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July 14, 2008 | by  | in Music |
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Album: In Flames – A Sense of Purpose

A Sense of Purpose contains some very good tracks, but for anyone still hoping In Flames will return to their mid-90s melodic death metal heyday, this album will be the final nail in the coffin. Their last offering Come Clarity was enormous, mixing the best elements of guitar-heavy classics like Whoracle with Anders Friden’s new-found vocal clarity and the electronic experiments of Soundtrack to your Escape; ‘Leeches’ was the best example, slamming from death metal into an industrial dance-athon.

While A Sense of Purpose makes a decent go at developing some of the dark melodies and personal lyrical ideas from In Flames’ recent work, it lack the variety that made Come Clarity so compelling. The bass in particular is muffled and the drum speed never reaches full flight. But the increased emphasis on lyrics occasionally pays off: ‘Alias’ is easily the album’s standout track, a gigantic arena-rock singalong. The album art reflect’s In Flames’ focus on the personal journey through depression with some sweet drawings reminiscent of Where The Wild Things Are. In the end, A Sense of Purpose lacks the power it needs, but whether you appreciate it or not comes down to whether you think “I feel like shit / But at least I feel something” is a brilliant lyrical idea, or not.

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Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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