In Flames - With Full Force - Ferropolis, Germany - June 23, 2017In Flames, the Swedish metal band that has undergone a variety of membership changes, played at 10:45 pm at the FeroX (main) stage, putting on a one-hour and 15-minute performance where they went above and beyond to play well, sing well, and act well. They played “Wallflower” off last year’s Battles album, adding symphonic elements to a structured metal sound. Then, jumping back nearly a decade, they played “Alias,” which had a more mainstream emo rock sound with echoing vocals and various breakdowns.
The more smooth-sounding In Flames gave way for the 2000 sound of “Only for the Weak” off the Clayman album, which I would argue to be one of their most well-known songs, with the catchy guitar solos and hummable patterns. “Cloud Connected” off the 2002 album Reroute to Remain also brought back the smooth-to-screaming vocals, fantastic guitar work, and the memorable chorus, “I've come to realize / Every little glimpse, you fade / I was told that I could fly / When least expected, cloud connected.” Both songs brought many fans back to their high-school days.
Another song off Battles, “The Truth,” has a very pop opening, screamo vocals, and too much of a fabricated sound at this point, appealing perhaps to a younger generation, similar to the sound of “The End.” The 2006 song “Take This Life” with its screams of depression and desperation have hints of the heavier tone, yet with lyrics that suggest thoughts of self-mutilation and suicide.
The musical tone of the band has changed over the years with, of course, various departures and additions of band members, none the least the departure of the original guitarist, Jesper Strömblad. Will the “Gothenburg” genre still remain?