In Flames has mellowed out a lot over the year, now getting much more into a radio-friendly zone. Nothing too surprising, all things considered. Now, the real task with this album was going to always be if In Flames would step up big or just cruise on auto. It is their 13th album, after all.
I, the Mask has a polished feel and several catchy choruses help make it feel bigger than it is. Sadly, it is also fairly unoriginal and feels phoned in more often than not. The rhythm section especially feels uninspired throughout most of the album.
Lead guitar work from Gelotte and the vocal performance of Anders do deserve some praise, at least. I found their deliveries during the hour long run time saved this from being completely forgettable, and I am pretty sure some of the hooks will be stuck in my head for at least a day or so.
I, the Mask is far from a great release. That said, though it may be heavily lacking in many areas it still remains a decent enough listen and I am sure that it will have some fans rejoicing. I'm just not one of them. Skip this unless you are a diehard In Flames fan.