Posted on by Oran

Pioneers of the Gothenburg Metal scene, formed a whopping 33 years ago are now releasing their fourteenth album…. Yes, 14!! And bugger me, it rips!!

Now I will address the potential elephant in the room that is made up of former In Flames members that rhyme with ‘The hey… low…. detect’,

…and yes, granted they delivered a stunning debut album last year, and do we think this had ANY effect on how the current formation of In Flames possibly approached the writing of ‘Forgone’?

In my opinion, absolutely. And I am glad because if this is the case, this is the best In Flames have sounded in over a decade!!

Forgone’ is in my opinion their best album since 2011’s ‘Sounds of a Playground Fading’. Where as the last album ‘I, The Mask’ (2019) had a more radio-friendly approach ‘Forgone’ has gone for the jugular.

And credit has to be given to drummer Tanner Wayne for stepping up this time round as blast beats, and super fast double-kick drums galore fill the album.

Now, this still has all the essential hallmark In Flames ingredients, guitar riffs that sound like an old friend, Anders snarl and growls switching to huge melodic choruses, and lets not forget the guitar solos galore. Also, worth noting this is the first studio album to feature former Megadeth axeman, Chris Broderick, and his riffing with longtime six-stringer Björn Gelotte feels like they’ve been doing together this for an age.

This album has felt like a long time coming considering the first single ‘The Great Deceiver‘ dropped way back in August last year, and since then we have been treated with a further four more singles since, when you collectively hear them with the rest of the album, and in the order the band intend us to listen to them it makes so much more sense.

From mid-pace head bobber, ‘Bleeding Out’ to the punishing broodiness of ‘In The Dark’, and we cant ignore the brutality of ‘Foregone Pt1’.

A stand out track for me is ‘A Dialogue In b Flat Minor’, this could have been on ‘Reroute to Remain’ or ‘Come Clarity’. Absolute banger! Sadly, album closer ‘End The Transmission’ feels out of place to me, I just dislike the chorus. Maybe you will agree when you hear it.

That aside, this is almost a flawless In Flames album. And for any band fourteen albums into their career to still sound this good, I raise my tankard of mead and shout ’Skål

4.5 / 5

Forgone‘ will be available via Nuclear Blast from February 10th. Order your copy here.

Dj Pennell 2023