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In Flames > Come Clarity - EP > Reviews > hells_unicorn
In Flames - Come Clarity - EP

Pointless interludes (part 4) - 70%

hells_unicorn, February 21st, 2011

It should be noted before anything else is said that the score I give this release reflects the merits of its contents, and should not be taken to reflect whether or not this is a worthy thing to track down in its analog form, because it really isn’t. This is a release that largely attempts to placate older fans of the band and show them the parallels between their recent attempt at hybrid metalcore and melodeath music, and in this effort it is mostly a failure. The divide between Anders’ whimpering clean vocals and thin screams alone set a huge divide between the still largely dark and deep (though still sloppy and mediocre) barks that still were present on “Clayman”, which is only further aggravated by the non-metal image that the band puts forth on the music video for the title song.

Nevertheless, “Come Clarity” is one of those rare occurrences where a metalcore half-ballad is actually an enjoyable listen. Most of it relies on a very catchy and well put together acoustic guitar theme that drives the song along, accompanied by one of the more coherent clean vocal displays I’ve heard since “Reroute To Remain”. It’s more of a alternative rock song than a metal song, but for what it is, it is pretty solid and definitely runs rings around bands like Breaking Benjamin or Saliva whenever they try to do stuff like this. “Only For The Weak” seems a very odd choice for the b-side, as it was among the closest to a full out reversion to “The Jester Race” than most of the other material on “Clayman”. “Bullet Ride” probably would have been the better choice, but as an individual song, it shows a band that still had some of its traditional metal credentials in order, even when at a slower tempo.

Perhaps the best way to fully understand the huge distance the respective eras of this band have with each other is to watch the music videos for each song. One is clearly a metal band playing something that can be traced back to its roots in the 80s, while the other has maybe some tenuous connections with 80s hardcore, but is largely a newer and very different phenomenon that most metal heads can not identify with unless they were under the age of 16 when this came out. But as for the album itself, it might be worth getting if happened upon in vinyl form if one is really interested in hearing the band through that medium, but otherwise a copy of “Clayman” and a lucky break at catching the title song’s music video on MTV will suffice.