In Flames: Nottingham, Rock City – live review
Rock City, Nottingham
6th April 2019
Prolific Swedish melodic death metallers In Flames brought their melodic metalcore riffs and scintillating guitar solos to an eager crowd at Rock City. With a huge new record out earlier in the year it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
Sweden seems to breed innovative metal acts. In Flames have been around since 1990 and have always had an aggressive yet unique sound, merging classic Swedish death metal with modern melodies, crunching solos and more recently progressive elements. They are a force to be reckoned with on the modern metal circuit.
Tonight’s support acts are Light The Torch and Norma Jean, both insanely good bands. Light The Torch, formerly Devil You Know and Nuclear Blast, label-mates with In Flames, kick things off. The Rock City crowd definitely approve and it’s easy to see why these guys have carved out such a strong following. Norma Jean are up next up and one of my absolute favourites on the circuit, I’ve been a huge fan since catching them on tour with Dillinger. They are on fine form tonight and absolutely smash the place, kicking off with I. The Planet and working through stunners like Everything Talking Over Everyone Else, Synthetic Sun, and my personal favourite from the set 1,000,000 Watts which is haunting, heavy and as brutal as it gets.
In Flames come out to a rapturous reception from the adoring Rock City crowd amidst what has to be the thickest stage fog I’ve ever seen. I’m amazed they can see each other on the stage, it’s like a scene from Spinal Tap. They slam into Voices from their latest record I, The Mask, which has a steady build before the place goes insane. Björn Gelotte and Niclas Engelin’s guitar work is clinically clean as usual and the whole band sound as tight as ever, crunching riffs and cut glass guitar work from the outset. They roll straight into Everything’s Gone from 2014’s Siren Charms which has a very different feel – the old school death metal gets everyone moving and I’m surprised to see no circle pit as the rhythm guitars chug.
They carry on relentlessly, churning out monster track after monster track, working their way across their back catalogue. I always say it’s hard to pick standouts from some gigs and this is no exception. It’s no surprise that my highlight was probably All For Me, although This Is Our House and I Am Above from their new record ran it a close second. Also, as usual, some of my favourites didn’t make the setlist, most notably for me was the title track Sounds Of A Playground Fading from 2011 which first got me onto the band.
A great night out at Rock City with some of the best metal bands around today. If you enjoy metal this is definitely a tour to get yourself out to see.
The In Flames ebsite is here
Listen on iTunes or YouTube