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In Flames: Sounds of a Playground Fading

In Flames has existed for quite some time, and has been among the major debatable acts in the Metal community. Since their inception, the group has continuously changed from album to album. I even admit that I’ve fallen astray from the band with recent releases outside of Come Clarity. Suffice it to say that Sounds of a Playground Fading was an album that was announced, but really slipped by me. Luckily, Century Media recently signed on as a supporter to the site, so I’ll be able to review this album for everyone before it hits store shelves. However, I couldn’t help but take a look at what’s to come after a friend posted a youtube clip of the track “Deliver Us” on his Facebook account, which clearly was ripped from an overseas MP3 single version, with the North American version dropping on May 10th of 2011. But, I need to get something off my chest about this before I sit down and examine this song critically.

Typically, one In Flames song can sum up the general idea of their album. If that happens to be the case with this song, then Sounds of a Playground Fading is going to come across as perhaps one of the most unoriginal In Flames releases yet. Essentially, the song sounds like Static-X is doing an In Flames cover. Musically, the song feels strong until the vocals come in, and then I feel lost. It just sounds like generic Alternative Rock, which seems to be a slowly creeping in musical focal point to the band as of late. The chorus is catchy, but again, it just sounds like what we’ve heard a million times over by many other bands of the style. There’s no bite, and it’s far from unique, which makes it the hardest thing to swallow.

Honestly, the song made my heart sink the second it started. There’s some emotion to the music, and it isn’t terrible, it just really isn’t what one would expect In Flames to be given their past recordings. I’m not one who runs around saying “Give me another Lunar Strain now!”, I’ve been a long time fan of the group, but if this were a debut recording for a modern day act, it would be a little more understandable and accepted, as it feels amateurish and just inspired by the more commercialized side of the Melodic Death Metal scene, and it really just does not sound that great just from a casual spin. If this is the general vibe that the music Sounds of a Playground Fading will be offering, I can safely say it will be another In Flames recording I won’t be adding to the collection, and wait for the band to come up with another more unique offering, or one that feels strong in the first place outside some generic keyboard driven stylish Melodic Death Metal that apparently will last for an hour. I’m honestly excited to get my mits on any promotional copy of this release to review, mostly because I really hope that I am wrong about this first impression.

Article based on an audio stream provided by Century Media Records.