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In Flames @ Terminal 5 (12/7/2008)

Logo - In Flames

Artist: In Flames
Venue: Terminal 5 (New York, NY)
Opener: Gojira, 36 Crazyfists
Date: 12/7/2008
Label: Koch Entertainment

While we all know that a headlining appearance of In Flames is always a good thing, I had to admit that the main reason I was interested in this particular show was based on it featuring both All That Remains and Gojira – two bands that I really enjoy in concert as well but never seem to catch often enough for a decently timed set. Sadly as the date approached, All That Remains would pull off the tour based on singer Labonte’s health issues and that left the gigs at the now bumped up to direct support Gojira and openers 36 Crazyfists. The show was being held in New York’s Terminal 5 which was still on the new side and had hosted a great number of Metal and Hard Rock shows. It was my first time to visit the place so I was rather excited about that as well. The spacious venue is located on 56th Street off of 11th Avenue and that’s a pretty healthy trek if you are not driving. I had to say that I am never against a decent walk and this place is closest to the 8th Avenue line at Columbus Circle, but this evening had to be one of the coldest and windiest nights that the winter had offered up so far and that made getting into the venue something that be done quickly and without side stops. Here is how the killer show went down for those who did not attend, and based on the venue appearing packed I am not sure exactly who that means in the NYC Metal Community. Alaska’s 36 Crazyfists were up first.
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“Nuclear Blast 20 Years: Out Of The Dark” by Nuclear Blast All-Stars

Artist: Nuclear Blast Allstars
Title: “Nuclear Blast 20 Years: Out Of The Dark”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/2/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

When the light fades away we are left standing in the dark and if alone it often plays tricks on ones mind and can hold a foreboding and sinister grip on our psyche. Now that I have your attention I present the second part in the celebration of Nuclear Blast Records 20th Anniversary with “Out Of The Dark” – a CD that continues what we last heard on its predecessor “Into The Light”. Similar to “ITL”, the music has been written by a particular performer and all the songs are sung by different vocalists. With “Into The Light” we found rather upbeat and positive energy at the musical hands of Victor Smolski (Rage) and singers such as Tobias Sammett (EdGuy) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica) but with “Out Of The Dark” the similarity ends here. Musically this one comes at the talented hands of Peter Wichers, who many remember from the band Soilwork, and while he is no longer a member he still remains one of the industry’s most talented individuals. Wichers did a great job on this one as he molds and works each tune to be a unique entity of its own and doesn’t give us a regurgitation of one same old style over and over. He managed to fit each track into the personality of who would sing it and the end result will really impress the most stoic of Metal followers. The tune by In Flames’ Anders was a good opener, but it seemed overshadowed by “Schizo” which is delivered by Hypocrisy/Pain’s leader Peter Tagtgren. The song had more Pain than Hypocrisy in there if you asked me but had a smoldering groove throughout that was oh so exciting. “Devotion” shows that Wichers could pen a Black Metal epic that was worthy of being part of the Dimmu Borgir set list if need be. However instead of Shagrath, we find Jari of Wintersun doing the vocals here and really showing that the dark is bleak and unforgiving.
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In Flames @ Webster Hall (2/15/2006)

Logo - In Flames

Artist: In Flames
Venue: Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Opener: Trivium, Zao
Date: 2/15/2006
Label: Ferret Music

In Flames deserves every ounce of the acclaim that they receive for together with At The Gates, they were one of the forefathers of the Gothenburg sound of Metal. This sound has become so intensely popular over the years and it is continually imitated and often modified to suit the purpose of the band who originally found interest in it. Bands like Soilwork and Dark Tranquility are among the most popular of the groups who found inspiration in the music of In Flames and tonight would be the chance for a lot of people to see exactly why this was the case. Once again the dramatic setting of Webster Hall would be the scene and again the venue was completely sold out. This is great for the band because in a realm where American Idol and Rap music rule the waves of both television and radio it is a feather in one’s cap to be sold out to the rafters in a venue with capacity of about 1300 people. In Flames would be celebrating two events this evening, with the first primarily being the support of their new album “Come Clarity”. The album itself a little different from their usual sound yet more accessible to a wider audience based on some of the ideas on it. The other celebration would be the move to Ferret Music, a label where In Flames would perhaps be the biggest fish in the pond and therein get the most accommodation from the executives.
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“Come Clarity” by In Flames

Artist: In Flames
Title: “Come Clarity”
Label: Ferret Music
Release Date: 2/7/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 9/10

In Flames are one of the founders of the Gothenburg sound and for years have led an Underground Metal movement that is an ever-growing army of support for the genre. With their new release entitled “Come Clarity” we find the band switching labels to join Ferret Music and also changing the direction of their sound a little more drastically than their long time fans might expect. The result is actually a very accessible Metal record with lots of twists and turns that will entertain and surely gain them a larger following than ever before. Musically this album is fantastic and there is enough solid head bangers and fist-raising songs that the listener will hardly know what is hitting them. Singer Anders uses a couple of different styles for this one by not only having his signature screams and growls but also a little more melodic styling. He is complimented by Lisa Miskovsky for “Dead End” which is an amazing track that will be right up the alley of those who enjoy female fronted Metal these days. The effectiveness of her voice makes me want to see her contribute more with this band and perhaps some others if at all possible. While the direction has veered a little from their original course this is the kind of move that keeps a band fresh and their output ever interesting. “Take This Life” drives the stake they are taking right home at the start of the album and really showcases the drumming of Daniel Svennson (who is quite accomplished and solid on the whole album anyway). I also felt that both Bjorn and Jesper were performing some amazing feats on the guitars, enough so that more people can enjoy the type of music that In Flames brings to you.
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