In Flames
Clayman


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
November 21st, 2006 | 393 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


I've never been to Sweden before. Ever. That said, if someone asked me what my favourite Swedish city was, without hesitation I'd answer in my best growly voice: "Gothenbuuuuuurg!!!" Well, actually I wouldn't because that's retarded, but Gothenburg is still a pretty cool city anyway. In the 90's it was a hotbed for all those melodic death metal-like bands such as In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Eventually, the creative term Gothenburg metal was coined for bands with a similar background and sound. Both In Flames and Dark Tranquillity have since released some excellent albums such as The Jester Race (In Flames) and Character (Dark Tranquillity). But it doesn't stop there, as In Flames have also recorded other successful albums. One of them was 2000's Clayman. The album was recorded in, you guessed it, Gothenburg Sweden. The album contains some of the bands more popular songs, such as the catchy Only For the Weak.

Clayman is appears to be one of those albums that people seem to really like or really dislike, with the spectrum is pretty extreme including some who revere this album, and others who consider it a black eye on the genre. For me, I find myself closer to the former as opposed to the latter, but I wouldn't exactly call it my favourite In Flames release. With that in mind, I still do like Clayman quite a bit. One of the reasons I enjoy this album so much is the actual music. While not especially heavy, Clayman is dripping with melody. And damn it, I have to have my melody. So I am more than happy with the direction the band has taken. Though purists may cry out blasphemy with this release, I feel that the lighter sound works very well for In Flames. Clayman feels very focused, riff after riff, drumbeat after drumbeat. Listening to songs such as, again, Only For the Weak or Pinball Map, it is apparent that the band has put a lot of effort into their music. Enjoyable, concise, and consistent are all adjectives which can be used to describe Clayman, as many of the albums songs feature several sections in which this the case. Clayman flows together very nicely and is definitely a fun album to listen to.

In Flames has one pretty important aspect that makes them a ton of fun to listen to. And that rests in that of their two axmen, Jesper Stromblad and Bjorn Geloette. Though their names are difficult to pronounce, the energetic playing of the tandem is not difficult to digest. These two give the band their signature sound, the enjoyable melody, hypnotizing harmonies, the crushingly heavy sections (for the most part), and the staggering solos. You couldn't really ask for anything more from the two members, as they perform their roles exceedingly well, and very rarely do they disappoint. Two songs where the pair stands out the most are Swim and Suburban Me. Both songs are very guitar orientated offerings, and on both songs Jesper and Bjorn give what are arguably their best performances. The riffs are exceedingly strong, combining the desired strength and melody. Also notable on Clayman regarding the two guitarists is the production on the guitars. Like many of the band's early albums, the guitars' tones are very enjoyable and definitely enhance the music. Just as in The Jester Race, Whoracle, and Colony, In Flames' guitarists steal the show, and are definitely among the highlights of the album.

Though perhaps not as good as The Jester Race or even Colony, 2000's Clayman is still a marvellous album. It is home to all sorts of excellent material, such as the title track or Only For the Weak, which may very well be the catchiest song the band has ever recorded. Clayman, though not devoid of errors and mistakes, is an incredibly fun album to listen to, as there are not any limits to the level of melody and precision that is produced. The two catalysts of this sound, Jesper and Bjorn, have an impressive showing and definitely meet the expectations. Clayman is a very enjoyable record, and despite the mixed reviews, fans of Gothenburg metal should definitely not shy away.

Recommended Tracks:
Only For the Weak
Swim
Suburban Me
Clayman



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user ratings (1667)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
November 21st 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

That probably wasn't the best way to word it, but I've read several reviews that gave it awful scores.

wikuk
November 22nd 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decent review, but good taste :D

Thinkerman
November 22nd 2006


22 Comments


I loved this CD. I seen them live and when they played "only for the weak" it was something close to a spiritual experience.
good reviewThis Message Edited On 11.22.06

Altmer
November 22nd 2006


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pinball Map is one of the best tracks on here.

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 22nd 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I'd have Pinball Map after the title track. Great song, but I prefer the ones I put.

Thor
November 22nd 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wouldn't give this album that high of a rating. It's not bad, but I don't listen to it nearly as much as albums like The Jester Race and Colony.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

Aeksis8745
November 23rd 2006


448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed


Wizard
November 23rd 2006


19644 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is the album that seperates most In Flames fans. Me personally, I love everything they put out. This is my favorite album of theirs. The older stuff is just as good as their new stuff. It all depends on how risky you allow your musical tastes to be. Great review by the way!

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

Cravinov13
November 23rd 2006


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Risky? Don't you mean 'it depends on how much variety you have in your musical tastes'?

Wizard
November 23rd 2006


19644 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cravinov13: You worded that better than I did. Thanks dude hahahaha!

Pebster49
November 23rd 2006


2993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album was very good but not as good as Colony, nice review btw...like what everyone else said I think you should replace "Clayman" with "Pinball Map" or "Brush the Dust Away"

RottedFlesh
November 23rd 2006


213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best band in their genre...a genre I actually don't care for...nevertheless this and The Jester Race are their best two albums.

skullcrusher149
January 24th 2008


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best songs- Clayman, swim, satellites and astronauts and square nothing

good review




Altmer
January 24th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Clayman is better than any of IF's early material, which is retardedly boring.

Poet
January 24th 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't go that far, but this is their best work. I still think Colony and Whoracle rule though.

Aeksis8745
January 25th 2008


448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow didn't know that many people were down on The Jester Race. This one still hasn't gotten to me like their other albums have, but its still growing on me. Who knows maybe i'll end up liking this the most one day.

Metalikane
January 25th 2008


851 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Jester Race is amazing! This is just better.

Altmer
January 25th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoracle more like Boreacle.

Colony is their best album.

Crimson
January 25th 2008


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Clayman more like gayman.
Sorry, it just came to me, I actually really like this album!

Poet
January 25th 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whoracle more like Boreacle.


Asides from Jotun, Jester Script Transfigured, and The Hive; then yes, it is boring.

Clayman more like gayman.

:lol:



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