Review Summary: Very catchy and melodic album. CLASSIC!
I listen to music because I want to relax, because I want to clear my head. And nothing is better to do that with very energetic and fast paced metal. But in some cases I am willing to make an exception, this is one of those exceptions.
I always thought that the newer In Flames albums were quite enjoyable. But I never knew that In Flames earlier work was so well-crafted, the earlier albums are superior to their newer albums in every way, shape and form imaginable. The Jester Race is without a doubt one of the best albums ever made, instrumentally. The Jester Race is a full album , containing fourteen songs. And with most albums you have your favorites, and songs you usually skip. But with this album, that’s completely different. Each song is filled with such precision. Whether it is an instrumental song, or a song that is combined with more vocals, all of the songs are good on their own. The songs are very diverse. However, all of the songs flow harmoniously, they have the kind of the same vibe.
Jesper Strömblad wanted to write music that had the sound of the usual Iron Maidens guitars, but then mixed with the brutal death metal style. This combination meshed together into the Melodic Death Metal style we often refer to as the ‘’Gothenburg sound’’. A lot of metalcore bands are influenced by In flames, bands like As I lay Dying often combine the Iron Maiden styled guitars with the brutality that metalcore usually possesses.
The two lead guitars produce catchy melodies, there are no words to describe the heart and passion that I have for this album. The musicianship on this album is flawless, whether you are paying attention to the lead guitars, or the drums, all of it is so well structured. You might think that that concludes in a monotone, predictable sound overall, but the band members managed to keep every song special and fresh. Songs like ‘’Wayfaerer’’ and ‘’Moonshield’’ sound a little the same, but are different in so many ways. Whether the song is acoustic or with a more electrical feel to it. Whether the song is energetic or slower paced. In Flames manages to produce a lot of different sounds, and every single one of those sounds are just incredible.
The best songs on this album are, in my eyes, the ones with the absence of the vocals. The guitarists are let loose, and are able to play whatever they feel like. And that results in the best guitar playing I have ever heard in my life. The only downside with this album is that it’s just too good. Any other album doesn’t sound as good as this one. Although the growling of the vocalist sometimes makes me feel a little out of place, I am still able to enjoy most of it. This is metal at it’s best.