If you’ve been reading these posts, then you would have known by now that so far, there haven’t been any REAL metal bands yet in my listening habits. That all changed when my best friend at the time saw that I was getting into heavier music and recommended me a more melodic metal band to get me started: In Flames.

Normally when I check out bands, I grab the newest album. I don’t know why I do this, as time and time again I’ve seen bands slip downhill as their catalog goes on. The newest In Flames album at the time was Come Clarity. It took me some getting used to, as it was the heaviest thing I’ve been intently listening to. On first listen, it was just a bit too much, but it grew on me when I began to soak in the melodic guitar lines and hooks and dissect all the layers. The duet with clean female vocals in “Dead End” had me addicted, and the song “Take This Life” got constant repeated listens as time went on.


I then delved into their back catalog, and eventually became a huge fan. I fell in love with their blend of death metal and melodic elements. The typical In Flames hits ended up with a lot of repeated plays, like “My Sweet Shadow”, “Cloud Connected”, “Trigger”, “The Quiet Place”, “Come Clarity”, “Clayman”, “Pinball Map”, and “Only For The Weak”. I even loved their debut full length The Jester Race. I’d put my money on “December Flower” having the greatest guitar solo I’ve ever heard.


On top of being the first real metal band I became a fan of, they became the focus of my first heavy metal concert. Gigantour 2008, I watched as High on Fire and Job For A Cowboy, and Children of Bodom play their sets while eagerly awaiting for In Flames to come on. I had a blast as I was thrown about by the crowd and sang along for that hour or so they played. We left after In Flames went off. Not because we hated Megadeth, but because the venue had no beverages left other than alcohol and Diet Sierra Mist, and we were fucking tired. Megadeth would have to wait another time.

I’ve since seen In Flames again on last year’s headlining tour with Between The Buried And Me, 3 Inches of Blood, and The Faceless. At that point, I didn’t really care about In Flames so much and, in my mind, I was there to see The Faceless open for Between The Buried And Me. I just kind of grew out of them I guess, and that’s actually kind of sad.

If I recall correctly, In Flames are working on their new album without founding member Jesper Stromblad, as he quit the band to work on his alcohol problem. Good on him, but In Flames were already dwindling in quality, and I have my worries about the next album, but we’ll see if it rekindles that fire at all.

– JR


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