If you’re a fan of In Flames, Soilwork or any of the excellence in metal that comes from Sweden, you’re probably already aware of the new supergroup known as Passenger. If not, you can definitely expect a pleasant surprise.
Featuring none other than Anders Friden of In Flames notoriety on vocals, and Gardenian guitarist Niclas Engelin pounding out the riffs with true metallic glory, Passenger is the newest force to be reckoned with in today’s metal scene. Channeling a sound that’s an old school Nevermore/In Flames hybrid, Passenger take the new school back in time for a true, uh, old school treatment.
Opening track “In Reverse” gets things rolling at the pace of a crazed rhinoceros, boasting an opening drumbeat that is headbanging worthy. “In My Head” continues the heaviness, but with a slower tempo and Nevermore-like riff. The atmospheric verses recall a slower version of Soilwork’s “Departure Plan,” while “For You” follows, showing the lighter side of the band. Friden sounds truly stellar on this song especially, as it is quite apparent that he’s beefed up his lungs in preparation for the upcoming In Flames release due this fall.
Though every track has its own identity and refuses to flow into the next, other highlights would definitely include “I Die Slowly,” with its cathartic chorus and monster riffage, courtesy of Engelin. “Rain” thunders with the intensity of something you’d find on In Flames’ “Colony,” while “Circles” brings to light a new side and sound of anything either Friden or Engelin has ever done.
If you’re a fan of the new wave of Swedish death metal, you’re going to undoubtedly enjoy this disc with the great combination of heavy riffs, rhythms and melodies. The album has the same atmosphere all along the album, but it’s not boring at all.