In Flames
Reroute to Remain



by Altmer USER (175 Reviews)
February 12th, 2007 | 15 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

(Note: this is my first review I write under the status of approved reviewer! :o)

For In Flames, this must have been a tough album to write. Having released four generally well-received albums in a row, perfecting the art of the melodic death metal style they play, the Gothenburg way, the question was where do these guys go next to prove their musical worth? Obviously, they wanted to hit the mainstream and finally earn some bucks with what they were doing, tour the US, you know, get some international fame for the things they did for metal in a musical sense. Obviously, they couldn't stand still and write an album that sounds like "The Jester Race Part V", neither did they want to. The result is their 2002 album Reroute to Remain.

R2R may single-handedly have split their fanbase right through the middle. Not afraid of taking risks or experimenting with new sounds, the guitars are more than ever focused on delivering a barrage of riffs to please the metal headbanging ears, rather than the technical highly valued solos. The solos are present, but nevertheless they take a back seat to the choruses and riffs on this album. This trend continued onto Soundtrack to your Escape, which proved that In Flames without twin guitar melodies is like a dog without teeth.

Another transitional state in this album was the more frequent use of keyboards, to give the music overall a slightly more industrial feeling than melodic death metal. Check out the intro to "Free Fall" for example, or passages of "System." The good thing about this is that the keyboards never steal the show from the guitars and drums, they serve to augment rather than create.

Another good thing is that Anders, while on some tracks still delivering a couple of notes that can decidedly induce nausea, finally is learning how he should sing and how he should not sing. Most of the vocals consist of the usual frantic screaming, which he does pretty well. Yeah, sometimes it sounds like he's lost a nut. But hey, if the guy could actually sing, I don't think he'd be working for In Flames now, would he? Anders also manages to pull out some clean vocals, but the problem with those is that his voice is rather thin and nasal, unable to carry songs. The screamed choruses, however, backed up by some evil riffs, provide for the best moments of the album.

One highlight songs I noticed from the first time I played this album is the kickass Drifter. This, my friends, is how you do songs. The intro riffing is loud, forceful, and damages your eardrums while being played at speeds breaking sonic boundaries. Anders screams out his vocals perfectly to go along with the song, leading to a singalong (or screamalong) chorus which surely will have every metal fan shouting in the pit. They throw in a well-executed solo, short, but effective, In Flames aren't like Dream Theater in that sense, they don't feel a need to elongate and extend solos until the solo takes up more of the time than the rest of the song, and they return with another rousing chorus. This is a perfect example of how In Flames should do their tracks more often, with a catchy hook. Unfortunately, it only works a couple of times, and keeping it up for the full length of the album is impossible.

Songs like Minus, Transparent and Dismiss The Cynics are easily the worst songs on the disc, and for good reason: if anything sounds like regurgating a previous song, these three take the cake with ease. All three fail to grip and to catch, exactly what In Flames tried here, and are therefore nothing more than superfluous filler, none of these tracks belong on here at all.

Of course, apart from Drifter, there are other tracks with extremely catchy hooks that go a long way to showing that next to being technically proficient, In Flames also know how to write songs, something most other bands tend to forget. Trigger and Cloud Connected are both metal monsters designed to rip you off your lazy chair and make you sing along and bow to metal gods. System has a similar effect. Heavy riffs, screamed choruses... basically this is In Flames "hit single" album. This isn't a bad thing, as the songs are nevertheless well-written...the attempt at broadening their fanbase is just a little too obvious. They gained a lot of new fans (so it kinda worked), but a lot of other fans scolded them for their new approach, which is also understandable seeing as the technical metal elements are fading away from their music.

Then of course, because you can't keep on going smashing your instruments for the duration of a whole album, two mellow songs were included so as to let you catch your breath. Dawn Of A New Day is like a modern version of Whoracle with Anders trying to sing some clean vocals. Anders falls flat as his lines fail to carry the song, but the acoustic guitars make up for much of the displeasure that his vocal lines are. Metaphor makes me goggle and stare at my cd player in amazement, leading me to question myself what the *** this is supposed to be. The harmonica is totally out of place, as if the song was ripped straight of a country album, Anders' vocals make me want to punch penguins and there isn't a single proper guitar solo to back this up. Quite possibly the most extraordinary and also dumbest song In Flames have ever done.

Overall, I don't know how to characterise this. It's not like In Flames' more industrial-edged death metal period, or period of suckdom (read: Soundtrack To Your Escape), nor does it have that completely old school Gothenburg sounds: it can be pinpointed to be somewhere in the middle. The good and the bad balance each other out almost on here, as a whole album, this isn't In Flames' best by a long mile. There are definitely good moments on here, and flashes of their former self and possibilities, but it's not consistent as a whole, and despite the truly excellent material that constitutes some part of this disc I would advise caution before buying this, In Flames has done better and the four albums preceding this are better bets to get into this band. If you've been a fan of the band all along, obviously you can't do any wrong, same if you're a collector. However, if you're new, it's buy-at-your-own risk.

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user ratings (1986)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Xenorazr (3.5)
    Simplification begins to dominate In Flames' sound, resulting in their last quintessential...

    Metalstyles (4.5)
    The album that is the turning point of In Flames' career, and you know what, it is a damn ...

    when_darkness_falls (4)
    The Swedish titans have a radical musical turn. But is it a turn in the right direction?...

    Darkvoid67 (3.5)
    The start of the change, Reroute to Remain is by no means the best In Flames album, but it...

  • The JoZ (4)

    itachi1452 (3.5)
    In Flames has been extinguished....

    Allhailboobies (1.5)
    Lumpy, stodgy and pathetically repetetive, Reroute to Remain is a trainwreck from beginnin...

    XfingTheSullen (2)
    Fourteen Songs Of Conscious Insipidity...

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Meh, I wanted to review this album

February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, marginal album

February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Cloud Connected pwns

Good review, congrats on your approved status!

This Message Edited On 02.12.07

February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

The only songs I've heard off of this album are Trigger and Cloud Connected and it's been so long since I heard Cloud Connected that I don't remember what it went like.

EDIT: Extremely good review manThis Message Edited On 02.12.07

Two-Headed Boy
February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, this album is pretty good.

I like Minus and Dismiss the Cynics This Message Edited On 05.24.07

February 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, got my vote =D

I think this album is a bit underrated. It's still pretty good once you get used to it. I love "Free Fall" for some reason. It's so damn catchy. The title track and "egonomic" are also really good.

This definately isn't as good as their albums 2-5 though. It's probably my fifth favorite album of IF.

February 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Your thoughts about this album came out smoothly about this awesome album. Some people cry sellout, but I like a little change once in a while. This Message Edited On 02.12.07

February 14th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It might be just me, but I really liked this album for some reason...not the best but up there

February 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

I also really like the album even though it is a departure from earlier works.

Good review even though I do not agree with your rating so much.

February 18th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I upped my rating by half a point after I realised there were more songs I liked on here.

March 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Cloud Connected is awesome.

March 3rd 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Free Fall is too

March 3rd 2007


definentaly a good review, im glad you mentioned how they took the risk of changing their sound around with a little industrial add ons.

June 28th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent Review Altmer


I much prefer the first era of "Melodic Death Metal" from In Flames; Colony/Whoracle/The Jester Race/Lunar Strain.

I personnally dont like the new style of InFlames,

My two centsThis Message Edited On 06.28.07

July 1st 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Their new albums arent as good as their older, yeah, but i still enjoy this. Free Fall, the title track, egonomic, drifter, trigger, all great. Most of the album is actually, save the two softer tracks and "dismiss the cynics" every song is pretty enjoyable.

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