» In Flames 2008 05 29  
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Reviewed by Niklas
Special guest: Engel
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Stora Scenen, Gröna Lund
Date: 29 May 2008
Engel set length: 30 minutes
In Flames set length: 90 minutes


I've liked these guys even since I saw them open for Dimmu Borgir in Stockholm last year; I loved their debut album Absolute Design and even put it among my top ten greatest records of 2007. They are based in Gothenburg, and while they are more electronically oriented than most of their colleagues, they have definitely embraced the melodic death-sound. The founder Niclas Engelin even played in In Flames for a period, and since the latter's vocalist Anders Fridén has produced Absolute Design there should be plenty to like for the young crowd.

While I found their performance more impressive last year, when they played indoors and with a proper volume (more on that topic later...), Engel still manages to make good use of the large stage and their time on it. Songs like Casket Closing, Propaganda, The Hurricane Season and the epic closer Seven Ends come out really nice and proves that this band is hardly ephemeral - there should be more to see of Engel in the future.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

In Flames

I've almost lost count on how many times I've seen In Flames perform live since I saw them for the first time in 2004, but if my math is correct, then the gig at Gröna Lund was my eight time. By now I know most of their live material by heart; I even know how the pyrotechnics look like to some extent. But still, no matter how many times I've seen these guys they always give me a great time, with no exceptions. And since the 125 year old amusement park Gröna Lund is an unusual venue for this kind of music (in fact, this is the first time a metal band is given the honour to play here) and there were about 15 000 (!) people in the crowd, it made this show a special one as well.

In Flames released their ninth studio album A Sense Of Purpose this year. I think it's an astonishing piece of work, with the possible exception that there are no songs that really feel like the kind of mega-hits that we have been spoiled with over the years. The Mirror's Truth comes closest, but come on, it's no real match compared to songs like Take This Life, The Quiet Place, Trigger or Only For The Weak. And while it was fun to see six new songs being performed live on Gröna Lund, I found myself longing for my old favourites to be played instead of more new songs.

The set list was definitely good, but it wouldn't have damaged to have more surprising choices. Since Graveland and Colony were two of the strongest cuts this evening, it's a bit sad that In Flames doesn't seem to have that much faith in their old material. None of the songs off Whoracle were played, and it puzzles me that they didn't do Pinball Map - always a solid track on live shows. Sure, the Reroute To Remain-songs Transparent and Egonomic are hardly regulars on their concerts, but I would have preferred some more daring choices given this special occasion.

Because this truly is a special occasion, and it shows by the band's performance, and all the pyrotechnics and firecrackers, which are more than ever. Anders Fridén sings extremely good, which is impressive since the band recently got back to Sweden after an extensive North American tour. He is also in a great mood, and jokes around about most kinds of stuff, like the constant bickering between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Apparently In Flames have never been allowed to play at Liseberg, Gothenburg's equivalence to Gröna Lund, something the audience finds very amusing. In Flames also makes fun of the guitarist Jesper Strömblad's former band Hammerfall and plays the intro to their hit Hearts Of Fire. It actually feels a bit strange that In Flames beat Hammerfall to it by playing here first, but I guess the arrangers simply have good taste.

The only real complaint I have is the volume, which is waaaay to low. Apparently Gröna Lund has had lots of complaints due to their "high" volumes, and this year they have been forced to cut down on their summer concerts. Is it just me, but doesn't it feel a bit awkward to move into a house next to a freakin' amusement park when you simply must have peace and quiet already at eight pm in the evening? Nevertheless, In Flames' performance was close to flawless, and when they come back for the autumn tour (with a proper volume, I hope) yours truly will definitely be there for his ninth In Flames-show.

8 chalices of 10


Cloud Connected
The Mirror's Truth
Delight And Angers
Only For The Weak
I'm The Highway
Come Clarity
The Quiet Place
Move Through Me
Take This Life
My Sweet Shadow

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