Sounds From The Heart Of Gothenburg
Released: 2016, Nuclear Blast Records
There has been a huge amount of great live albums released in 2016, so I thought I would close off the year by reviewing a few of the more recent ones in a mini-feature. So, sit back, grab a warm beverage and feel free to enjoy live tunes by Night Ranger, Tesla, In Flames, and Saxon.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, In Flames is set on continuing down the alternative metal course they set for themselves over a decade ago with REROUTE TO REMAIN (or perhaps earlier?). While they’ve certainly lost a lot of heavy metal fans along the way, the band has retained a sizable fan base, particularly in their homeland. And, since it has been a decade since the band’s last live set (2005’s USED & ABUSED – IN LIVE WE TRUST), it seems like a good time for the band to release their third live album, recorded in 2014 in front of a large hometown crowd in Gothenburg.
With 20 songs split over two discs, SOUNDS FROM THE HEART OF GOTHENBURG is a hefty package. Given that that both Peter Iwers and Daniel Svensson have since left the band (although Iwers appears on BATTLES), this is a nice swansong for the long-time rhythm section. As well, given that this show was recorded on the tour for SIREN CHARMS, seven songs from that album are aired. In fact, 14 of the 20 songs are taken from the band’s last three albums, with only 2 coming from the pre-REROUTE TO REMAIN era (and nothing older than COLONY). In Flames have never been a band to dwell on their past, and this continues the trend.
With that being said, the band puts in an excellent performance with Anders Friden in particular sounding MUCH better than he did on SIREN CHARMS. Indeed, the cuts from that album are given new life in this setting, as opposed to the lifeless production afforded them in the studio. So yes, everything sounds fantastic and the band’s performance is energetic but I really struggle to (cloud) connect with this set list, making the album a little bit of a chore to sit through. I mean, this is nearly 90 minutes of modern In Flames. Then again, hearing “Resin” brings back a lot of good memories.
You can almost take this as a non-review. In Flames’ fans will LOVE this release and the haters will ignore it. Taken with an open mind, SOUNDS FROM THE HEART OF GOTHENBURG is a very solid live album that’s weighed down by some filler cuts. Have a listen and make your own decision.