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In Flames - Colony

Rating - 4/5

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By Greg Northrup

        You can always depend on In Flames. There are no surprises here, just another absolutely killer batch of melodic, almost power metal inspired, death metal. Again, In Flames showcases intricate, melodic riffing, with some Maiden-esque twin guitar harmonization peppered here and there. Great, emotionally charged shouts from frontman Anders Friden, and a solid, driving rhythm section round out the sound. Basically you know what to expect from every song, and every song delivers.

        This is actually an interesting predicament for a band. On one hand, everybody loves them for staying true to their fans and retaining their sound, but I have to feel for the band. Can they really be happy releasing what was essentially the same album three times in a row (excluding the pre-Jester Race material, which I haven‘t heard)? You can hear them trying to gradually stretch out. "Ordinary Story" has a brief, but interesting clean vocal bit, and "Colony" and "Insipid 2000" feature vocal phrasing that morphs into a power metal yell. You can even hear keyboards and other various studio trickery creeping through the mix at points. These moments are all short lived though, and don’t really affect the quality of the album anyway, whatever your opinion of band "progression". However, I do have to admit that I am much less excited by this release than I was by The Jester Race, probably because that was my first In Flames album.

        The way I see it, In Flames has no choice but to alter their style slightly on the next album, ‘cause even though this rules, it could get boring after a while. Well, maybe not.

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