Release Date: 11th November 2016
Lets be clear "Battles" isn't a Melodic Death Metal Album by any means , more Alternative Rock Metal and its easy to see why these Swedes have lost a fair amount of fans over the years after changing their style from Melodic Death Metal to Alternative Metal.
"Battles" sees Inflames draw their inspiration from the inner struggles that people during their lives .
" Drained" kicks the Album off , this is a keyboard laden, infectious , catchy song but it disappoints in so many ways.
Then the first single from the album "The End" starts of in a promising manner with thudding drums and Vocals growled , spat out by Anders Fridén , All going well so far..then am sorry but what the hell!! the chorus has a school choir singing along.. err OK.. This is a good number but this ruins a perfectly good song for me, its like Heavy Metal has visited a nursery!! It was at this stage I had to really check that I was listening to Inflames, seriously !! its not a bad song and has some cool riffs but I am just pretty shocked at how sickeningly poppy it is in some parts, not just this song , the whole platter has "What The Fuck" is this moments !
Having said that I really like the lyrics and feel to "Like Sand" its an uplifting tune and one that if I ever get my ass back to the gym I would have on my Pod ,its a good feeling middle finger up to the world kinda piece.
"The Truth" is electro dance infused with that children's choir again! Lets be honest it seems that Inflames don't care a jot about upsetting their older fans and really this song comes across like Linkin Park mixed in with numerous NU Metal Bands and one to skip, unless thats your bag. Now "In My Room" get things back on an even keel with a killer Solo and direct, vehement Vocals from Fridén.
"Before I Fall" is very retro and really not that great. Then thankfully a kind of Full on Metal ish assault breaks outta your speakers, Like a wild stallion smacked hard with a studded club "Through My Eyes"is a frisky, energetic song where the guitars are flayed and the Drums given a severe beating.
"Battles" hooks you in with its grooves and angst. Then have I skipped to My Chemical Romance or some such band "Here Before My Eyes" is a shock to the system and will see Old School Inflames fans throwing themselves of the highest cliffs like lemmings on a day out to the seaside! Some normality returns with "Underneath My Skin" but does not really get under my skin ,well only to irritate if anything. So then to the excellent "Wallflower" at nearly seven minutes long ,this deep and doomy track is one I have ,and will ,keep going back to , there is a slow build up that opens into a cavern of eerie feelings , expressed in melancholy , deep , dark lyrics that any one in mid life will fully understand unless they feel and act their actual age! The lyrics touch a nerve and the whole feel is sad, but also oddly invigorating and uplifting.
"Save Me" brings the Album to a dramatic closure with its vibrant and ear wax removing delivery the 12th Album by Gothenburgs finest is at an end. Was I disappointed ..YES ..but I suppose "Battles" is not a bad Album ,It does grow on you in time and is worth a listen, I just cant see it ever appeasing the bands older fans in any way shape or form and no doubt some hate and bile that will be directed at the band , but as I stated Inflames changed about four Albums ago and dont really seem to care.
In truth I can see "Battles" drawing in a whole cascade of new fans from their coverage in Kerrang etc and they are still selling out venues and pleasing fans of the bands recent releases. But if you are a hard core Inflames fan from the bands earlier days hoping for a reincarnation of earlier times .... AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!
Review: Seb Di Gatto Score:7.5/10
Review Written: 1.11.16
5.In My Room
6.Before I Fall
7.Through My Eyes
9.Here Until Forever
10.Underneath My Skin
Band Line up:
Anders Fridén - Vocals
Björn Gelotte - Guitar
Peter Iwers - Bass
Niclas Engelin - Guitar