Swedish melodic death metallers, In Flames, have released their latest single. This is called Burn. Burn will feature on their new album, I The Mask, due out on the 1st of March via Nuclear Blast.
In Flames are just 3 core members now with 3 live additions. The core members are frontman Anders Fridén on vocals with Björn Gelotte on guitars. Also on guitars is Niclas Engelin. Live members are, on drums, Tanner Wayne. On bass, Bryce Paul and on keyboards, Niels Nielsen.
In Flames are quite the divisive band these days. The years have seen them move further and further away from the heavier form of melodic death. More recently they have opted for a cleaner, more polished product leading to a mix of acclaim and derision. Old fans feel betrayed, new fans love the change. You know, the usual stuff. For me, the issue wasn’t the cleaning up, it was the dumbing down of their music. The diluting of it. It just felt weak. As with anything though, things are constantly evolving so it felt good to check in on the band again and see what they sound like these days. It didn’t start well but has rapidly improved.
After a poor first single called, This Is Our (House), and then an excellent second single, I The Mask, Burn could go either way. Was, I, The Mask, a blip and we are going to return to the softer, dumbed down, commercial In Flames? Was the first single the blip and is everything else full of fire, blazing leads and crunching riffs? While we won’t find out about the whole album through this third single, Burn, it should give us an indication. At least for me personally, it will help mould how excited or not I am for the rest of the effort.
Burn is about 3 minutes and 40 seconds longs and I am very pleased to say it has much more in common with I, the Mask the single. A brief drum flurry starts the song off before jumping head on into a bassy riff with fast and heavy drum patterns. The verses are fast and heavy with the drums really standing out having loads of depth and power. Vocals are mainly growled and while the riff is pretty basic, it’s solid enough to get your head going.
The chorus sees the guitars ramp up and vocals turn to clean, but with attitude. It’s a catchy chorus but the best follows when we end straight into a glorious solo. The solo brings in the second go round of the heavy verse followed by melodic chorus. Damn this is really very good. Expecting a second solo at the end of the second chorus, In Flames keep you on your toes by instead delving into a chunky, bass heavy instrumental. That leads into a vocal section that moves from spoken word, building and ending with screamed. The chorus comes back in for a few repeats before we get the solo again through to the end.
Damn, In Flames! After that first single, who would have seen this coming. That is two absolute corkers in a row. Burn is a fast and fiery song with plenty of pit worthy moments. It doesn’t sacrifice any of their melody though manages to stay closer to melodic death then they have been for a while. The drums sound absolutely amazing but the whole song just blazes through in a wonderful blend of hard hitting metal and empowering melodic choruses leaving the listener involved and dare I say, excited. Yes, I think I am excited for the new In Flames album and I haven’t said that for a very long time.
As always, you should check it out to see what you think. It is out now on all the usual streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. You can preorder/presave a copy of In Flames new album here. Keep up to date with news on the band at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Burn by In Flames (I, the Mask)
The Final Score - 9/10