In Flames – Foregone (Album Review)

In Flames Foregone album review

In Flames – Foregone 
Released: February 10, 2023

Line Up

Anders Fridén | Vocals
Björn Gelotte | Guitar / Vocals
Chris Broderick | Guitar
Tanner Wayne | Drums
Bryce Paul | Bass



Swedish metal stalwarts In Flames return with a fired up post-pandemic depiction of society, apocalyptically titled Foregone. It’s an album that represents the band’s continued evolution without compromising their unbridled heaviness or soaring sense of melody. I haven’t always been a fan but Foregone is such a great collection of songs spanning both melodic death metal and modern metalcore that it’s kind of a great starting point if you aren’t deep into their thirteen previous albums. Notably, this one is the recording debut of ex-Megadeth shredder Chris Broderick, whose chops are certainly up to the task. 

Longtime fans who have avoided the pre-release singles can rest assured that this album has enough classic melodeath elements that will remind listeners of their old stuff like The Jester Race. Even the acoustic + strings intro, ‘The Beginning of All Things That Will End’, harkens back to that album’s cinematic scope, before leading into the onslaught that is ‘State of Slow Decay’. If there was ever a statement on the sorry state of the world, In Flames have captured the fury many feel as our sense of community was pushed to the brink by the pandemic. It’s immediately followed by the slower tempo and groove of ‘Meet Your Maker’, in which Anders Fridén’s growl captures the cynicism of the lyrics before the cleanly sung chorus caps it off. It’s immediately apparent that the Gelotte/Broderick combo is up for the challenge, with some great guitar harmonies and thrilling solos. 

But ‘State…’ and ‘Meet…’ are just an entree for the two-part title track, a monster of savage riffs, double kick beats and the odd pause for melody. ‘Foregone Part 1’ is the heavier of the two, with the first few minutes being some full on death metal before the tempo slows and the guitar harmonies have a great, if mournful, atmosphere. Tanner Wayne is right there the whole time, even chiming in with blast beats.

‘Foregone Part 2’ is much more melodic from the get-go, with an extended instrumental section that slows down to just guitar before the clean, distorted vocals come in. It keeps the slower tempo, even as Fridén grunts and growls over it. 

The criticism I had for In Flames in the past was the lack of songs that were instantly memorable, compared to my Swedish go-to combo of At The Gates, The Haunted and Arch Enemy, with the band preferring growl vocals and not always quite nailing the chorus lyrics. The standout aspect for me on Foregone is that this is the In Flames album that has some seriously stand out hooks. Songs like ‘Bleeding Out’ and ‘In the Dark’ are instantly catchy from the chorus, without sacrificing any of the groove and technical musicianship that is the band’s signature. They are great entry points for metalcore fans.

Producer Howard Benson has probably helped in this regard, with both songs having choruses not far removed from My Chemical Romance (or similar past Benson projects). The acoustic intro to ‘Pure Light of Mind’ is another stunning bit of guitar work, with the electric riff continuing the melody. It’s certainly a song that might not sit well with death metal heads, it’s very much a power ballad. It’s not that they’ve gone soft at all, it’s just using different metal and rock sounds to express themselves.

There’s some real bounce to ‘Cynosure’ with another killer chorus and a little bit of bass work from Bryce Paul. These tracks are sequenced in a way that balances the heavier tracks already mentioned which gives some variety and depth to the album. If these aren’t your brand of bourbon then head straight for ‘The Great Deceiver’, a thrash-filled rager of angst and loathing. It’s almost hyperactive (and a bit punk) compared to the more melodic tracks, serving as an anecdote to the album’s impressive sonic scope. 

The balancing act In Flames have pulled off is pretty impressive, giving just enough of the “old In Flames” while continuing their evolution beyond the confines of generic death metal. The fact is the band have consistently delivered albums, even with lineup changes, that are damn heavy and progress their connection with their audience.

There is something for everyone, which is not really what I expected at all to be honest after studying their back catalogue (thanks to co-editor Ricky Aarons). It has left me pretty excited to check them out at Knotfest Australia too, where many of these tracks will hopefully get their live debut. 

In Flames Foregone Cover

In Flames – Foregone Tracklisting

  1. The Beginning Of All Things That Will End 
  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 

Rating: 9 / 10
Forgone is released February 10, 2023 on Nuclear Blast Records. Pre Order here.
Review by KJ Draven (Twitter and Instagram). 

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