In Flames

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter plays an Americanized version of the Swedish sound which was foundational to bands like As I Lay Dying, along with the Swedish take on that Americanized Swedish sound which was done by Soilwork and In Flames on Stabbing the Drama, Sworn to a Great Divide, A Sense of Purpose, and Come Clarity. The newest of the above is thirteen years old, the oldest sixteen – Karpenter is an unintentionally hard-hitting commentary on the passage of time.” Sleeping in the past.

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

“‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ so the saying goes. But in our modern metal landscape, where a single look at an album cover or a song name can hook us or repel us forever, it’s damn hard to do otherwise. Mister Misery (strike one) are dying for your attention, as illustrated by that album cover (strike two). Their so-called brand of “horror metal” should be strike three, good morning, good afternoon, good night. And yet… maybe read the first page.” Twisted Mister.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

“Melodeath is a tough sub-genre to review because it exists in a constant state of tension. It’s pulled in three directions constantly: death metal at one point, traditional heavy metal at another, and power metal at the third. The ebb and flow between these is what makes it enjoyable, but it’s also what divides fans. Err too much to one end and the music sounds “death metal-lite.” Err towards another and it resembles strained power-metal without any heft. The best melodeath is able to resolve these tensions, creating a palatable middle-ground. The Swedish melodeath scene of the 90s mastered this, and was pivotal to the movement’s popularity. A minor, but not inconsequential, contributor was Falkenberg’s awkwardly titled Ablaze My Sorrow.” Pain in the ash.

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

“2020 has been a looooonnnng year and here I find myself, almost at the end of it. My List – following a not insignificant amount of agonizing – has been submitted, two TYMHMs have been written (two still to go, admittedly) and I am staring at my last full review of the year. So, what I need now from Dormanth is a real burst of the zingy, energetic melodeath the promo blurb promised, to carry me through these last couple of weeks.” Fever dreams and downfalls.

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

“As 2020 drags itself towards the finish line, dry-heaving and wheezing like the miserable fuck of a year it was, there are going to be bands trying to shine some light onto what’s been a horrific time in everyone’s lives. Few genres can inject much needed life into a shambling corpse quite like melodic death metal, and today, we’ve got the fourth full-length from German quartet, Strydegor.” Isolation nation.

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

“In the late 90s and early 00s, yours truly bombarded himself with an unhealthy amount of melodic death metal. Basically, anything and everything that came from Gothenburg, Sweden was feverishly devoured at an alarming rate. All blame goes to At The Gates, of course, but quite a few great albums came from there. Sadly, so did some absolute dreck. But there’s no denying that the groundwork that they, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames laid for bands to come, because no matter what, it just keeps coming, much to our joy and/or dismay.” Fever and syndrome.

Yer Metal Is Olde: In Flames – Colony

Yer Metal Is Olde: In Flames – Colony

“There is no part of me that would trade away the pain and disillusion of losing a childhood idol, of walking out on shitty setlist after shitty fucking setlist if it meant losing In Flames‘ impact on my life, Colony in particular. It isn’t their best album; it certainly isn’t their most successful. Perhaps though, Colony encapsulates everything In Flames could and would become better than any other record could.” Burning playgrounds and scar diaries.