In Flames
Colony


3.5
great

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2007 | 36 replies | 5,980 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


4 of 5 thought this review was well written

In Flames are a band that have suffered from Metallica syndrome in my opinion. Early releases were kickass, with The Jester Race and Clayman being notable for kicking major ass, but lately, with the halfhearted Come Clarity, and the abysmal Soundtrack To Your Escape In Flames have been offering quite poor quality melodic death metal. However, this is an early In Flames release. So how does it rank amongst the classics of melodeath this band has produced?

Well, it's pretty hard to tell exactly where Colony lies, because as with every IF album, it's not quite the previous album, nor quite the next. Everything this band has done has taken a logical progression over the years, and although that progression (or regression) may not always have been critically received well, at least we cannot accuse the band of standing still. Neither did they stand still on this record, and it turns out it's quite a good album, despite having some unstandout tracks.

Especially the middle section of the record stands out in my opinion. Colony, Zombie Inc., Pallar Anders Visa and Coerced Coexistence form the heart of a climax of sorts. The band progressively builds up and loses steam through the album. Opener Embody the Invisible never quite struck me as awesome, I find it to be lacklustre for an opening track. Especially since with the kickass songs that they have produced as openers (Jotun, Moonshield, Bullet Ride), this kind of pales in comparison. It just doesn't have that kick. Although it's still classic IF, with the riffing and solos, it's just... not that good.

Ordinary Story is already a lot better, but Anders' vocals kind of ruin the song from becoming really great instead of just merely good. One reason why I can never enjoy any In Flames album as a whole is because at some point or other, the vocals start to work on my bloody nerves. He can pull it off, as he shows on Colony, Zombie Inc. and Coerced Coexistence... but sometimes, Anders sounds like he's been kicked in the nuts once too often.

However, despite these flaws, Colony has a fairly large amount of highlights. Pallar Anders Visa is an acoustic instrumental in the vein of The Jester's Dance and Whoracle, another excellent song that I really love (Isn't it a coincidence how all my favourite IF songs seem to exclude Anders?). Colony is brutal, melodic and heavy, a perfect standard In Flames song, just like they should do it. Zombie Inc. has a similar high quality star rating to it, the guitar flurries are memorable, the vocals aren't annoying, and it's just heavy and melodic, quality overall. Another classic In Flames track.

Scorn and Resin especially stand out because the guitar work is really good, although Jesper doesn't shred, his solos are nevertheless melodic and the rhythm guitars are evil and brutal. The guitars to me have been the defining aspect of this band. If the guitars here are not on fire, this band really floats nowhere, because although Daniel Svensson is a good drummer, the problem is that drums and bass do not carry songs in this band. Even if Daniel displays some ***ing awesome double bass fills, it needs some heavy riffing and solos or acoustic melodies to take it somewhere, and luckily, they are aplenty on this album, and they are especially important because Anders' vocals are quite a letdown. On here he isn't *that* bad, and hence the high star rating for this album, but I cannot emphasise enough how important Stromblad and Gelotte are to this band to ensure they put out some quality music.

The last three tracks I can't get into. Behind Space '99 is an adaptation of the Lunar Strain version, and it's just a standard IF track, nothing really special about it, although the updated version with better production sounds quite good. The last two tracks do especially nothing for me, I simply can't recall anything from them, or how they sound... if that's the case with me, it usually means they're quite forgettable and the album closes in a very mediocre way.

Overall, there are enough tracks on here to make the disc worth a listen. The especially strong middle section ensures that this album floats above the rest of the drabble that In Flames has managed to create in recent years. It's not the best record they ever put out, but it's good enough, and it was a logical next step in the musical evolution of the band. Overall it's quite a good disc, but it's just not up there. It simply can't touch The Jester Race. But hey, at least it's a ***load better than Soundtrack To Your Escape, am I right? Check this disc out if you're a fan of the band and the genre especially.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
February 3rd 2007



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Nicely summed up! I totally agree with this album being a step forward but not a giant leap. This album and Whoracle were never anything special to me. Clayman and The Jester Race were the pinacle points of In Flames career IMO. The two albums in between just saw a mix of stellar and weak tracks.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

wisechick80
February 3rd 2007



12 Comments


Clayman is by far their best album!

Wizard
February 3rd 2007



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wisechick80:
AGREED! Thank you, their most focused by far. Im not one of those old school metal heads, and I embrace change. I cant listen to a band who makes the same album 4 times in a row.

Eakflanderyof
February 3rd 2007



2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review but I disagree with a lot of it.

Anders is my favorite metal vocalist of all-time.

Zombie Inc. is the best track though. I don't think there is a lackluster track on this album. It's definitely one of my all-time faves.

I need to completely check out the rest of their albums. I've heard most of The Jester Race and it's awesome and I've heard a few tracks from Clayman that were awesome. Clayman is one of my favorite IF songs. What I've heard off of Come Clarity isn't bad either.

Pebster49
February 3rd 2007



2991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

WHAT! Embody the Invisable is a siiccc song...I thought this was better than Clayman and Jester Race. This is my favorite album but them. Top to Bottom It just never lets up

TheHamburgerman
February 4th 2007



1286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I totally disagree with the rating, but you did a fine job. I agree with the fact that Embody the Invisible is indeed somewhat of a lackluster track.

Esp Griffyn
February 4th 2007



28 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I disagree with what the review states about the vocals, I really dont think they are too intrusive, however, what this review did get right was the fact that this is just sub par.

There are a few decent tracks on this album, but so many that are just by the book melodic death metal. Only a few tracks are actually memorable, most of them are just turgid and uninspired.

Confessed2005
February 4th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album has some sick tracks - such as Zombie Inc.

Decent review.

Yazz_Flute
February 4th 2007



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That was a prtty good review, though i disagree and say that embody the invisibl is the best track on the album. This is my favorite in flames album. This Message Edited On 02.12.07

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

beans
October 19th 2008



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

colony pwns embody, same with behind space

fireaboveicebelow
October 19th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard they were playing zombie inc on the tour this fall and if that's true then I will suffer through the new stuff for that one song

Altmer
October 21st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They played it when I saw them

Eakflanderyof
October 21st 2008



2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

****ing Zombie Inc

I just shat my pants.

Altmer
October 21st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they played colony too

fireaboveicebelow
October 21st 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wanna hear insipid

DethThrasher
October 21st 2008



463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

TJR owns this

Eakflanderyof
October 21st 2008



2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Please tell me they played something from TJR.

DethThrasher
October 21st 2008



463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They never do..the bastards

Eakflanderyof
October 21st 2008



2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They sometimes play Graveland. And of all the songs on TJR... why that one? And I've seen other awful choices like Bottled and Egonomic. Not even the newer fans care about those.

Altmer
October 29th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They played a medley of Dead God In Me/The Jester Race and some notes from Behind Space.



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