Review Summary: Clayman is a beautifully conceived piece of music. Brimming with melody, aggression, passion, emotion, and originality surely for your money you can't beat the chef d'oeuvre that is In Flames, Clayman.
In Flames, probably the most recognizable band in the Gothenburg Metal scene; they helped pioneer it with such efforts as The Jester Race
. SInce these humble beginnings they have since strayed away from their roots releasing such albums as Reroute to Remain
, and Soundtrack To Your Escape
. Though Come Clarity
was a slight return to their previous style it still showed a significant change in the band. Before all of this, before the word blasphemy was ever used in the same sentence as In Flames
, the album Clayman
was released. Looked at as both the high point in IF's career, but also the beginning of the end; whichever way you look at it Clayman
is a Death Metal masterpiece.
was the first album for In Flames
that really took a step away from their previous style. Their song writing on Clayman is much more diverse than on their former works, according to guitarist Bjorn Gelotte, "We wrote Clayman
so quickly because we were really inspired by the first U.S. tour. We tried to make most of the songs have a classic type of arrangement. It was intentional, but sill not sacrificing the dynamics."
Make no mistake about it, they were still in their Death Metal period when they released this, but with this album they started to do more searching for effects among other things. Clayman
was really the first album they used to explore the possibilities of clean vocals. Anders is by no means a great clean vocalist, but his trade off of clean and harsh vocals makes this album seem so much more multifarious than before. Not only do they help the album in that respect, they also fit much better is places where normal screaming would've seemed out of place. Double tracking also played a big part in the sound of the sound of this album. For example, both of the verses for Pinball Map
, as well as the chorus for Only For The Weak
have multiple tracks of screaming.
Keyboards were also added to the mix of this album. They aren't in full blown effect as we have seen on Soundtrack To Your Escape
, but they are still prominent; the entire melody of Only For The Weak
is created by using keyboards. The keyboards are a very welcome addition to the album, it really makes this album seem more unique, and definitely helps keep up the atmosphere. The guitars are still the driving force of the band. Often times like the vocals using multiple tracks. Usually one for the rhythm, and two each utilizing one half of each harmony part.
The rhythm section is also in top gear as usual. The drums aren't the most amazing things to happen, but they are solid. Listening to just the first 30 or so seconds of Brush The Dust Away
can give you a taste of what's on the album. Matching up perfectly with the drums is the bass guitar; often times following them and not the guitar Peter Iwers is heard very often in the mix. Just listening to the verses of Bullet Ride
you can see that Daniel and Peter are very tight together.
The outcome of all of these pieces being put together is lethal. Not only is each member technically apt at their instruments, but they know how to accentuate each other as well. The guitars know when to lay back and play the rhythm during the keyboards melodies, the drums know when not to show off during clean parts etc. Essentially what I'm saying, is that Clayman
is a beautifully conceived piece of music. Brimming with melody, aggression, passion, emotion, and originality surely for your money you can't beat the chef d'oeuvre that is In Flames, Clayman