By Carl Begai
Being as I’m one of the dinosaurs that got into In Flames when they were “just” some loud little death metal band out of Sweden – it was The Jester Race album in 1996, to be exact – I was as put off as my old school brethren when the band decided to get all polished and modern on Reroute To Remain in 2002. In the long run, however, I discovered things weren’t anywhere near as disastrous as I expected them to be, and over the last nine years I’ve come to regard the post-2002 In Flames catalogue as being something worth taking the time to explore. New album Sounds Of A Playground Fading is their latest effort, standing head and shoulders above anything the band has done over the last decade in my “humble” opinion.
There are plenty of In Flames fans that will gladly disagree, of course, because it still ain’t death metal…
“There will always be people like that,” says guitarist Björn Gelotte. “I mean, I’m one of those people. I’m not a huge fan of the last few Dio albums, I’m still a fan of the older ones. It comes down to the period in my life when I discovered that music, and I totally respect other people’s opinions. The only thing is, I don’t go screaming over the internet about the stuff I don’t like (laughs).”
Like bandmate Anders Friden (vocals), Gelotte doesn’t concern himself with the criticism thrown In Flames’ way. If they had bowed to public opinion at any point during their evolution it’s fair to say the band would have either gotten lost amongst the current glut aggression-happy legions or crashed and burned entirely.
“That’s the only thing that counts, how I and the other guys in the band feel about it. There’s no point or possibility to cater to everybody. We’ve never done that and we’ve been outspoken about that. We’re gonna get shit from a lot of people and we’re going to get love from a lot of people. That’s the nature of this band and it’s always been in our cards. We’re used to that. We’re doing this for us and not for the people that are freaking out.”