In Flames

Soundtrack To Your Escape (Nuclear Blast America 2004)

Album review

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Soundtrack To Your Escape is a remarkable progression in the evolution of heavy metal. This record is thoroughly dynamic, delivering a wide range of emotions which draw the listener into a vast musical landscape of ambient textures and starkly contrasting stylizations. Production, provided by Daniel Bergstrand and Orjan Ornkloo is top shelf all the way, with some of the best tones Iíve heard on any metal album in quite some time.
By merging elements of Death, Thrash, Electronic, Industrial and Rock, In Flames have forged one of the most original sounds in Metal today, easily outdistancing their peers in terms of songwriting, production and execution. It appears that there has been a very deliberate attempt to push the boundaries of experimental production, with varying degrees of tonal nuance throughout the entire record.
"Quiet Place" sounds dare I say, Nu Metal, without losing the edge and power inherent in the bandís previous offerings. I really enjoyed this track. The band combines some cool effects and great instrumentation on this song. Opening with an acoustic passage which sets the tone for the rest of the song, "Evil In A Closet" builds into a swirling torrent of electronic anguish in a temperate and deliberate manner. This is a tune that could easily receive airplay on AOR stations. Vocalist Anders Fridťn gives a stellar performance here, exhibiting some fantastic dynamic expression! The wide open chorus of "Touch Of Red" is catchy and infectious. "In search for I", the eighth track is pure driving, chaotic madness, while "Borders And Shading" offers another glimpse at the more commercial side of In Flames. Tracks 10 and 11, "Superhero Of The Computer Rage" and "Dial 595 ESCAPE" are forays in metalized mayhem that are akin to the groupís earlier offerings. "Bottled" contains razor edged riffing and anguished vocals coupled with a beautifully orchestrated hook. The band chose an excellent song for a cover version, Genesisí "Land Of Confusion" which is souped up In Flames style and offers a particular bit of insight as to where the bandís minds are at creatively.
A progressive and aggressive masterpiece, this is a disc that pushes the boundaries of Metal. It wonít be leaving my deck any time soon.

Album Rating:

Reviewed by: Star