In Flames
Siren Charms


3.0
good

Review

by NocteDominum USER (200 Reviews)
September 9th, 2014 | 42 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes the fence is a pretty safe spot to sit; you see a lot.

Gothenburg based In Flames have had a fairly decent run. With eleven studio records and an instant surge (and slow drop) in popularity the question would be when and if the band would release an album that progressed into simple regression resulting in a steady disappointment in long-time fans. I'll admit Siren Charms is far away from what these guys are (at the very least) capable of, but it's not an unexpected release from a band moving towards a more commercially accessible setting. Siren Charms is a typical "journeyman" album full of steady hooks and completely predictable cliché, further cramped by a mismatched production and recyclable ideas. It's good, but unfortunately, a whole lot of nothing more.

At times, it's hard not to compare this to the band's greater albums, but after twenty years of music In Flames have faltered, misstep-ping here and there, only to recycle, appeasing a more mainstream audience with their groove based metal. With all this regression it's a wonder that Sounds Of A Playground Fading was the "success" it was. Despite the earlier records' failings, the album had its share of quality song-writing and the lyrical genius of "The Attic" will go wildly underrated. Regardless, the new day In Flames is not as bad as first impressions create.

You've already heard me say that Siren Charms is not as great as it could have been, there's no denying In Flames have let certain facets of their music slide. The record's biggest problems come in its production and an unwillingness to fully flesh out instrumental ideas. For most, the instrumental work is the biggest pull the band has, but if you listen closely you can hear riff patterns from the previous two records piled onto this newest effort. The notes may be different but unfortunately the copy/paste of muted pick work and rhythmic leads sound way too similar to be dismissed as a band doing what they do. Sure enough they do the job here, intertwining minor chords with lick after lick, ensuring there's enough going on here for die-hard fans to reminisce about early In Flames, but it's not enough to lift Siren Charms to dizzying new heights. When taken at face value, In Flames' 2014 release showcases a simple and catchy use of hooks, strained cleans and unconventionally 'metal' vocals that won't please everyone, but manage to suit this album more than they should.

Despite all the negativity presented, it's hard to imagine Siren Charms being any less of the commercially viable, almost radio friendly record it is. Highlights emerge in the shape of "Paralyzed" and the album's first released single "Through Oblivion". Catchy choruses transcend the shoddy production values and muffled rhythmic clarity often found on the band's other records. This shows Siren Charms as a sing a long record, with the occasional dose of "cheese" that would normally be frowned upon. Take "Through Oblivion's" line of: "Having nothing and everything, at the same time." The line itself is cringe-worthy but for the most part it's hardly noticeable. The rest of the album (including the title track) follows this simple formula of song-writing, filling the album instead of creating more interest for the listener. For those looking for some of that older aggression the band sometimes showcases, "When the World Explodes" is about as heavy as the album will get. The track itself suffers from some rather lack-luster female vocals, and would be so much better without them. Sure, it provides a sense of contrast but at the cost of what would have been one of the album's better tracks.

Overall it's great to hear more music from this Gothenburg five piece, even if some of the ideas here aren't fully fleshed out. Siren Charms has its moments, but not a lot of them. For most long-time fans the album will come as a misstep in the boys' careers, soon to be forgotten and played rarely. For those new to the twenty-plus year old band, Siren Charms is a pretty accessible place to start, before moving into the group's other works. As it stands, In Flames' 2014 release is good, and nothing more.



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user ratings (698)
Chart.
2.1
poor
other reviews of this album
Kyle Ward EMERITUS (1.5)
A true siren song...

Madbutcher3 (2)
Whilst featuring enough acceptable content to not be genuinely unlistenable, the excessive focus on ...

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....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
September 8th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First review in a long time, feedback welcomed and appreciated.



Edit: this is cooler than it should be:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0LtujdJBYA

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2014


6363 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

nice to see a more positive review, though I still hate this :/

NocteDominum
September 8th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can understand the disappointment in an album like this but not the hate.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2014


6363 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

idk, maybe I get biased against a band that I feel is consistently 'recycling' the same stuff over and over.



I suppose 'hate' is a strong word... yeah, mostly disappointed. I feel like a 3/5 is generous tbh

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2014


4408 Comments


Yay, Rob's back! :D Not sure if I'll check it out again, but good review nonetheless.

Toondude10
September 8th 2014


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Siren Charms is a typical "journeyman" album full of steady hooks and completely predictable cliché"



I feel like "cliche" should be plural.



Great review though. Almost tempting enough for give this a 3 for me but again, it would say it's as good as A Sense of Purpose.

Digging: Face The King - Once More Is All I Am

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2014


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Highlights emerge in the shape of "Paralyzed" and the album's first released single "Through Oblivion".




gotta disagree there. aside from the decent chorus that song blows imo



sweet review though robert

NocteDominum
September 8th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I feel like "cliche" should be plural.




Kinda... yes and no. It depends on how you read it and what context I provide (which may not be enough). I feel that the entity of the album is built from one cliche, rather than a multiple, thus the lack of plural there I guess.



Almost tempting enough for give this a 3 for me but again, it would say it's as good as A Sense of Purpose.




If there was one album that deserved the low average rating it's A Sense Of Purpose





gotta disagree there. aside from the decent chorus that song blows imo




Have what you will : ]



Thanks guys.



TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2014


21997 Comments


Good review Rob. The comma in the summary should be a semicolon though I believe.

NocteDominum
September 8th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And my unwillingness to proofread strikes again. On it.

TooManyFriends
September 8th 2014


2529 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I really want this to grow on me, so I put it on my iPod last night to listen to today on the train. however, when I got in the train, I discovered it did not load onto my iPod. a sign perhaps

piroga84
September 9th 2014


354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

that's more like it, the first review here that is not like "they are not heavy any more, it sucks because it sucks"

NocteDominum
September 9th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think that's the point of those reviews at all......

piroga84
September 9th 2014


354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

cool, cool, let me rephrase, nice work i like your review! good job

NocteDominum
September 9th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Normally I won't disagree with the guys who like what I do, but I can't help but feel you only like my review because the rating's a 3.



Anywho..... grats

piroga84
September 9th 2014


354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

you can feel whatever you want (didn't get why tho), but you are wrong with this one ^

Flugmorph
September 9th 2014


17436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Good review. But labelling through oblivion as good is a crime.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

NocteDominum
September 9th 2014


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You like over-exaggerating don't you?

SlMBOLlC
September 9th 2014


5551 Comments


Fuck that, over-exaggerating is the worst thing in the world

Toondude10
September 9th 2014


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought A Sense of Purpose was good but not much more than that. This is just passable at best for me.



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