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Review of the Album "Siren Charms" by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band In Flames

Updated on April 14, 2024
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Front Album Cover for Siren Charms

Siren Charms is a Different Kind of Album But Still Very Good

In the long career of Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames, there have been lineup changes, the departure of their longtime guitarist Jesper Stromblad and a musical style change. But through it all, they have stood tall, still being one of Sweden’s best heavy metal bands even with their 2014 studio album called "Siren Charms."

A Photo of Anders Friden in 2015


There Are 2 Major Style Differences Between "Siren Charms" and Many of the Band's Earlier Albums

What is the one major difference between this album and most of the band’s previous works? There are two such differences that I see. First of all, the vocals of Anders Friden focus on being clean or they are of the hardcore shouting nature. Then, several of the songs are slower. In spite of all this, the melody that makes this band the elite group of guys they are has never wavered.

The Song In Plain View is One Example of the Style Difference On Siren Charms

I’ve covered the band’s career since their beginning and these guys can do no wrong musically even when a song starts with sound that is very unlike what the band normally starts songs with. One such example of such a different starting kind of song is the electronic starting song called In Plain View. The vocals have definitely seen a transformation, being even more of a clean vocal style than previous albums would have used. There is still the harsh shouts by Anders Friden though. I would say that it was not until around the year 2000 that In Flames started to experiment with using cleaner vocals. Then by 2002, the style change for the band emerged in an even bigger way.

Siren Charms Songs Paralyzed, Through Oblivion, and With Eyes Wide Open

Paralyzed is a song that I notice that the vocals sound just a bit like Serj Tankian of the band System of a Down. The song is about when we feel like we are left on our own to find out where to go in life but we are paralyzed. Figuring out our destiny and direction in life feels like it is very daunting. It is in the song called Through Oblivion that we really see the style change being complete as Anders Friden’s clean vocals dominate the song and the song is an alternative style slow song. I know that some longtime fans of the band are sitting back and wondering why In Flames took a 360 degree turn in a totally different direction. This difference is actually beneficial for the band because they still show that they can play with pretty much any band in the industry. The song called Through Oblivion is a song that is not melodic death metal at all but it is a slow, melodic metal song. The song is about the fact that a person’s intuition, intentions, and life mission has changed them so much yet they are fearful and they have dark thoughts. He is asking for help to change this trajectory of thoughts. The song called With Eyes Wide Open further shows that the band has slowed down their riffing considerably and they have become a more modern heavy metal sounding band.

Siren Charms Shows the Talent and Creativity of In Flames But on a Different Level

Even if Siren Charms is the weakest album by this band, they can perform better musically than many other bands. Siren Charms is a song about someone who is tired of their life as their feelings are overwhelming them. The story of their life has been told but it is not a pretty picture. The song might describe someone that suffers from clinical depression. It may be that as the band members have gotten older, they have begun to think about the larger picture of life and their place in this world. A philosophical lyrical approach tells listeners that there is more to life than they might imagine.

Siren Charms Songs 7-9

The melodic song Dead Eyes is a song that tries to send the message that we each are in charge of the world or our destiny. Faith will guide us through life however bleak life may seem. Life is like a roll of the dice in the sense that we make choices and some of these choices work out in our favor and other choices do not really work out in our favor. It is remarkable how the band In Flames have come such a long way from beginning as a hard-hitting melodic death metal band to change into a more modern heavy metal band and creating a formula that works. The band is like a good version of the character King Midas. Everything they touch, everything that they experiment with musically works out.

The song called When the World Explodes has female vocals in it. The song is about knowing that there are certain things that we cannot escape from. Life is about moments and how we spend these moments living to the fullest. This is the truth of life. There are moments that we can never have back so we must realize this. The song Rusted Nail sounds like early 2000’s Amorphis. Sometimes we have to leave our doomed past behind and search for meaning using a different strategy.

The Song Called "Paralyzed"

Final Thoughts About the Album Siren Charms

Monsters in the Ballroom is a song that is not specifically talking about the presence of monsters but it is a song about trusting the people that will get you out of this messy, chaotic situation in your life and your mind will not operate in disorder.

The last song called Filtered Truth is a song about a person that has been ignoring a life that is real and he has been holding rage inside of him. Why does he feel so alone? He has rage inside that he cannot seem to get rid of. What are the strongest songs in Siren Charms? There is so much good in this album that it is tough to say. What can be said is that Swedish band In Flames is just remarkable!

The Song Called "Monsters in the Ballroom"

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© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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