In Flames
Whoracle


4.5
superb

Review

by wikuk USER (24 Reviews)
October 13th, 2006 | 341 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In Flames second release was not only important as a succesor of the genre, on it's own it's also a really enjoyable album. Low riffing, steady drumming, loud screaming, deep bassing and brilliant use of lead riffing. All in here.

Whoracle

Anders Friden = vocals
Bjorn Gelotte = drums
Jesper Stromblad = guitars
Glenn Ljungstrom = guitars
Johan Larsson = Bass

The Gothenburg style made a really remarkable step at the beginning of band such as Dark Tranquillity, or In Flames. Inspired by bands such as Carcass; bands developing the melodic tones to a new way. Mixing heavy with melodic was barely used before, mainly in solo’s but not along with the vocalist. In Flames changed that taboo, with their first release. The Jester Race was pretty much the album that placed In Flames and the Gothenburg genre on the map. People have however decided to like the albums less and less. For those people, The Jester Race was pretty much the opus of In Flames, with Whoracle and Colony as remarkable efforts, but STYE and Reroute To Remain as pathetic tries to be “new” and “original”. Whether you agree or not, (personally I think that every album is as strong as it is), Whoracle was primary in the top 3 albums of every In Flames fan. While not copying The Jester Race, they didn’t stray far of the original sound. Melodies were still as important as everything else, and so where the acoustic parts. The difference though was that Whoracle was slower than their first release. Where The Jester Dance tends to be too fast to fully organize every melody and riff, Whoracle fixed that fault. Whoracle would later be perfected by their 3rd release: Colony.


Jotun starts the album with the typical Gothenburg sound. A melodic lead guitar along with some easy yet fine drumming and rhythm guitar. The chorus is memorable, yet somehow doesn’t blend well in the song. The same goes for the bridge and verse, as it seems that In Flames just thought of some nice tunes but forgot to click them together. A so-so track, the guitars however make up much for the song.

The next song, Food For The Gods, is much better composed. The song is great to headbang because of it’s addictive, heavy guitar riffs. The heaviness barely lets down, until the solo, where the melodic side of In Flames goes on the front. The solo is very short though, and could have been a minute longer if they’d hold that beauty. The final chorus ends heavy, with Friden screaming “Food For The Gods”. Very nice track, yet it’s nothing compared to the work later on this album.

Finally a top 5 track comes up. Gyroscope is more slow and droning than their other work. (no, don’t expect things like Sunn o))) ) The song starts with a acoustic guitar part that barely changes throughout the song. Verses are short, just as the chorus’s, but the melodic parts in the middle are some of In Flames finest work.

An Instrumental! Dialogue With The Stars is pretty much a mix of the 2 songs before this one. With FFTG for the reasonable speed and Gyroscope for the melodies and acoustic parts. There is nothing wrong with this good composed melodic instrumental, but after several listens the song tends to be somewhat weaker. Yet this song is good enough to be in the top 5.

After Dialogue With The Stars the album doesn’t let down. In fact, it’s only getting better. I’m sure that all of you In Flames would agree if I’d say that The Hive is a classic In Flames song. The song starts with a riff that Atreyu later inspired (I will not say copied, that will only result into discussions whether Atreyu did rip-off the intro or not) and blends very well into the verse. The lead guitars are probably the best on this song, with the verse having a more creepy and psycho lead. The pre-chorus is just In Flames kickin’ some good riffs, with the chorus as the slow and darkish headbanger. After the second chorus, the part comes in that makes The Hive such a brilliant song: the solo’s. The first part is a masterfully written melodic part that ends with a classical tone on it. The second part however seems to be more for the speed, and speedy it is.

Just when you think the album couldn’t get better, the stunning Jester Script Transfigured enters the speakers. This song is probably the most epic and breathtaking song on the album, and of In Flames entire discography. The song starts with some computer sound, immediately adding some mysteriousness to the song, followed by some great acoustic guitars. While not every part is acoustic (the chorus’s are all in distortion, along with Friden screaming), the song feels as a ballad. Partly, though. This song feels partly as a ballad, and partly as an epic giant. The reasons for this is the massive bridge that completely turns over every misprinted look at the death metal genre. The bridge starts with a mellow acoustic guitar piece, slowly getting heavier until the switch from acoustic and distortion is suddenly turned over. It has Friden’s signature scream, being a tad high, yet with a low rasp on it. After that, the song changes the time signature from a 3/4 to a 4/4 (correct me if I’m wrong, I always mix up 3/4 and 6/8). With the sudden change, it feels more upbeat and with the high leads and low rhythm guitar, it creates a strength that equals In Flames other works. At the end of the bridge, the guitars go back to their original time signature, and to finish their epic bridge, they play the acoustic part with backwards recorded sound. The chorus comes again, followed by an excellent solo as a closure from the song. Awesome…

After this sheer brilliance, the album sadly drags down very much, presenting the two worst songs of the album.

Morphing Into Primal is the fast song on the album. At first it may sound very interesting, but as the song goes further, few changes are made to the song, making it dull and boring. Even the solo isn’t up to the standards of other In Flames solo’s. It sounds like a Kerry King solo, but even worse.

After the speedy MIP, {B]Worlds Into Margins[/b] seems to be slower than it actually is. But it’s slow anyways so what am I talking about… Anyways, this song isn’t as bad as MIP, yet it’s pretty much a low point of the album. This song has Friden worst vocal performance ever, with an effect used at different parts throughout the song, and really bad screaming. The verse’s are keyboard based, but with Friden’s screaming present it makes a weird mix of being laidback and heavy. The chorus is just like anything other, nothing special, but misses the spark to be “good”. The bridge is however better than the average composition on this album. It has a guitar solo in it, while not being as good as The Hive, it’s decent. After that the laidback keyboards come in, without Friden’s screaming. That’s a big plus.

Back into the good stuff. Episode 666 is much like the second song the heaviest song on the album, but this song is also very in-your-face. Nice, very nice. The song starts with a riff that’s reminiscent of The Hive’s one, but develops faster into the verse. The verse is nothing special, again like The Hive one, without the psycho guitars. The pre-chorus is however an improvement as it features a great lead guitar. The chorus is more energetic than their earlier work, which makes the song somewhat more diverse. It’s a mighty fine song, but if a bit originality would be put while they made this song, this track would be on second place (with Jester Script Transfigured being a tad higher)

Everything Counts is very upbeat. The song starts with a rhythmical beat composed of the drums and guitars. The chorus is just as the verse, very happy, but also a bit sloppy. That’s probably the worst of this song. It’s good nonetheless, plus it’s a cover from Depeche Mode, which shows that In Flames not only to metal alone.

At last, we have the peacefully S/T track of the album. Just like Dialogue With The Stars, it’s an instrumental. And just like that one, it’s features some Gyroscope feelings. The guitars are acoustic the whole way through the song, creating a soft ambience over the other instruments. A nice way to end the album, if only the song would be longer than 2-and-a-half minutes…

As a overview, I find it funny to see that the album is merely put into 4 pieces.
At first we have 2 average songs, while not being bad, they’re nowhere the best. Then we have 4 of the best songs of the album, all packed together. After that the low point of the CD comes up with 2 “fillers”. The album ends on a good tone with the good last 3 tracks.
To summarize, it’s like this:

2 average
4 brilliant
2 bad
2 good

Okay that was funny…

Conclusion

This album is a Gothenburg masterpiece, which should be purchased right now for everyone that loves the mix of rhythm and melody. I’m not kidding, the things “The Jester Race” did wrong are all made up on this album. There are a few letdowns, like the two songs at the middle, and the lack of originality in some songs. It’s all however made up with some brilliant lead guitar riffs, and Fridens his powerful screaming.


Top 5 tracks:

1. Jester Script Transfigured
2. The Hive
3. Gyroscope
4. Dialogue With The Stars
5. Episode 666

Songs that I don’t care for:

Worlds Within The Margin
Morphing Into Primal



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Comments:Add a Comment 
wikuk
October 13th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

.......


meh

Zmev
October 13th 2006


983 Comments


The cover looks like the Street's 2nd album.

Kage
October 13th 2006


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is damn amazing if you ask me. As much as I love In Flames, it's really their only album that is completely perfectly done, and that keeps me engaged the entire time. Great stuff here.

Good review as well, I wanted another one for this album on here.

Cravinov13
October 13th 2006


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album pwns, even though I do admit I listen to new In Flames waaaay more.

wikuk
October 19th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It seems as almost nobody knows these guys...

Shadows
Moderator
October 19th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is alright, but nothing more. It sounds like a watered down Jester Race and is obviously where they started to slide into the boring as hell riff-based sound they had for the next 4 albums.

wikuk
October 19th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm sure a lot of people do.

I don't know why so many IF fans hold this album so high. It is definitely not their best.
Opinions differ. But yeah, there are better albums (Clayman...Colony..... ..)

This album is alright, but nothing more. It sounds like a watered down Jester Race and is obviously where they started to slide into the boring as hell riff-based sound they had for the next 4 albums.
Funny that you said that, because Colony is basically the most melodic album they've put out, followed by The Jester Race.This Message Edited On 10.19.06

Aeksis8745
October 19th 2006


448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They are but I still prefer Jester Race over this. Some songs on this drag it down a little, like Morphing into Primal.

Altmer
October 26th 2006


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of my favourite IF albums... mainly because the title track is just... wow. Man. That blows me away. It's like Dawn of a New Day, but without the annoying vocals, without dragging, and with that woman (?) in the background. It sounds... nearly native American to me.

Friden can work on your nerves on this album though... though I really dislike his voice on Jester Race. :/

violentmog
October 27th 2006


73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like Anders' vocal work on this and The Jester Race, but instrumentally I've always been a big fan of Clayman. This is still a killer album though.

Pebster49
October 27th 2006


2993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought both instrumentals were awesome, espically Whorcle to end the cd...I totally agree with those songs but Epiosode 666 should be with the brilliant songs, cause it is catchy as hell. Awesome review

wikuk
October 27th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Episode 666 isn't as catchy as the other songs on the album. Yet the riffs are awesome. And as far as I know I put the song on the top 5..

carney3110
October 28th 2006


310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Episode 666 is my favorite song of off this, but even though this is good, it's blown away by Clayman, The Jester Race, and Come Clarity (yes, I said Come Clarity).

Altmer
October 29th 2006


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know Dawn doesn't have that woman, I was referring to Whoracle, mudvaynian.

wikuk
November 5th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have been digging Jester Script Transfigured very much lately, it's a f*cking incredible song.

Dethtrasher
February 19th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just got this and ''Clayman'' from a friend, I listening through this album right now and it sounds awesome. But I have to wait a moment before I rate it.

kuririn
February 24th 2007


65 Comments


I really like Jotun

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2007


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really believe this album is overrated. Many say its "the best metal album ever made" but I finally just got around to buying the whole CD, and the only really creative tracks are ones I've heard before (Episode 666, Gyroscope, and Jotun). The rest of the album seemed a bit boring and repetitive. Certainly not what I expected from an album with such high praise.

Good review, I agree with your views here.

jdogsnoop
May 3rd 2007


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so which album is Gyroscope actually on? Whoracle or TJR or is it actually on both?

Cravinov13
May 3rd 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

both I guess (I don't own Jester Race)



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