‘Come Clarity’ comes full circle | VailDaily.com

‘Come Clarity’ comes full circle

Mike Thomas

In Flames”Come Clarity”FerretIn the world of metal, finding the right spots for melody – vocally and musically – can be a damning task, leaving many heavier bands with an awkward mix. In Flames, on the other hand, do both with a seemingly inborn precision. Honing in on when to shift direction for more than a decade and through 11 full-length albums – plenty of time to learn from past mistakes – the Swedish quintet arrives full circle with “Come Clarity.” From the very opening track, “Take This Life,” In Flames render teeming riffs coupled with explosive rhythms that will find a way into your toes and up through your spine. Vocalist Anders Firden is exceptional, sounding gruff and visceral for one verse, belting out a viscous growl, then smooth and catchy the very next, harmonizing so well. While his presence is massive in sound and stature, he never overpowers his bandmates. In Flames instinct when to drop the tuned-down, sped-up madness and head into driving, upbeat melodies is uncanny, making “Come Clarity” as perfect a picture as you may ever find of the unique dichotomy metal can have – smoothly polished, yet devastatingly heavy. Beth Orton”Comfort Of Strangers”EMIWhile Beth Orton will undoubtedly get grouped in with so many other female singer/songwriters, her tone and presence are so unique, she really shouldn’t. Devilishly haunting and soothing at nearly the same moment, Orton has mastered the myriad components of songwriting and fully embraced her emotions for an impressive result. By no means is it Orton’s breakthrough album – she has proven herself in the studio before – although it may be her breakout album, as more of the mainstream begins to take notice of this songstress’s amazing voice and startling tone. Sticking to a common thread throughout, Orton still manages to give each song a voice of its own, using her diverse range to make for an album that connects the dots, yet remains totally dynamic. It may seem like Orton holds back at times and is too mellow, but maybe that’s just because when she peaks, her energy is just that potent and her voice that compelling. Vail, Colorado

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