Review of the Album "Sounds of a Playground Fading" (2011) by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band In Flames
The Album Shows That This Band is Not Fading Musically
The album called Sounds of a Playground Fading is the next chapter in this history of Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames. But there is nothing even remotely resembling fading. Their talent has not faded even with the departure of guitarist Jesper Stromblad in 2010.
The acoustic guitar beginning part in the title track shows that they can still play music well whether it is soft or heavy. Remember the song Moonshield? That song back in 1996 also had a great acoustic part before evolving into one of the best In Flames songs of all time. But the title track here 15 years later is not as good. In spite of that, what we hear on this album is respectable. The next song called Deliver Us also shows the elite nature of this band even in 2011. Even with the start of electronic and atmospheric elements, Anders Friden's melodic vocal parts really make the song stand out. The song says that even though we are alive, sometimes we cannot make sense of a world that seems chaotic and undefined. Sometimes we have to "disappear" for a while, analyze where our lives are going and try to readjust to the circumstances.
Even the song All for Me in spite of its not so encouraging message is one heck of a song! The song is about the fact that sometimes people feel as if they are living life for no reason. As the pain grows inside of us and we get what is referred to as the darkest burden, for some of us there is no answer as to what brings this on.
Some Reasons Why the Band In Flames Never Has a Weak Moment Musically
The sound on later albums by this band is more modern and more melodic but in a different way. The songs are a bit slower even if the melody is there. Some of you may be asking what the weakest album by In Flames is. Honestly, I cannot find an instance of this band having their weakest moment. This band is like a bottle of wine in which the wine in it never sours and it stays fresh.
The Album Cover for Sounds of a Playground Fading
About the Songs The Puzzle and Fear is the Weakness
The Puzzle sounds like a song from 2002 because I think about the band Soilwork which is also another band of this same genre from Sweden. Fear is the Weakness is a song about what can happen when fear takes control of our minds. We can be paralyzed in our tracks and be unable to accomplish our goals. It is a road that none of us would want to travel down.
About the Song The Attic
The Attic is a softer song and we have not heard much of that from these guys. The song is about a man that is working in his attic building what is referred to as a strange machine. For those of you that recall, the band started out using an acoustic guitar filled song when they wrote “Dawn of a New Day” in 2002. We get to 2011 and the band has evolved even further that they are experimenting with more atmospheric music. In this song, the man is not seen by anyone else. It is thought that he is working all day.
What is the Cultural Significance of the Song The Attic?
This brings to mind the type of jobs that immigrant women in the United States used to work in. They would work in what was known as “Task Discipline” type of work such as working as maids. They worked until the job was done, even if their work took them all night to do. This is the cultural significance of the song The Attic.
The Song Called All For Me
A Photo of Peter Iwers
How is the Rest of the Album?
Ropes is a song about the fact that many people in the world will settle for less than what they deserve. They are actually setting themselves up for failure. When there is someone out there that wants to save them from sure failure, the smart move would be to take that advice. The Jester’s Door has some electronic elements in it similar to Paradise Lost. It might as well be a song describing the departure of guitarist Jesper Stromblad. The song is about the person saying goodbye to his friends as he departs to face his actions as he sees his foundation crumbling. He is thankful for the opportunities that he has had as he walks through the door to a different and hopefully better life.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian