Swedish melodic death metal band, In Flames, have released another single from their new album, I, The Mask. This time it is the title track, I, The Mask, from the new album due out on the 1st of March via Nuclear Blast.
Just when you think you know a band they go and do this! After the travesty of In Flames last single, (This is Our) House, I had completely come to terms with the fact they were no longer a melodic death metal band and were more “hard rock” now. They have been moving further and further from their roots for years and (This Is Our) House was, to me, them finally arriving where they wanted to be and where I didn’t want to listen anymore. Then they do this. They release a very decent metal song that harks back (slightly) to their roots leaving me absolutely baffled as to what direction they are taking with the new album, I, The Mask.
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.
I, The Mask is over 3 and a half minutes long and starts off with blazing fury. No time is spent with intros, we just dive head first in with a punching riff, blistering drums and devilishly unclean vocals. The first verse is delivered at a really quick pace and is over before you know it, before delving straight in with a second heavy verse we get a bridge made up of some really neat lead guitar melody. Second verse leads into a clean prechorus but it works well over the fast riff and drum blasts. The chorus is catchy enough too, clean with a little edge and muted yelling. Again it is the riff and drums that are holding the song together and keeping it exciting though.
A brief verse with uncleans bring us back into the prechorus and chorus again. After that we move into a chunky riffing section to keep heads banging, and they should be by now. A bit more of the unclean vocals works well before some odd and out of place effects taint the waters a little. That is quickly forgotten though as we head into solo territory. Quick paced, high pitched and catchy as hell, get your air guitars ready. We end with a repeat of the chorus and a last little blast of riffs, powerful drums and shouted vocals.
I, the Mask is a cracking melodic death metal song and helps to wash away some of the sour taste of the previous singles. It still has a clean production. It’s quite polished but if you are going to go down this route as a band, at least make the songs catchy, full of good riffs and hooks and you might just still win a bit of favour from us stubborn metal heads. That is what they have done here. A simple but effective riff, brilliant drums and a decent mix of vocals. Throw in a cracking solo and catchy chorus and all is well. Until the next single at least when who knows what we will get.
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.
I, The Mask by In Flames (I, The Mask)
The Final Score - 8/10