Album review: In Flames – Foregone

Swedish metal giants In Flames get back in the jester race on stunning return to form…

Album review: In Flames – Foregone
James Hingle

Over the past three decades, melodic death metal stalwarts In Flames have garnered a reputation for upsetting the apple cart, especially amongst their elder fanbase. The Swedish titans have never been afraid of wandering into various subgenres, and – case in point – their last album, I, The Mask, saw them venturing into cleaner cut, modern metal territory.

So, you can be forgiven if you had some reservations about what 2023 In Flames are going to sound like. However, their renaissance period has very much arrived, with Foregone harking back to their earlier days whilst still sounding like something that belongs in modern times. It encapsulates the sublime heaviness you want from them, with a light sprinkling of melody thrown in to give these songs a fiery underbelly.

State Of Slow Decay brings the rapture, with Anders Fridén's guttural growls almost crowbarring you across the chops, while the pummelling riffs attack the very depths of your cerebellum. It’s a great precursor to the what follows: a concoction of arena-sized metal ragers and melodic deathcore masterpieces. The middle section of Foregone Pt.1, with its blastbeats, and Foregone Pt.2, with its duo of intertwining riffs, are fantastic mix of the old In Flames with the new.

In The Dark dabbles in the world of progressive metal, with a fantastical chorus made for a heavy theatre production. It does allow for a much lighter moment, before the chuggy beast of A Dialogue In B Flat Minor reawakens you from your momentary slumber with another ambitious, festival headlining slot-sized chorus breaking through your speakers.

Foregone is a reminder that when In Flames are at the peak of their powers, they really are untouchable. This is a record that will see them finally reassert their dominance, and ring in their next colossal era.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, Soilwork

Foregone is out now via Nuclear Blast

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