With thirteen blisteringly heavy-friendly albums now under their belt, In Flames have proven without a shadow of a doubt that they are one of the finest metal bands of a generation. With the latest release, I, The Mask, the Swedish melodic metalheads have not only confirmed that there is a lot of gas still left in the tank, but also delivered some of their best sing-along anthems of late.
Opening up with a dramatic build into a simple-yet-fast guitar riff, the tension is amped up before the first track, “Voices”, explodes into the undeniable sound that is In Flames as the bass chimes in, the drums hit heavy, and vocalist Anders Friden roars with his unique growl. It is a tremendous opening for I, The Mask and the best part is, at no point does this thirteenth album disappoint!
The melodic metal continues through several songs, including the single, “I Am Above”, all with riffs that will have you air-guitaring and vocals that go from distorted rasping to cleaner choruses; you’ll be raising the devil horns high and headbanging to the deep, earthquake-causing bass and drums.
While all this is amazing, In Flames have also adopted a slightly softer approach to some of the tunes for I, The Mask. “Follow Me” starts with a clean acoustic guitar and, getting faster at certain points, Friden controls both the speed of the music and the tone of his voice, not letting it get too intense while delivering fresh-sounding vocals. This is further reflected in “All The Pain”, with Friden really showing off his singing abilities and range there of, not to mention the emotion that is poured out with every musical note.
Check out the band’s recent single “Call My Name” here.
Closing I, the Mask, is yet another slow-paced tune that can only be described as a masterpiece! “Stay with Me” is an acoustic-driven, emotional roller-coaster of a tune that builds into an exceptional, melodic metal anthem. All in all, I, the Mask hits almost every note, beat and vocal peak and valley with seamless perfection. To say this album is great would be somewhat of an understatement; quite simply, it is a tremendous success for In Flames and enhances their already fine catalogue of music.
I, The Mask Track Listing:
02. I, the Mask
03. Call My Name
04. I Am Above
05. Follow Me
06. (This is Our) House
07. We Will Remember
08. In This Life
10. Deep Inside
11. All the Pain
12. Stay with Me
Run Time: 50:58
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Record Label: Nuclear Blast / Eleven Seven Music