A Sense of Purpose was accompanied by an EP supporting the album’s lead single, “The Mirror’s Truth.” This release featured three non-album tracks from the A Sense of Purpose recording sessions. While an argument could be made that these songs were left out of the album’s proper sequence because they broke the flow, I don’t feel like there’s a case to be made for each of these tracks not being as strong as most of those that made the final cut. I chose “Eraser” because it’s got a lot of the bounce of Come Clarity’s finer moments, and that mixes well with the more industrial-tinged, straightforward approach that formed the majority of A Sense of Purpose’s best material.
5) “Vanishing Light”
Come Clarity was a weird record at a weird time. It was released stateside via Ferret Records, and at a time when labels like Ferret and Trustkill were reaching critical mass in the US metalcore scene. The initial press for the album touted it as being faster and heavier than its predecessor, Soundtrack To Your Escape. Yet one of the first tracks to garner any real attention was “Leeches,” one of the band’s worst songs, and one that features that obnoxious Korn-esque high-hat work that just doesn’t fit In Flames’s formula even a little bit. On further listens, there was plenty on Come Clarity to love though, my favorite of which was “Vanishing Light.” It’s got a lot of the immediacy that made Clayman and Colony so impressive, and the guitar harmonies on that opening riff are nothing short of heroic. Ungh, man… that riff…
With as much shit as Reroute To Remain took for being such a drastic change of pace for In Flames, I think Soundtrack To Your Escape was actually more of a departure. There’s a unique sound to the whole record, from the drums to the guitars. It’s all very compressed, and while that would’ve been a bad move on an album that sported more fretboard acrobatics, for this album, it totally worked. All of these songs are straightforward, and while some of them really embrace the poppier aspects of the band’s burgeoning radio relatability, it’s not all frills here; I challenge you to find a heavier riff in their catalog than the one that carries “F(r)iend”. I went with “Bottled” for this one because I think it’s one of the finest examples of In Flames really stretching outside their comfort zone and still coming up with gold. One of the catchier numbers on the record, but still bittersweet and cathartic, just like a finale should be.
7) “Watch Them Feed”
In Flames released a promotional EP for Reroute To Remain’s big single, “Trigger.” In addition to a radio edit of the title song, the EP also included an ill-fated cover of Genesis’s “Land of Confusion,” as well as “Watch Them Feed,” a rippin’ b-side from the Reroute To Remain recording sessions. The track’s opening/verse riff smacks heavily of the Slipknot-esque, down-tuned flavor of the day, but that’s not to say that it still doesn’t sound like In Flames. There’s a nice dose of ethereal melody in the chorus, and combined with the chunky bass and guitar performances throughout the rest of the song, it’s a great example of all the ways in which In Flames excelled during this conflicted period in their evolution.