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IN FLAMES Release Sick Artwork For New Album

Sounds of a Playground Fading, the latest album from legendary Swedish metal act In Flames, will arrive in the US on Tuesday, June 21st. In anticipation of its release, the band has sent out the track list and album artwork. The album comes as the follow-up to 2008’s A Sense of Purpose and will be the first not to feature founding guitarist Jesper Strömblad.

Additional release dates are as follows:

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway: Friday, June 17
Finland, Hungary: Wednesday, June 22
Spain, Italy: Tuesday, June 21
Rest Of Europe: Monday, June 20

Australia, New Zealand: Friday, June 24

Track Listing:

1. Sounds Of A Playground Fading
2. Deliver Us
3. All For Me
4. The Puzzle
5. Fear Is The Weakness
6. Where The Dead Ships Dwell
7. The Attic
8. Darker Times
9. Ropes
10. Enter Tragedy
11. Jester's Door
12. A New Dawn
13. Liberation

In Flames made their mark as an essential part of Gothenburg, Sweden’s Melodic Death Metal scene with classics like Clayman, Whoracle, and The Jester Race. 2002’s Reroute to Remain saw the band shift and evolve their sound, a trend which has continued on subsequent releases. While this helped to expose them to a larger audience, the change in style has been a challenge for their original fanbase. Lead singer Anders Friden, in an interview with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, affirmed that In Flames will continue to push their stylistic boundaries:

We have some songs that pretty much go against the hard rock formula… There's a song called The Attic where we have an accordion playing the chorus instead of me singing it. Another song begins with a spoken-word part that evolves into a kind of hard Depeche Mode -type thing. We also have some really fast, typical In Flames tunes.

An accordion? We'll see how that works out. (At this rate, they should just bring back the violin section) Jesper Strömblad left the band in February 2010 to receive treatment for alcoholism. He has since joined the new Swedish supergroup The Resistance. Part of me hopes he will one day rejoin In Flames, but this doesn't seem very likely in light of what Anders went on to say in the interview:

We're talking about a friend whom we've known for a really long time. It's like a relationship that has burnt out. It just didn't work out anymore. He's a really great guy in many ways, but it's important that everybody can get along. If they don't, it affects a lot of people.

As a fan, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and be cautiously excited for the new album. Is this just wishful thinking? We’ll see. Come Clarity had some awesome songs which are among my favorites from the band in general. But like many fans, I felt that A Sense of Purpose was a big disappointment. The band sounded tired and out of ideas, as the b-sides to The Mirrors Truth were better than the album itself.IN FLAMES Release Sick Artwork For New Album

Century Media will release the first digital single, Deliver Us, on May 10th in the US and elsewhere on the following dates:

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand: Friday, May 6
UK: Sunday, May 8
Spain, Italy: Tuesday, May 10
Finland, Hungary: Wednesday, May 11
Rest Of Europe: Monday, May 9

In Flames will be touring Europe this Spring and will then head to the US as part of this year's Mayhem Festival. Check out the tour section of their website for details.

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Shout out to photographer Smitty Neal.

Metal Merch

Soundtrack To Your Escape and Siren Charms as well.