Colony (Nuclear Blast)
by Scott Hefflon
As one of the “first” bands to bring to light (or bring back, but let’s not quibble 10 words in, OK?) melodic powermetal with snakespit vocals, it’s kinda funny that In Flames keeps pushing it further and then we have to catch up. Bear with me: Subterranean got my attention, The Jester Race kinda lost me cuz I heard soaring Top Gun melodies, Whoracle returned to balls-out form without losing any of the beauty, and hell, it had a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” done like never before, and now I’m still sitting on Colony. It’s got the dueling, warbling solos, the throaty roars, the raspy-to-the-point-of-throat-damage vocals we all know and crave, yet, um, it’s kind of fist-bangin’, if you know what I mean… A drummer friend of mine slapped his thighs along with the record, making fun of its Rock!-ness, twirling invisible sticks and rockin’ all dramatic for the photographers who’re always lurking in the wings at such moments. I haven’t been able to get that image outta my head. He’s right. It’s post-death melodic thrash (or something equally confusing and meaningless), yet it’s Rock. Dramatic hair-swirls, lighter-waving acoustic interludes, powerchords held long and dramatic, and if you hear enough of this kinda vocal-work, you can make the leap to say, yeah, it’s just early Metallica taken one step further.
But is it good? Well yeah, of course, it’s In Flames… Did I really need to say that?
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