In Flames - Reroute To Remain
Like any band you'll ever find yourself falling in love with, In Flames seemed to have gone to great lengths to adjust their sound from what first introduced them to fans to what fans ended up expecting. But when you look back throughout their albums, one thing becomes startingly clear: they sold out and made their best album in the process.
Reroute To Remain IS that album and, despite my love for Clayman and Colony, there's no doubt in my mind that it's the record that made them famous. What they really did was evolve into a more melodically sound beast, but the aggression and soulful ingenuity of their past efforts seems to be lacking. Not on Reroute To Remain. They simply amplify it with stronger songwriting, more compact and instantly accessable than anything previous. This is the record they've been basically re-creating in procession every couple of years since. It's a shame that this album is so often shat on because of that; songs like "System" and it's smooth melodic bridge and anthemic chorus, "Cloud Connected" and it's chaotic frenzy, the down-tuned and rocking "Transparent" show you just how honed these guys are (were?) as a metal band. Two songs on the album, "Dawn of a New Day" and "Metaphor" might come as surprises to the uninitiated but hardcore fans will know In Flames for not being afraid to experiment with softer, more melodic and atmospheric rock sounds. "Metaphor" is quite beautiful, actually sounding something like a country song. Weird. The song that blows me away over and over and over again is the hyper-fast, hyper-catchy "Egonomic". This song could strip the paint off a Buick.
All in all, it's been hard for this fan to watch In Flames do what they've done, but never will I dismiss the band for it. They were, for a time, one of the best metal bands in the world. Now they seem to be stuck in rewind, constantly searching for the next big hit that'll gain them even more exposure (or money). I personally believe Reroute To Remain was their last true creative adventure, and it is factually one of my all-time most-loved metal albums.
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