Genre: Melodic Groove Metal/Metalcore/Alternative Rock
Country: Sweden
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2019

In Flames are the typical case of a band that disappointed a huge mount of their fans in a big way. That makes sense, though, if you consider any changes in their sound made through the years, making it so that they ended up incorporating pop elements in their music, coming from a background that was them being one of the leaders of Swedish death metal. That also means that it may be hard for someone to keep up with the band through different periods of time. In fact, the band, regarding any commercial success, sure had a lot of it. You’d only need to notice on which place they perform during big festivals to get the sense of it. So, “I, the mask” brings forth a very interesting question. Will any old-school fans give it a chance, or they’re better of without listening to the band anymore? This question proves even more challenging to answer when we learn that in the new record there is partly willingness to go back to their early sound. Partly, here, is crucial. You shouldn’t in any case expect to hear something like “Lunar Strain”, but on the other hand you shouldn’t expect anything worse than the 2 previous albums, “Siren Charms” (n)or “Battles”. This record has more brutal vocals, more Swedish riffage and some nice groovy parts. They haven’t left any metalcore and pop elements completely behind them, but still you can hear less of them. This diversity leads to songs that sound kind of uneven throughout the album. I found ‘Voices’ και ‘I, the mask’ pretty sweet, on the contrary, ‘This Is Our House’ και ‘In This Life’ were uninteresting enough. I think that fans of any era will find tracks that suit their taste, so I would highly recommend to give it a chance-listening. To those who enjoyed “A Sense Of Purpose”, there’re increased chances that you will enjoy this record as well. Sweden vs USA proves to be a draw at the moment. May this record be the chance for a comeback to the old school roots of In Flames. Besides, if we’re on a search for modern American metal acts, we’ll look for bands that do it/have done it better. We’ve missed the essence of Gothenberg, you know? Till then, we’ll listen to “I, the mask”, cause, in fact, is in no case a bad album.

3,5/6