In Flames
Subterranean


4.5
superb

Review

by Shachar Sagui USER (26 Reviews)
September 17th, 2012 | 35 replies | 1,519 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Subterranean is a hidden gem within In Flames catalogue. It is, for some reason, overshadowed by the album that came just a year later. I consider it nothing less than essential for anyone who enjoys early In Flames or Melodic Death Metal in general.

In terms of Melodic Death Metal, In Flames was, and will probably always be my favorite band, despite the fact that I don’t like anything post Whoracle that much, and that I horribly despise everything post Clayman. The reason I love them so much, is their first three albums.
The Jester Race is their absolute classic, it probably have had influenced the whole Melodeath genre. Lunar Strain is an excellent effort, but it still lacks some major elements that later In Flames album had. Subterranean is where the sound evolved. In Flames perfected their sound, combining their Scandinavian roots with obvious Thrash and Power Metal influences.

The album starts with Jesper's dark and emotional piano riff, building a great mysterious atmosphere for the album. Immediately after that, you would experience what will probably be the most Thrashy and melodic twenty minutes of your life. The band embraces their Thrash influences beautifully, with riffs like Biosphere's verse actually sound like they are taken off Rust In Peace. On the melodic hand, Biosphere's intro and Stand Ablaze's outro are clearly some of the best Melodic Death Metal riffs ever written. Subterranean is definitely some of Jesper's greatest work.
Another important part of the EP's success, is actually the infamous vocalist, Henke Forss. The current-Black Metal singer is perhaps the best singer In Flames ever had. He sounds somewhat similar to Mikel Stanne, but he tops his performance in Lunar Strain, where his voice still sounded immature. Forss's emotional screams emphasizes the melodic riffs - you can easily smell the air of 19th Sweden. Henke Forss also wrote excellent lyrics for the album. The title track, for example, is almost a poet.
The drumming here is also worthy of a mention. The guest drummers Daniel Erlandsson and Anders Jivarp play in a way that may even put Bjorn Gelotte to shame. The second track, Everdying, is a great example for that. The passages are extremely accurate and the beats are almost as intense as in Black Metal.
Despite being tremendously Thrashy, Subterranean also contains three acoustic pieces, just like almost any early In Flames album. Two of them are in Everdying and the other is Timeless. Besides being beautiful, they play an important part – letting you breathe between the tracks.

As for the bonus tracks, the early versions of Dead God In Me and Dead Eternity, which is my all-time favorite In Flames song, top the later versions; mostly thanks to their raw feel and the great vocals. The covers of Metallica and Iron maiden are pretty much fun, and they also prove what I said before – In Flames were highly influenced by Thrash acts like Metallica, and probably every Melodeath band was influenced by Iron Maiden.

All in all, Subterranean is a Melodeath masterpiece. It combines all the elements; ancient mysterious atmosphere, fast melodic riffs and emotional singing and lyrics to produce one magnificent album. If you even slightly enjoyed The Jester Race or Lunar Strain go and get this unknown masterpiece as soon as possible.


Subterranean was released in 1994. The record label is Wrong Again and it is 20:50 (38:36 remastered) minutes long.

Personnel:

In Flames - music
Henke Forss - lyrics
In Flames:
Jesper Strömblad - guitar
Glenn Ljungström - guitar
Johann Larsson - bass
Guest Musicians:
Daniel Erlandsson - drums on "1 & 2; 6-9" (although he is pictured with the band in the album pictures, he was still a guest)
Anders Jivarp - drums on "3 & 5"
Henke Forss - vocals on "1-3 & 5; 9"
Jocke Gothberg - vocals on "Dead Eternity"
Robert Dahne - vocals on "Eye of the Beholder"
Per Gyllenbäck - vocals on "The Inborn Lifeless"
Oscar Dronjak - backing vocals on "Stand Ablaze"

Production:

Produced by In Flames.
Engineered by Fredrik Nordström.
Mastered by Staffan Olofsson.
Cover art and photos by Kenneth Johansson.
Layout by Dennis Jernberg.



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3.8
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other reviews of this album
rasputin (3.5)
An enjoyable EP that is a window into the past of one of the biggest melodic death bands, In Flames....

Foodforthegods (5)
Overall this album is probably one of the greatest melodic death album release ever. Among The galle...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FictionalFlames
September 17th 2012


1516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah sorry, I don't listen to many EP's. Pos'd though

This is actually one of the few type of EP's that are actually worth the listen.


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012


19743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm obsessed with this band right now. Good review, pos'd.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

johnnydeking29
September 17th 2012


9045 Comments


Nice review (pos'd), I really want to hear this now, but imma get TJR first

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story

CaptainDooRight
September 17th 2012


29130 Comments


A few grammar errors but being this is your 10th review I can easily over look it as most of the review contained some
substantial information

excellent music here, I'm a fan of early in flames and dead eternity is my fav in flames song too

Pos'd

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

KILL
September 17th 2012


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good ep but why did you upload the re-release artwork it looks gay compared

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

FictionalFlames
September 17th 2012


1516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kill calm your tits

KILL
September 17th 2012


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no i am fuckin pissed u dont even know

FictionalFlames
September 17th 2012


1516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

KILL
September 17th 2012


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey look its like nothing ever happened

CaptainDooRight
September 17th 2012


29130 Comments


sweet



ViperAces
September 17th 2012


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry Kill, I uploaded the tracks and I thought I might put the new artwork too. It looks better, but the logo on the old one is far more wicked.

And yea, I usually dont listen to EP's too, but only because mostly the songs in them also appear in LP's. Here all of the 5 tracks are unique and amazing. You should get it, but yea Johnny get TJR first - the only reason I didnt 5 this is because TJR is better and I cant rate them the same.

ThrashTillDeath94
September 17th 2012


594 Comments


Fine review, makes me want to give this a listen. Pos'd

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2012


19743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's worth it.

ViperAces
September 18th 2012


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea it does.
Check it out Thrash, you wont regret it.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2013


19743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf i didn't know this had an iron maiden cover

ViperAces
May 24th 2013


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea, its nice

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2013


19743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening right now i heard this back when you reviewed it but it's time to hear it again : D also i must not have heard the whole thing

ViperAces
May 24th 2013


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its only on the deluxe edition, which is like a full LP

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2013


19743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well the one i'm listening to on youtube is over 30 minutes so i think it might be deluxe. you need to get back into reviewing :P

ViperAces
May 24th 2013


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol im too lazy, rate this one tho! it needs more love



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