The “Swedish Invasion.” It doesn’t have the same ring as the “British Invasion” but in the metal world, the “Swedish Invasion” is a long understood and established truth. On Feb 3rd, one of Sweden’s top metal bands, In Flames, hits town with Trivium, Veil of Maya and KYNG as its reinforcements.
In Flames, formed back in 1990, continues its dominance of the metal world with its 10th studio album Sounds of a Playground Fading. Along with bands Dark Tranquility and At The Gates (aÂ completelyÂ underrated and spectacular band!), In Flames pioneered their own metal subgenre -Â melodic death metal. Since that time, some 20+ years ago, their sound has undergone a long and steady evolution. Gone are the harmonized guitar melodies, death metal growls and astrology-based lyrics. They are replaced with cleaner vocals, more straightforward guitar, synthesizer, and lyrics based on personal struggle and introspection.
As can be imagined, the In Flames fan base has been split because of this change in musical style. I myself miss the complexity and beauty of albums like Woracle and what I consider their magnum opus, Colony. But there is no denying that In Flames still ‘brings it’ every album. If they’d not continued to evolve and change I’d be writing how they’d become a “stale caricature of themselves.”
The rest of the show boasts quite an interesting lineup. Thrash metal powerhouse Trivium, good in all the ways Metallica used to be, is a great compliment to In Flames. The other two bands, Veil of Maya and KYNG, hail from different ends of the metal spectrum. Veil of Maya is a deathcore unit hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Â They blend technical guitar with classic death metal growls. Their sound reminds me of Meshuggah, another soldier in the Swedish Invasion, Â with a wild, uncontrolled frontman. Rounding out the bill is California metal trio KYNG. They have a soulful, stoner-metal-groove-meets-Soundgarden kind of sound. I’m very much looking forward to seeing them live.