Admirably, In Flames vocalist Anders Friden and his compadres in Passenger (all of whom also come from extreme metal backgrounds and had begun to feel shackled by the limitations of the genre) attempt to apply their combined musical muscle to a more melodic formula, drawing equal inspiration from Helmet and Depeche Mode. Generally they succeed. The drop-tuned crunch of their death metal guitars is sweetened by a carefully polished production style, unabashed use of vocal harmonies, and the occasional dark burble of synthesizer sequences, while Friden unsurprisingly explores various shades of melancholy and anguish. Perhaps it's not the most original idea to come down the pike (the Deftones, Korn, and their myriad imitators have been mining a similar vein for years), but here it works because for the most part, the songs are strong and memorable, and the performances are inspired. On the weaker cuts, Passenger sounds all too familiar, indistinguishable from the dozens of cookie-cutter tantrum rockers that populate the American rock airwaves.
AllMusic Review by Andy Hinds