|10th of February, 2023
|Nuclear Blast Records
Go to the profile of In Flames on Spotify and get the information text. It says, and I quote verbatim, “In Flames represent the best of metal’s past, present and future.” Wow. With so much self-congratulation, all alarm bells go off in general. However, the Gothenburgers are not a blank sheet. In Flames are huge, once a first-tier headliner, now fallen to second or third level, depending which festival you attend.
Of course, there’s no question that In Flames were groundbreakers in their early days. But there is also no question that their level and fan cult has declined significantly in the last ten to fifteen years. The reason was due to pressureless albums with lukewarm experimentation.
Foregone now speaks a clear language: you want to win back the fans of the first hour, but also not lose its newly opened territories. What comes out is a compromise that will disappoint more than it will unite. As already the “State of Slow Decay“, which lacks any originality, proves, the band has reached its end in terms of creativity. Numbers like “Meet Your Maker” and “Bleeding Out” also show that there is too much dependency on the choruses, but without generating true hitch character. “In the Dark“, on the other hand, shows that the band still has a knack for good hooks, but that they rarely manage to pull them off. And then there are numbers like “Pure Light of Mind“, which are much too strong in the poppy direction and clearly borrow too much from Bring Me The Horizon, as they borrow tips and tricks from Coldplay.
What otherwise remains are interchangeable verses, boring riffs and solos and song structures that should have had their day at the best that metal should have to offer. Foregone could have been so good with the budget, production and talent of the musicians involved. But it is unfortunately only one thing: The product of a band that has to make music, because that is their job. And there will be much more of that in the future, unfortunately.