In Flames - Foregone (2023)


Dramatic openings of songs like “Your Stories I’ll Remember” and “Paradise” perfectly showcase the band’s versatility and cinematic nature, making their sound one of the best in the scene. While many bands in the genre have opted to add more Pop-ish elements into their music, Xandria keeps things strictly Symphonic Metal with a good dose of intensity and additional instrumentation, as “The Maiden and the Child” and “Astèria” showcase.

After an acoustic opener, “State of Slow Decay” quickly delivers some chuggy guitars that suddenly transform into your quintessential Swedish old-school Melodic Death Metal riffs. This immediately caught us by surprise as the song continues to be quite effective, and even impressive with the killer twin guitar leads. Before quickly agreeing that the hype is real, there are still some of the more modern Core-ish elements that will scare purists away as one notices on “Meet Your Maker” and “Bleeding Out”.

In a way it is quite surreal that we get some solid old-school elements in songs like the album title track (parts 1 and 2), but suddenly we are back in modern In Flames mode, not bad but still a bit contrasting. Don’t get us wrong, there are excellent tracks that blend both styles, like “Pure Light of Mind”, but it might be the cognitive dissonance of loving the band’s earlier work and not their latest. Even after more than a few dozen spins, we are still impressed with tracks like “The Great Deceiver” and “In the Dark”, and at the same time triggered when something wonky comes along.

Is “Forgone” a release worth checking out? Definitely, we think that there is plenty of good music here. In Flames has continued to evolve over the years and we have great respect for that, however, this release will certainly pull in some of the older listeners to check them out again. Filled with solid guitar work, old-school passages, and a highly melodic core, we have to say that we might be spinning this one some more to see if it fully grows on us.

Band: In Flames Album: The Wonders Foregone

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: February 10th, 2023

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Genre: Melodic/Groove Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 90/100

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