Words by: Chris Pacifico

In Flames/The Sword :: 12.06.2006 :: Electric Factory :: Philadelphia, PA

In Flames by Patric Ullaeus
Philadelphia was brisk as In Flames wound down their tour in promotion of their latest release, Come Clarity. There were opening sets from Massachusetts metalcore collective Seemless and Italian dream metal mavens Lacuna Coil. Although the latter’s sound is a little too polished and sugary, after hobnobbing backstage and talking with some of the members it became clear that they’re amongst the nicest, most down to earth guys I’ve ever shot the breeze with.

While it was Seemless and Lacuna Coil who taxied the runway, the night truly took off when Austin’s The Sword stepped out to pummel eardrums with their own style of thick doom metal. These scruffy lads rained down the stoner rock brimstone with the shrill vocals of lead singer J.D. Cronise working Medieval mysticism on the breezy “Winters Wolves” and Southern boogie on “Freya.” With Orange Amps towering behind them, The Sword jammed out without meandering too far, with burly bass lines from Bryan Richie and drum licks from Trivett Wingo (coolest name ever). “Lament for the Aurochs” was a killer excursion with guitarist Kyle Shutt‘s hair covering the front of his face like Cousin It. “March of the Lor,” an instrumental number, thrust the audience back into The Sword’s hypnotic vortex. If Saruman’s army of Orcs had The Sword as their official marching band in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy they might’ve been victorious.

The Sword :: 12.06 by Christie Harrison
At 9:45, In Flames came to stage to roaring applause. Being hailed as the maiden practitioners of melodic death metal, these Swedes have evolved sonically in their decade and a half existence while retaining their specific touch. While fans have argued endlessly whether the new or older catalog is superior, their most recent release, Come Clarity has something for everyone.

Singer Anders Friden‘s dreadlocks whipped around like Medusa’s snakes to the set opener “Pinball Map” off of their milestone, 2000’s Clayman. They wasted no time diving head first into the thrash-oriented “Leeches,” with the crowd raising their fists and shouting, “It burns/ It rips/ It hurts” in a sonorous unison.

In Flames :: 12.06 by Christie Harrison
Lead guitarist Bjorn Gelotte was noticeably absent. Friden announced that Gelotte was home with his wife who’d delivered their new baby the night before. Henrik Danhage from Evergrey filled in. “Henrik is from Evergrey” said Friden, “but tonight he’s playing with a real band for the first time in his life.”

Favorites like “Cloud Connected” and “Only for the Weak” were played before closing out the night with the harmonious “Take this Life” and “My Sweet Shadow.” In Philly, In Flames lived up to their rep of being one of the hardest working bands in music today.

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