Metal Review – In Flames: Where the Dead Ships Well

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Metal Review – In Flames: Where the Dead Ships Well
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In Flames: Where the Dead Ships Dwell
Alternative Rock, Melodic Death Metal
Century Media Records
November 15th, 2011
Release length: 18:40
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After a flurry of mixed reviews, Century Media and In Flames come together to issue yet another single from the band’s latest effort, Sounds of a Playground Fading. However, instead of it just being a one song digital download to promote the release, this one goes back in time to how CD singles use to be made. While this is the good news, the bad news is that the other three tracks aside the single are songs you probably won’t really care about. Does Where the Dead Ships Dwell stack up as a good digital purchase, or is this an item you could easily ignore?

While my review of Sounds of a Playground Fading didn’t really mention this song, “Where the Dead Ships Dwell” does make for a good follow-up single to “Deliver US.” The atmosphere between it and the previous single is pretty close, and the cleaner audio quality against some heavy yet clearly modern and slightly Synth-influenced melodic Death Metal sound of the album works very well for the song. It also doesn’t help that this track does show a little more emotion in the vocals that “Deliver Us” didn’t really get to emphasize. Overall, the song feels solid from start to finish with some good transitions in and out of a stunning chorus that is just fantastic. The entire song does come off a little simpler compared to other tracks on the release, and it’s not the most amazing In Flames track to be recorded, but overall it does show the potential they have with their modern sound, and there’s no denying that it will have your head banging along if you allow yourself to be swept up by the extremely infectious music.

But while the “Where the Dead Ships Dwell” track is enjoyable, the three others are hit and miss. In Flames is not really new to having their material remixed to become a Techno, Synth, or Industrial track, so this release featuring three remixes of the single is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because, while the single costs a little more, it’s like the glory days of CD singles being rediscovered, something labels are not too crazy about doing anymore, by allowing more then just the album track to be available on it. But, if you don’t like these kind of cuts, then you’ll be a little let down. But, in defense of these, they’re actually not bad. The “Casper Remix” holds back a bit on the additional Synth elements so that it doesn’t go too far over-the-top with them and still remains catchy, as well as true to the source material. “The Qemists Remix” also was a surprise given it’s stronger House music Techno approach, but slowing the track down and coming through a lot more professional then what you might find on other remixes available in late 2011. It retains that heaviness the song had, as well as the catchiness of the original song with some good digital effects that all flow smoothly together with a slower bear that those who hate dancing would want to get up and start busting some moves out. Glowsticks are still optional of course. The “Kristof Bathory – Dawn of Ashes” mix, however, feels a little too much and will really appeal to the hardcore dance club types or fans of strong Techno with the way the vocals are handled on the song, cutting in and out constantly with less of an atmosphere then “The Qemists Remix” had. Of the three, it’s perhaps the weakest, but it’s far from bad since it still suits a more niche demographic.

Honestly, this single may not be the most amazing thing to be made available for purchase as far as this format goes, but overall it was something professionally done with a catchy song that just makes it a fun item to own. The remixes here are actually more impressive then you would expect considering how bad that style and Metal seem to mesh, especially lately, but in the end they all felt heavy enough to work with the song with the exception of the “Casper Remix” that was a little lighter. The main track itself is mostly to blame for this given it’s simpler nature, rich sound, and generally catch music, allowing this sort of remix approach to work in it’s favor. If you enjoyed Sounds of a Playground Fading and don’t want to buy this single since you have the album, that’s fine since it’s really not a mandatory companion purchase, but if you have a few bucks to throw into some addicting and overall fun songs, Where the Dead Ships Dwell is a single worth looking into.

01. Where the Dead Ships Dwell – 4:25
02. Where the Dead Ships Dwell (Casper Remix) – 4:05
03. Where the Dead Ships Dwell (The Qemists Remix) – 4:05
04. Where the Dead Ships Dwell (Kristof Bathory) [Dawn of Ashes Remix] – 4:46
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

In Flames
In Flames

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.