Album Review

In Flames - Siren Charms

Released September 9, 2014
Steve Allanson
In their eleventh studio album, Swedish melodic death metal band, In Flames, returns with Siren Charms. It’s hard to tell if In Flames were ever a death metal band considering their perfect adaptability to their new sound. The switch to a more alternative-metal styling could be a result of the riff master Jesper Strömblad’s departure from the band two albums ago. Despite the noticeable changes from the original and beloved death metal sound, those with open minds will accept and love the new sounds as they pierce through your ears in sweet harmony.
“Rusted Nail,” the single off the album is a great track for a transitional song since it offers a healthy mix of both the newer, cleaner tones as well as the older raunchier vibes fans know and love. With slick and frenetic drums and guitar shredding overlaid by the dominant, clean vocals and gut-wrenching screams, “Rusted Nail” will get you ready for what you are about to experience.
The guitar riffs in Siren Charms are completely different from what we’ve heard previously from In Flames. The majority of the album sticks to a softer sound with basic chugging and power chords. Songs like “Everything’s Gone,” “Rusted Nail,” and “Monster in the Ballroom” will be the only songs that stick to the older, heavier, formulas. Softer songs like “With Eyes Wide Opened” slow things down to power ballad speeds.
However, some of the riffs are often repetitive and boring. In the song, “When the World Explodes” the main riff switches between a groovy southern metal lick to a more metalcore sound adding more confusion to the eclectic album as the track takes several twists and turns.
Daniel Svensson’s drums rip and tear through each song with a driving energy. With masterful production value, every kick of the bass drum, and every hit of the snare, will blare through the speakers with a forceful blast.
The vocals by Anders Friden shine through with crystal clarity as he belts out stunningly beautiful, clean, vocals. The screams we have grown to love aren’t as prevalent in Siren Charms as they have been in previous albums. When Friden does scream, it is in perfect form.
In Flames has produced a masterful metal album in Siren Charms. Even though In Flames purists might have a problem swallowing the softer approach, it would be hard not to appreciate the talent portrayed by the band in their eleventh-studio album.