AlbumsFebruary 9, 20236,432 views

In Flames Foregone


Foregone
1. The Beginning of All Things 2. State of Slow Decay 3. Meet Your Maker 4. Bleeding Out 5. Foregone, Pt. 1 6. Foregone, Pt. 2 7. Pure Light of Mind 8. The Great Deceiver 9. In the Dark 10. A Dialogue in B Flat Minor 11. Cynosure 12. End the Transmission
2023 Nuclear Blast Records
Our score 7

by Pete
2/9/2023

In Flames has been a band for thirty years. Let that sink in for a second…thirty years! Though the lineup has seen a fair bit of change in that time, the band has steadily continued their quest for melodic death metal supremacy. Whether you like In Flames, have paid attention to them casually every now and then, or downright dislike them, we can all agree that their output, from a volume standpoint has been impressive. When it comes to quality though, there’s plenty to debate. Many metalheads still wonder if the band is capable of writing another Come Clarity or Clayman; so where does Foregone fit in, then? Is it more filler or have they shown signs of their old selves again?

Few bands get written off as quickly or heavily as In Flames do. Once giants and pioneers of the melodic death metal scene, they have routinely been accused of being too commercial sounding, having too much of a pop sensibility to their music or departing too much from their original sound. Those who have recently discovered the band may find Foregone to have plenty of dynamics, catchy choruses, some earworm sing-along tracks and find this album really enjoyable; the rest of their listeners - even those who have all but dismissed the band - might find themselves quietly tapping their toes along to the grooves and be pleasantly surprised by the faster and more heavier tracks, too. It leaves us asking, “does the album actually make a compromise for both types of fans?

Longstanding members Anders Fridén and Björn Gelotte remain the core of In Flames’ writing, and after over a dozen albums, the duo continue to weave between both heavy and accessible lanes. Forgone is no different from the bulk of their discography in that respect, but stands out from their more recent material with a renewed sense of aggression. The guitars are more forward in the mix - the riffing on tracks such as “State of Slow Decay” and “Forgone Pt. 1” are down-picked in harmony, even evoking memories of Whoracle and Jester Race. The addition of Chris Broderick (Jag Panzer, Medgadeth) on guitar has certainly had a positive impact on the musicianship and took the solos to a new level for the band. Anders’ vocal performances flow from his classic growl to powerful clean passages on each track with “The Great Deceiver” and “Pure Light of Mind” particularly showcasing his range and ability, the latter being a proper ballad track. It feels right hearing the band return to a guitar-driven mix, dropping more of the electronic ambient components of recent albums.

So what does this mean for In Flames? Foregone shows that the band can still write well, and even re-embrace more of the sounds from their early work, but does it blend the new and old era of the band harmoniously? Fridén and Gelotte both think that this album represents the bands’ past, present and future; perhaps we’re inclined to believe them this time given the strength of the songwriting on this effort. This album clearly shows that the band has every intention of putting out heavy music that reaches both their original fanbase as well as new listeners with songs that could be just as impactful when played live as on record.

Bottom Line: If anyone was hoping for the band to release something closer to their Clayman and Whoracle era output, they’ll be left wanting, but the newest effort isn’t all bad. Some of the more mellow tracks stick out a bit, perhaps because the rest of the record leans more into their aggressive side, but Foregone overall fits in with their discography. This is easily In Flames’ best album in the last 10 years, but if you’re longing for a return to their earliest sounds, you may still be waiting a while.


12 comments

Post Comment
anonymous 2/9/2023 7:22:59 PM

You guys were really mad in this one. This is their best album in 20+ years and probably a top 5 album in their career. Please reconsider this review.

anonymous 2/9/2023 7:52:51 PM

Album rips, best release in over a decade…

anonymous 2/10/2023 3:49:27 AM

Easily the best output since 2002, been a fan since the 90s. Always check out their new releases, but have been disappointed since 2004, soundtrack to your escape. Foregone delivers a stylized in flames dad metal album. A couple weaker songs but over all can't complain, its like a greatest hits of their sound throughout the decades.

anonymous 2/10/2023 6:04:12 AM

This is a shocking comeback. I'd call it mix of RtR, Come Clarity, and Playground, with a light sprinkling of Clayman. I think it will be in my heavy rotation this year.

anonymous 2/10/2023 6:10:36 AM

Seriously, I am shocked this album isn't getting more praise. Man. The opening track almost made me cry. It's the most in flames sounding thing I've heard since the acoustic break in Alias. Then foregone pt1 and 2 sound like they were written by Jesper for whoreacle 25 years ago... pure light of mind is the new in flames...but done right. With Broderick clearly having a lot of input on guitar tone and how shit is supposed to sound. Ahh man, I haven't felt this much love for Anders, who finally sounds like he feels comfortable with where his vocal abilities are at his age, in a long long time. And Bjorn, who finally met a guitar player he meshes with like he did with Jesper. And the Jesper ÷ Peter connection in the halo effect is like the old school in flames we all missed and have back. f*ck yes. f*ck f*ck yes. Lol

anonymous 2/10/2023 6:14:18 PM

This band has always sucked

anonymous 2/10/2023 10:06:12 PM

Best IF album in 20 years...seriously

Bortslob 2/12/2023 1:50:55 PM

Sounds exactly like the last one

anonymous 2/13/2023 12:50:30 PM

While it doesn't compare hardly at all to Whoracle- or Colony-era In Flames, and it still has some duds, it does feel like they're starting to climb up the other side of whatever rut they've been in. The best part of this one is they finally got away from the absolute DOG SHIT mix they've had on the past 2 albums. I, The Mask was ever so slightly more listenable but still awful, and Battles was downright unlistenable because of how horrid the mix was. Sounded like it was recorded inside a moldy trash can. The engineering is leaps and bounds better on Foregone.

anonymous 2/15/2023 10:14:53 AM

The music is pretty great. The vocals are kind of....just there.

anonymous 2/18/2023 5:24:53 PM

Better production indeed as previously stated. Anders did a better job, singing still sounds unnatural at times As for the music, it's ok, they released the best tracks before the album itself. Rest of the album is more post rtr mediocrity. Halo effect def did better

anonymous 2/21/2023 12:18:53 PM

The singles are the best songs. The album is at least 65% crap. Better overall than anything else from them in 20 years; but is that really an accomplishment?