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Shadow Music Ryan Harding Review by
Ryan Harding
In Flames
Nuclear Blast

You get the feeling Nuclear Blast keeps a gun to IN FLAMES' head, making sure the albums keep coming out on schedule.

COLONY comes soon enough on the heels of WHORACLE, and is about as unexciting and overrated. Why bother re-recording a song from the SUBTERRANEAN mini-album? Probably because they were so uninspired they needed something to make ends meet. I've never had a big problem with bands keeping true to a prior album - if I thought the prior album was cool. WHORACLE was a step down from THE JESTER RACE, and more so from LUNAR STRAIN. I could basically write my complaints about WHORACLE and have a relevant review for COLONY, but here goes anyway.

For one, too many songs never evolve beyond a mid-paced tempo, which is the fastest ticket to boredom. The riffs don't distinguish the songs because they all sound the same, and in fact sound like riffs they decided not to use on WHORACLE. It doesn't matter if you play fifteen notes in every riff if you keep playing the same notes. People who still have wet dreams about the return of CYNIC will find plenty to enjoy here, but I think such inarguably good musicians as IN FLAMES can do and have done better. The more aggressive songs here, like the opening track, have me feeling same as JESTER RACE and songs like "December Flower." The vocals are getting more clear, and the singing could almost be mistaken for James Hetfield. The spoken word passes still sound like they're being delivered by an arrogant "I'm such a laidback celebrity" prick. We've been here before, and I didn't think it was much fun last time either.

2 Perplex Skulls

Perplex SkullPerplex Skull

This review copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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