Release Date: Sep 9, 2014
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Death Metal, Scandinavian Metal
After spending the bulk of their career pioneering the soaring sonic brutality that is melodic death metal, In Flames find themselves continuing down the path of progressive alt-metal on their 11th studio album, Siren Charms. Given the blazing, fretboard-melting music the Gothenburg band has put out in the past, the pace, or lack thereof, of Siren Charms makes the album feel a bit too casual, and makes it another in a long line of increasingly tame outings from the band, who had been steadily changing their sound for years before going all in after the departure of primary songwriter Jesper Strömblad with 2011's Sound of a Playground Fading. Although this change, seen by some as the "Americanization" of their sound, has steadily taken root, the band's last couple of albums have really seen it start to bear fruit.
Review Summary: A true siren songTaken in context, it is easy to see that Siren Charms was exactly the kind of album that In Flames were looking to make. In that regard, the catchy, accessible licks that spill from the guitars do work given that the album was intentionally meant to be a radio-friendly romp that is quite simply an easy listen for seasoned metal fans. It isn’t a heavy album, despite what the abrasive riffing of “Everything's Gone” appears on the surface to be, but it also isn’t as dynamic as the soaring female vocals in “When the World Explodes” would lead you to believe.