feels messy and excessively compressed, with the guitars possessing an awkwardly loud quality, and the drums occasionally clip and sound generally irritating; Anders hangs straight in front of both the mix and the songs. The guitar work itself is slower and gives a lot more space to Anders, whilst also featuring more clean sections than ever, which would be fine if it wasn't for the aforementioned poor vocals. The general quality of the songs as a result takes a major dip, as the album's heavier moments such as Monsters In The Ballroom and Everything's Gone are simplified and diluted, and the most commercial tracks, the title track, Paralyzed and the legitimately terrible Through Oblivion all sound alike and painfully underdeveloped. Despite a fairly decent variety of verses and some legitimately good (albeit sparse) riffs present, nothing is given much of an opportunity for progression as the more commercial direction causes the vocals to take precedent over anything else in the choruses, leading almost all the songs to suffer from Anders' homogeneous vocals. Additionally, the songs all seem more formulaic than ever, with several of the choruses being practically the same and completely unmemorable, and an overuse of bland synth driven verses.

It's regrettable that In Flames have taken this direction, as even here it's clear that the songwriting capability of Bjorn and his peers is pretty strong at points, but the misguided focus on the vocals has led to their talent serving only as a slight embellishment to a largely poor work. Whilst not a release that will topple the band, it's likely that this will go down as their worst effort. Best left avoided.



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user ratings (332)
Chart.
2.2
poor
other reviews of this album
Christopher Geriak (2.5)
What In Flames offers in subtlety they deliver in mediocrity....

ChemicalFire (2)
In Flames push out their least interesting album to date despite some promise....

Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3)
Sometimes the fence is a pretty safe spot to sit; you see a lot....

Kyle Ward STAFF (1.5)
A true siren song...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Didn't take long to establish my feelings on this one, regrettably.

KILL
September 2nd 2014


72280 Comments


damn did they finally top soundtrack? gota check

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i would tell you to listen for the lulz but it's not even that fun to make fun of

Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2014


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Holy shit, that first sentence....

Anyway... I'd have to disagree with the Metalcore comparison. Soilwork, yes... In Flames, No.

The music is pretty good. The band is getting better at the mainstream thing... and the better they get, the more Anders' faults shine through.

Review seems rushed...

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2014


15221 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"as even here it's clear that the songwriting capability of Bjorn and his peers is pretty strong"

...how?

Digging: Blaspherian - Upon The Throne of Eternal Blasphemous Death

MeatSalad
September 2nd 2014


15089 Comments


This band should stop shitting on their legacy, but they wont

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on

LepreCon
September 2nd 2014


4156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Reserving judgement for another two listens
Not hating this yet though

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There are okay riffs in most of the songs and the flow of everything is still tidy, it's just that the songs have a focus on the worst aspect of their sound. If they had a decent vocalist this would be probably be just about okay.

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

And yeah, tbh this was fairly rushed. I'll clean up the first sentence actually now that you've noticed how awful it is XD

Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2014


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

The second track is actually pretty good.

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, I didn't mind Everything's Gone besides the vocals (unsurprisingly).

LepreCon
September 2nd 2014


4156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not hating the vocals at all, better than a lot of 'coar vox tbh

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They'd work in a different context, IE the band's last few albums.

TetraVaal
September 2nd 2014


9 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Listening to the album stream right now. They should’ve quit after Come Clarity.

Definitely in full agreement that this is their worst album to date.

sapient
September 2nd 2014


2163 Comments


ditch Anders pls

Digging: Cal Chuchesta - Cocoa

KILL
September 2nd 2014


72280 Comments


yea get henke forss back

AdolfChrist
September 2nd 2014


1822 Comments


not even going to listen to this.

PiedradeLuna
September 2nd 2014


231 Comments


In complete agreement with TetraVaal. Come Clarity was the last thing they did that could be considered listenable. Good review, but you might want to clean some things up like others have said. You use the word, whilst, six times in the review.

Totengott
September 2nd 2014


1632 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Terrible so far, very poor vocals.

It's also boring, I mean it's playing, but you don't really listen to it.

Digging: Motorpsycho - Behind the Sun

Madbutcher3
September 2nd 2014


1170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, and I removed some instances too XD



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