IN FLAMES’ “Siren Charms”

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.

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A smile lit up on my face when I heard that IN FLAMES would release a new album. That smile still glowed when the first single “Rusted Nail” was available. Not a spectacular track but good enough – the guitar licks in the intro flow pretty easily through your ears; Fridén’s vocal tone – mainly clean but harsher here and there and backed by occasional screams – sounds quite pleasant; an exquisite bridge preceding the first chorus, and the catchy melody of the latter…  There’s something standard in the riffing, though, hence the “not a spectacular track”.

Then the aforementioned smile got wider with the release of “Through Oblivion”, a melancholic song, almost depressive, that stirred something in the darkest side of me.

But then I listened to the whole album and the smile faded, almost completely. We already knew the “melodic” was growing stronger and the “death” was dimming, so it isn’t a big surprise that “Everything’s Gone” is the only true heavy song in “Siren Charms”. What disappoints me is that it’s not a very good song. The heaviness of “When The World Explodes” is better, but the softer parts are weak, not because they’re, well, soft and slow, but because they don’t seem to have any spirit in them. This one features soprano Emilia Feldt, who has a beautiful voice but doesn’t help this track at all. Weren’t sirens supposed to have an enthralling vivid chant? Feldt uses a very languid tone here.

Also “Paralyzed” and “Dead Eyes” make justice to their titles, being quite dull tracks. “With Eyes Wide Open” is a nice ballad, though, and “Filtered Truth” has a rock-ish vibe, a lively sound that’s refreshing to hear in the end.

The production is amazing, but something’s missing in “the whole musical picture”. And it’s not the more melodic approach that bothers me. It’s its lack of ability to embrace my senses and leave a positive remark.

Label: Epic Records / Sony Music

Producers: Daniel Bergstrand, Roberto Laghi and IN FLAMES

Track list:

  1. In Plain View
  2. Everything’s Gone
  3. Paralyzed
  4. Through Oblivion
  5. With Eyes Wide Open
  6. Siren Charms
  7. When The World Explodes
  8. Rusted Nail
  9. Dead Eyes
  10. Monsters In The Ballroom
  11. Filtered

12. Become The Sky (deluxe edition)

12. The Chase (iTunes edition)

http://inflames.com/

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GOJIRA @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.

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However, this was GOJIRA’s night. I believe the Portuguese fans have been asking for the French band since the very first Vagos edition. As for them, they claimed they’d been expecting to play in Portugal for 18 years – meaning since they first were founded, still as GODZILLA. Yeah, yeah, I know they all say nice things about the countries/cities they’re visiting for the first time, or haven’t visited in a long while, but in this case I believe, as the Duplantier brothers have Portuguese roots (grandmother) and they’ve visited the country many times before, as tourists. Now that they made it as a band and had such a thunderous reception, I’m pretty sure they’ll do their best to return soon.

The security guys had their hands full – literally – from the very first seconds (yeah, seconds) of “Explosia” to the last ones of “Where Dragons Dwell”. A high-five to all of them for the excellent job they did, not only at helping the kids on the “landing” but also in guiding them into the best path of hands and heads.

Peak moments? All of them! But I can’t stop mentioning the inflatable dolphin that bounced back and forth over the crowd on “Flying Whales”. Cute!

It was hard to accept the gig had come to an end. Joe said what must have been all the pleasantries he knew in Portuguese while everybody screamed“GOJIRA, GOJIRA!” at the top of their lungs. But it was over. And unforgettable.

Gojira official Facebook

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PARADISE LOST @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

This gallery contains 96 photos.

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music. I guess everybody knows by now that a PARADISE LOST gig is either very good or sucks dish water, there’s no middle term. It all depends on Nick Holmes’ mood. Holmes not only was in a … Continue reading

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VITA IMANA @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

This gallery contains 111 photos.

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music. Spanish VITA IMANA was another surprise – one that so far gets my gold medal in the category “Top surprises of 2014”. Whoever told me they were a thrash metal band forgot to mention they were … Continue reading

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THE QUARTET OF WOAH! @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

This gallery contains 54 photos.

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music. Now THE QUARTET OF WOAH!, despite being formed just 4 years ago, they’ve been playing non-stop recently and making their name known. Well-known, actually, as their live shows are pretty… lively! I wasn’t expecting that, … Continue reading

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M.U.R.K. @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.

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M.U.R.K. – the “alternative death metal” Portuguese band, not the black metal Italian one – were up next. Never had heard of them before, not even when they were going by the name SATTOR, and that started back in 2005. Apart from the EP “Tyrants Of Decay” they’ve released early this year, it seems that they’ve only released another EP (“Seeds Of Perseverance”) as SATTOR. One must wonder why a band with just two extended plays out in a less than 10-year-old career was chosen for such a big event as Vagos Open Air. It’s commendable, of course, that Prime Artists support the national underground, but we have so many bands with a bigger discography and a larger fan base (there were some M.U.R.K. fans present, truth be told) that it just seems unfair the promoters chose this band. it wasn’t a bad concert – the highlight on “Footprint Of God”, apparently – but it wasn’t a spectacular one either, despite their ritualistic gear and makeup.

MURK official Facebook

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OPUS DIABOLICUM @ Vagos Open Air, 2014/08/10

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.

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First band was OPUS DIABOLICUM. The die-hard MOONSPELL fans will recognize this name from one of their early songs (from the 20-year-old EP“Under The Moonspell”, in case you’re not familiar with it). The name isn’t a coincidence, since OPUS DIABOLICUM did with MOONSPELL the same that APOCALYPTICA did with METALLICA – instrumental covers in cellos.

The gig didn’t kick off very well. After just a couple of minutes they had to interrupt due to a problem in the cello on the right (I wish I could tell you the name of the musician, but their Facebook page doesn’t mention names). And since none of the other two addressed to the audience, the silence became a little awkward. But when the cello was back in order, they attacked those strings with “Opium” and the crowd soon forgot the incident, singing the lyrics strongly. I confess I wasn’t expecting such a great feedback and I’m happy I was wrong about it. Of course they played some MOONSPELL key-hits, and that might have helped – “Vampiria”,“Nocturna”, “Scorpion Flower” – and such any MOONSPELL gig, they wrapped it up with “Alma Mater” and “Fullmoon Madness”. Neat!

Opus Diabolicum official Facebook

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