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Woah! What was that?! Wasn’t that supposed to be an In Flames record or what? I could swear I heard exactly that whining on the latest KoRn and those melodies on everything ever realeased by pitiful Linkin Park. I heard that you would like this record if you liked RtR and I did like every In Flames release up to RtR, so I gave it a spin. Then another one. And even one more to be sure. This relaese is as god-awful as it possibly could-be:
1) F(r)iend: Starts out rather well with 20 seconds that at least contain a bit of force but get boring in the end. Maybe they shouldn’t have used those 20 seconds over and over in slight variations to build the whole opener from. When you finally get to the chorus you’ll need to rewind and listen to it again just to believe how it sucks the shit right out of you. I honestly never heard a worse chorus in my whole life (and this includes every kind of music from Britney Spears to Excremetory Grindfuckers). Thank god (or the entity of your choice) the song’s over after 3:25 – I wouldn’t have lasted much longer. 0/10
2) The Quiet Place: Well, here’s this albums first single, starting out with half a minute of electronic “ambient”. The synth remains the main instrument throughout the whole thing as they seem to have decided to drop guitars from the verses and go with a snare / synth combination. The bridge is good if you accept the main direction the band is heading but it’s incredible how hard they tried to get the chorus stuck in every Linkin Park fan’s head and even failed that. Wasn’t too bad the first few times though (when I was desperate to hear new In Flames) but lost grip after that and now it’s naught but 3:24 of happy boredom. Let’s be nice. 3/10
3) Dead Alone: Weird intro thingy, could open an electronic surf-song. When the music kicks off the synth dominates once more. They keep up a decent pace here and there’s more guitars than in Quiet Place, yet not enough to call yourself metal. When the chorus starts you realize something very important: it’s the same as in Quiet Place and it’s gonna be reused in a fair lot of the songs. Small acoustic-like bridge into something that should have been the verse in my opinion but ends after some 10 seconds to give way to another round of crappy verse / crappy chorus. At least it delivers a bit of happy-jumpy athmosphere when you try to ignore that this has been a great band a few years ago. Makes me wanna cry, therefore takes the happy-jumpy thing out back and rapes it. 3/10
4) Touch of Red: Ooohhh, look who’s really evil! The first song on the CD that relies on guitars for 30 seconds straight. It sound rough and mean compared to tracks 2+3 (let’s just pretend f(r)iend never happened to keep me from killing myself) but you don’t buy it from a band after the commercial wank-off that was the fist 10 minutes of this release. Then it’s chorus time and it’s the same piece of slime again trying to get stuck in your ear and failing. This gets a price for the second worst balance between chorus and verse on the whole CD (yes, it get’s worse). When it suddenly ends after just 2:45 you forget about it instantly and the only thing left is a faint smell of shit hanging around for a few seconds before the whole song disappears into oblivion. 1/10
5) Like you Better Dead: Shit, now my player is broken! Oh, no, wait, the song just starts exactly like Touch of Red did. Sorry, my mistake. After 25 minutes you realize the difference: Jesper and Bjorn seem to have left the building again and what you are left with is snare and Anders (giving his worst effort ever, technically and lyrically) stating that he “can be as angry as he wants to be”. Yeah right, be angry as much as you want to as long as you do it someplace else. They decided to make this boring verse extralong here, it takes 40 seconds of snare / synth / pitiful vocals till you finally get into the chorus and wish you hadn’t done so. Have a guess! Right, it’s the same again, fitting in better than in touch just because the rest of this song sucks even more. When it ends after 3:22 in the exactly same way the previous track did you finnaly believe you listened to one huge song with a break. 1/10
6) My Sweet Shadow: Hm, the intro is not bad, bit much synth but alright. Wow, it leads into a GUITAR-part. Incredible. It sounds like In Flames! Huh, another guitar part after that! I can feel a break coming, but this songs gonna be great. Here’s the break. ARGH, the instruments are gone and that cockhead Friden sobs about god knows what. You can’t fuck a song up like that without noticing. This was done on purpose. 35 seconds with no instrument but some sweet background from the synthesizer and when the others finally come back for excatly 30 (!) sedonds it’s only to play THAT CHORUS again. Then it leads into his sobbing again. Drop dead In Flames! Was to angry to notice the bridge part after the second chorus, wait I’ll rewind. Again it’s better than the verse of the song, yet to short and still pretty forgetable. Talking about forgetable, I haven’t noticed one solo worth metionign up to this point. That costs another 2 points together with the electronic wank-off that is the last 50 seconds of a song that is only 4:38 long. 3/10
7) Evil in a Closet: Hm. Starts with guitars. Ok, it’s a ballad and Friden can’t sing, yet it doesn’t seem as pretentuous as all the other songs up to now did. If it wasn’t for the geneal idea of In Flames trying to be metal and Anders being better off dead this song wouldn’t be to bad up to now. You kind of belive him that he’s sad. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? That chorus fits in just as neat as a corkscrew in your anal tract (yes it’s the before mentioned winner of the “That chorus sincerely sucks”- gold medal as we decided on pretending that F(r)iend did never happen). Your not supposed to sound happy in a sad song, it destroys the general idea. Oh, to eventually kill it he even goes for angry after being happy when he was just sad. Here goes another 4:02 of my life and now I am sad. 1/10
8) In Search for I: Starts nice and fast, reminds me of the old greatness of Morphing Into Primal (with synths). If it wasn’t for Anders – who really lost every resemblance to being a vocalist - and the fact that they can’t seem to live without a chorus unworthy of being called so this would score real high, maybe around 8/10. What can I say, best song up to now, guitars are more important for its sound than the synthesizer and In Flames should really do more off-beats as that’s what they’re good at. Still, it can’t fully deceive you into believing that is is on a different album and never makes you feel the grandeur of mentioned Morphing or even RtR’s Egonomic. Decent though. 6/10
9) Borders and Shading: Hey, I know that song! It’s called The Quiet Place and we already rated it 3/10. No wait, Friden sounds even worse here, could be a different song. No trace of the guitars throughout the verses and that means you’re served an extra-audible load of shitty “vocals”. Metal Medal Of Honor to the Hero that makes sure he shuts the fuck up. Ah, sound like THE chorus is back. Honestly, that is 7/9 songs with 1 goddamn chorus (and one – of course being my special f(r)iend - with a disgusting fart instead of that). At least his vocals sound slightly different this time round. Bad thing about that: You’d expect those weird sounds on some medieval choir-CD when the player is running short of battery. The whole song is btw completely unmemorable and needs the word FILLER burned into its forehead. So boring, if it didn’t sound that painful it’d send me straight to bed. 2/10
10) Superhero of the Computer rage: Starts on the exactly identical melody as Dead Alone, though slightly less jumpy, then goes off-beat after like 20 seconds. Uninspired verse, at least there’s some guitars in it. Doesn’t touch me at all up to now. Oh, here comes the only surprise in this predictable piece of music: it has a different chorus! Not a particularly great one and it is introduced by a horrible bridge, yet it’s the idea that counts, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Well, It manages to stand out onthis album (which says a lot about how extremly low the average quality is), therefore I’ll rate these exactly 4 minutes 4/10
11) Dial 595-Escape: Weird title. Still, opens rather nice to be honest, though the guitars once a gain could have gotten more space throughout the verses. The bridge is rather well done although it doesn’t stand out and even now that they use their favourite chorus again they at least make it sound better. Yep, this is the best of all the identical chorusses on this album. At around 2:10 I actually realized a solo and it actually goes for 17 seconds and earns the song another point. Compared to almost all the other songs on this disgrace of a record it doesn’t make my ears bleed and that’s worth 5/10
12) Bottled: This song neede 3 seconds to piss me off. Really, it starts and you feel like hitting skip. Sadly enough, it’s the last one and the skip button does do nothing at all. Anders manages to sink even lower than on the whole rest of the record here which actually means to finally breake the barrier of negative infinity and speeding on downwards. He seems to slip in and out of that “screaming” he delivers on the rest of the album and fills the gaps with out-of-place cleans. The chorus is not exactly the same on first listen, but after the second one comes in just 14 seconds after the first ended you understand that the whole difference is not in sturcture, but in quality: this is yet the same old chorus done so incredible repellent that I lack of words to describe it. Somewhere in this turd is some sort of clean / electro – voice bridge followed by the chorus again. Honestly, if you can’t write chorusses don’t play them 6 times a song. Just to make sure we can’t possibly forget how much he sucks Anders Friden’s last seconds of performance are the most annoying screams of the whole album. It all ends in 50 seconds of noise gone wrong. Wonderful, this is just as disturbing as the opener was. 0/10
OMFG, after writing this review (and therefore listening to the album again) I’m that close to having a headache I swear I’ll never listen to it in full length. Managing to fit the same chorus in 9 / 12 songs and filling the gap in 1 of the other 3 with the sound of a pitbull being anally raped a woodpecker is something you don’t hear everyday. And maybe a hint for next time: if you got 2 songs that are actually even worse than all the other, don’t put them on first and last position in your playlist. People rate your album most by the quality of those two, which in this case means nothing but instant deafeat.
Adding all the scores up leaves us with 27/120 and that is…. 22,5%. I’d round that down to 0 if it wasn’t for tracks 8 and 11, so after subtracting 12,5% for the pain caused to may synapses, 10% is still a rating I can only award them because I got a generous day.
To the band: STOP MAKING MUSIC! FIRE ANDERS FRIDEN!
To the fans: DON’T BUY THIS! IT HURTS!