IN FLAMES “sounds of a playground fading”

Original Portuguese version here:

» I’ve always respected a band with the courage to change, who refuses to do the same album over and over again. And when that change doesn’t make the band lose its identity, then I feel admiration as well. I, at least, identified the first single “Deliver Us” as an IN FLAMES-song right on the first time I’ve heard it.

In general, there’s more balance between melody and aggression, which I believe it was already expected. The main difference between “Sounds Of A Playground Fading” and its predecessors is Anders Fridén‘s vocal style, followed by a more remarkable use of soft passages. And given the fact that IN FLAMES readjust their sound with each album they release, Jesper Strömblad‘s departure is hardly “to blame” for this.

This is not the first time that Fridén tries to actually sing instead of crying (as in “Come Clarity”, “The Quiet Place”…), but how often he turns to cleaner tones, through the whole album, that’s a premiére. “Ropes” and “Liberation” are the most notorious examples.

The intro of the title-track and “All For Me” are samples of what I meant by “soft passages” – which isn’t exactly a novelty in IN FLAMES either (“Sleepless Again”, “Evil In A Closet”…). “The Attic” is all slow and melancholic (almost depressive, even), being the surprise-song – the one no one expects to listen in such an album. But the true “WTF?”-moment belongs to “Jester’s Door” (although, when paying attention to its few words, maybe it’s not that out-of-sense after all).

Regarding the thrashing of riffs and beats they’ve made us familiar with since early days, we have “The Puzzle”, “Darker Times” and “Enter Tragedy”, while the guitars on “Fear Is The Weakness” and “A New Dawn” (this also aided by a cello) seem to weep, à la ’80s hard rock bands. The electronic details on “Deliver Us” and “Where The Dead Ships Dwell”, on the other hand, are a pretty modern treat.

13 tracks well elaborated – none of them seems to me like it’s just “filling gaps” – to which a remix of “Darker Times” is added on the digital deluxe edition on iTunes. Except among those old school fans who are still hoping for IN FLAMES to return to that pure melodic death metal they were once pioneers of, “Sounds Of A Playground Fading” will be a success. «

Label: Century Media

Producer: Roberto Laghi


  1. Sounds Of A Playground Fading
  2. Deliver Us
  3. All For Me
  4. The Puzzle
  5. Fear Is The Weakness
  6. Where The Dead Ships Dwell
  7. The Attic
  8. Darker Times
  9. Ropes
  10. Enter Tragedy
  11. Jester’s Door
  12. A New Dawn
  13. Liberation
  14. Darker Times (Eagleclaw remix) [iTunes deluxe edition]

Bonus dvd with studio report on the physical deluxe edition.

About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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4 Responses to IN FLAMES “sounds of a playground fading”

  1. kantellis says:

    i think it was quite a while since i heard them… O_o like, when they were all screamy i suppose ^^
    though i must admit they were always a good change while listening to rock’n’metal programs on (german) viva ^^
    i might even listen to their songs now ^^ *turns youtube on*

    • Pieni says:

      Eh eh, yes! I remember listening to “Artifacts Of The Black Rain” and “Jotun” over and over. Then I lost track of them and “found” them again in 2008, when I started to listen to Bandit Radio. The gig at Metaltown last year blew me up completely and convinced me to pay more attention to them. Now this album is out and I’m in love with it 😀 Can’t wait for their gig in Portugal in September. Last time they’ve played here was in 2002 (which I missed, anyway), so I’m pretty sure the audience will welcome them very much 😉

      • kantellis says:

        haha, from what i remember from their gig (in 2004 or 2006, by accident on sziget festival ^^) their fans were damn wild and… hmmm… fanatic ^^
        if i was not focused on keeping my place for the next band i’d probably appreciate their concert more ^^

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