In Flames - Come Clarity (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

In Flames

Come Clarity (2006)


While In Flames faltered for two albums, a new wave of American metalcore was borrowing and outright stealing from them. So Come Clarity is not just significant because of their signing, but because of their newfound confidence in their roots and in their sound. In essence, In Flames has finally returned to reclaim their throne.

From their first full-length release in 1994 through 2000's Clayman, In Flames were a force in European metal, and other than perhaps At the Gates, few bands managed to marry thrash and melody nearly as well. Always the more melodic of the two, In Flames also seemed the more radio-friendly, but unfortunately fell too far into that category with the disappointing Reroute to Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape; both sounded emasculated and watered down for an audience that really didn't embrace them.

With Come Clarity, the band hasn't quite returned to its roots, but reincorporated the more aggressive and thrashy tendencies as well as adding huge choruses. Opener "Take This Life" is completely ferocious, all kick drum and the patented twin-guitar attack; when the chorus hits, it's hard not to feel like the roof has just come off. "Scream" and "Vacuum" are as simultaenously thrashing and catchy as this genre can be; a gift to the faithful if anything. "Come Clarity" harkens back to the band's Jester Race period, particularly the melancholy title track from that album, with a blend of clean acoustic guitars and a tasteful solo.

It's not all perfect, as "Crawl Through Knives" sounds like it might have been dropped from Escape for being too cheesy. The experimental "Your Bedtime Story Is Scaring Me" seems promising, but doesn't really go anywhere.

Those slight flaws aside, the band has honestly and truly managed to reclaim much of what they've lost since 2001. The album manages to thrash like Whoracle, incorporate melody like The Jester Race and manages to be inviting enough that it might convince some metalcore kids to venture into the vibrant European metal scene.