In Flames - Battles (2016) [Official Digital Download]

Posted By: HDV
In Flames - Battles (2016) [Official Digital Download]

In Flames - Battles (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time - 55:35 minutes | 695 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

In a music scene full of seemingly endless subgenres and transient trends, IN FLAMES are an example of what it means to steadfastly stay true to your vision. Since forming in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1990, the legendary melodic metal act has had six albums debut in the top ten in Sweden, toured alongside everyone from METALLICA to JUDAS PRIEST and influenced many of today's biggest metal acts without ever ceasing to push their own signature sound forward. In that spirit, the band's twelfth full-length "Battles" sees IN FLAMES eschewing proven formulas in favor of trying new things, most notably finding a new collaborator in Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, THE USED), who was brought into the band's coveted inner circle in order make "Battles" an album that will appeal to every type of IN FLAMES fan.

Twenty-six years into their career, it should be no surprise that In Flames have long evolved away from the ‘Gothenburg sound’ with which they made their name – and which they, along with At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity, essentially created. Despite the band’s shift towards a more melodic sound over the latter half of their career, there was particular opprobrium reserved for 2014’s Siren Charms. Its heavy alt rock and even nu metal influences were cited as further proof that, having signed to major label Epic, In Flames had completed their metamorphosis into an entirely different band.

After a tumultuous two years, during which they parted ways with both Epic and long-term drummer Daniel Svensson, the band are back on Nuclear Blast, the label responsible for those early, genre-defining releases like The Jester Race and Whoracle. Those hoping that this homecoming extends to the band’s musical output, though, will be disappointed.

That the band had decamped to LA to record with Howard Benson, a man whose production CV includes everyone from Sepultura to Kelly Clarkson, was the first sign that we shouldn’t be expecting a return to their 90s sound. But it’s always a mistake trying to second-guess In Flames, who by their own admission achieved their creative goals years ago and don’t feel like they have anything to prove to anyone.

While undeniably a more ‘metal’ record than Siren Charms, Battles simultaneously furthers the band’s progression towards a more vocally melodic and, dare it be said, commercial sound while returning some elements perceived to have been missing on previous releases. Opener Drained acts as a microcosm of the record: in parts classic In Flames, with frenetic riffing and pummelling drums under Anders Fridén’s unmistakable scream but with a huge, synth-swaddled chorus.

The End may have a more metalcore feel, but its hyperactive riffs and roared verses are sure to reassure fans who’ve been waiting for a ‘proper’ In Flames record since 2006’s Come Clarity (or earlier). Those much-maligned alt rock elements creep back to varying degrees – Like Sand in particular has more than a hint of 90s Seattle about it – but they’re always tempered by the interplay between guitarists Björn Gelotte and Niclas Engelin. In many places, it’s a harmonised riff or a sudden, squealing solo that lifts an otherwise pedestrian song out of the mire and makes you sit up and take notice again, like the euphoric twin-guitar break on closer Save Me.

Ultimately, it’s difficult to judge the 12th record by any band, let alone one as influential as In Flames, without reflecting on what’s come before. But any record has to be taken on its own merits and on that basis, Battles is just a decent pop-metal record. Is it going to win over fans who think the band’s last good album was released during before the turn of the millennium? Probably not. But if Siren Calls was the point at which In Flames lost you, then this might just be the olive branch needed to bring you back on board. Technical, heavy, catchy and proof that sometimes a little turbulence is what’s needed to shake a band out of stagnation.


01 - Drained
02 - The End
03 - Like Sand
04 - The Truth
05 - In My Room
06 - Before I Fall
07 - Through My Eyes
08 - Battles
09 - Here Until Forever
10 - Underneath My Skin
11 - Wallflower
12 - Save Me
13 - Greatest Greed
14 - Us Against the World

Analyzed: In Flames / Battles

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR5 -0.60 dB -7.62 dB 4:07 01-Drained
DR5 -0.60 dB -6.82 dB 3:58 02-The End
DR5 -0.60 dB -7.50 dB 3:44 03-Like Sand
DR4 -0.60 dB -6.56 dB 3:05 04-The Truth
DR4 -0.60 dB -6.20 dB 3:25 05-In My Room
DR6 -0.60 dB -7.79 dB 3:28 06-Before I Fall
DR6 -0.60 dB -7.47 dB 3:50 07-Through My Eyes
DR4 -0.60 dB -6.10 dB 2:59 08-Battles
DR4 -0.60 dB -6.92 dB 4:19 09-Here Until Forever
DR6 -0.60 dB -7.18 dB 3:31 10-Underneath My Skin
DR5 -0.60 dB -8.87 dB 7:06 11-Wallflower
DR4 -0.60 dB -6.53 dB 4:13 12-Save Me
DR5 -0.60 dB -7.20 dB 4:10 13-Greatest Greed
DR5 -0.60 dB -6.91 dB 3:41 14-Us Against the World

Number of tracks: 14
Official DR value: DR5

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 1706 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Thanks to the Original customer!