Wednesday 13 March 2019

Album Review: IN FLAMES - I, The Mask

In Flames - I, The Mask

01. Voices
02. I, The Mask
03. Call My Name
04. I Am Above
05. Follow Me
06. (This Is Our) House
07. We Will Remember
08. In This Life
09. Burn
10. Deep Inside
11. All The Pain
12. Stay With Me
13. Not Alone (Bonus Track)

In Flames have come under fire from their fans quite a bit over recent years, not only for line-up changes, but also for a shift towards a more commercial direction. Their previous record, 2016's Battles, polarised their fanbase as it was their most melodic record to date, and another step further away from their classic sound that arguably put the band where they are today. Personally, I really liked Battles. Yes, it was different, but I don't think it was as far removed from their classic sound as many fans professed online. It was certainly no 'amo', if you know what I mean!

I, The Mask is a return to the heavy sound, but maintains plenty of melodic vocals and catchy hooks, all interspliced with some savage-yet-technical riffage.  I'm sure that fans of their earlier records like Come Clarity will absolutely love this new one.

The more I listen to I, The Mask, the more I enjoy it. It's as multi-layered as it is infectious. Tracks like I Am Above, Voices and the title track are simply masterpieces of the genre.

After all these years, and so many great albums, In Flames are still on top of their game and are as vital and relevant a band as they've ever been. I, The Mask is a truly wonderful accomplishment, and will no doubt be one of the best Metal albums of 2019.


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