In Flames
Clayman


4.5
superb

Review

by wikuk USER (24 Reviews)
October 19th, 2006 | 14 replies | 2,965 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

In Flames – Clayman

Anders Friden = vocals
Bjorn Gelotte = guitars
Jesper Stromblad = guitars
Daniel Svensson = drums
Peter Iwers = bass

If anyone would be unfamiliar with In Flames sound, or officially called: Gothenburg style, I’ll explain how it sound. While most of the rhythmical death metal bands came out of America (hence the Florida sound), most of the more melodic death metal bands came out of the Scandinavian countries. In Flames, coming from Gothenburg (yep, that’s were the name comes from), was along with Dark Tranquillity the founders of the melodic death metal scene. While Dark Tranquillity referred the music to it’s name, In Flames did basically the same. At 1996, In Flames released their first official album: The Jester Race. The Jester Race had everything a melodic metalhead could dream of. Packed with melodic guitars, yet heavy vocals and a decent speed, The Jester Race became one of the most appreciated album in the Gothenburg scene. The following album, Whoracle, developed the sound into a more slowish, dreamy tempo, more focusing on the melodies.

Unknown with the success they made, people left the band because of having too many bands at once. Bjorn Gelotte, the drummer of Whoracle and earlier work, switched to the guitars, creating an empty space behind the drum kit. Luckily Daniel Svensson of Sacrilege became the permanent drummer of In Flames. Peter Iwers joined the band as a bassist and the band was again complete. Colony was later released, creating a whole new sound. Whereas Whoracle and The Jester Dance had many acoustic passages into their songs, Colony was electric to the bone. Colony did however not change the melodic sound In Flames was known for.

While many regard In Flames now as a Metalcore-edged Nu-metal band, their change to their new sound was the most eye-winking time. Many people see Clayman as the same state STYE and RTR was into. They are however terribly wrong. Although the change was noticeable to see at that time, Clayman sounds most as it’s earlier release Colony. The melodic guitars are just as present on this record as it was on the previous album, and the keyboards are minimal here. Some very notable songs are Swim and Suburban Me. Swim’s couplet features a very high guitar riff that somehow reminds me of Rush, while Suburban Me’s chorus has a riff making it more emotional. Only For The Weak is probably the most catchy song on the album, but again consist of In Flames their best guitar riffs. Square Nothing shows their softer side at the first minute, before suddenly exploding into a very rhythmical death metal song (yet, the melodies are present) . It’s pretty good to see how they developed their attitude towards clean passages. Satellites And Astronauts is also a perfect example. Although it’s obvious that In Flames took Jester Script Transfigured (of Whoracle fame) as an example, they still managed to create a very decent song.

Of course not everything is based on melodies. Pinball Map is a speedy headbanger which has a low couplet, exploding into a chorus which is simply brilliant. Anders vocals have never been so good, and the guitars make good use of the parts when Anders is quiet. The solo is a very good effort to bring up the melody in the song again, making it one of the best of the album. Clayman, the song is another fast-paced heavy metal song, but successfully manages to switch between melodic guitar riffs into the rhythmical Pinball Map-esque beats. If the chorus would be just a tad better… it had potential though. Nevertheless an awesome song.

Not everything is as good as it would seem though. Another Day In Quicksand is by no means a bad track, yet it isn’t able to stun me as the other songs did. Nothing is really spectacular, yet it’s also not boring or filler. Bullet Ride is a good opener of the album, but it suffers from the same problem Whoracle’s and Colony’s opening tracks suffer. The chorus and couplet sound to much alike, making it chaotic and impossible to make good build-ups. The intro of Brush The Dust Away has Daniel Svensson at his best, creating a drum-roll beat that flows extremely well. The couplet and chorus never stand out though, losing interest in small time. As The Future Repeats Today is probably the only bad track on Clayman. Nothing stands out, and moving melodies are barely present on it. It’s also more keyboard based than every other song on the album. This song pretty much shows of what STYE would later become.

Although many people see this album as a beginner of RTR and STYE, I see it as a follower of Colony. It’s basically the same, but it is seen from different aspects. While The Jester Race and Whoracle had a acoustic sound on it, Come Clarity was somehow more Metalcore based and STYE and RTR were keyboard based, low-tuned rhythmical songs (that’s why people love to compare them to nu-metal bands), this album was along with Colony the melodic successor. Although there are some songs that sound alike, this album is diverse enough to keep interest for a very long time. Melodies are presented on a beautiful way, and low riffing is done like every metal band should do it .(don’t take that too seriously, why would we else need so many bands)

Best top 5:

1. Suburban Me
2. Only For The Weak
3. Swim
4. Pinball Map
5. Clayman

Songs that I don’t care for:

- As The Future Repeats Today

Pro’s:

- Extremely good usage of melodies and heavy riffing
- Anders voice is probably at his best here
- Songs are diverse enough to keep the album interesting for very long

Con’s:

- It’s very obvious that In Flames ripped off themselves by remaking Jester Script Transfigured into Satellites And Astronauts, but making it more suited to this album.
- Daniel Svensson has some serious talent, yet he barely shows it.



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user ratings (1601)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Drunken Viking
October 19th 2006



1023 Comments


Good review, but you need to stop talking about genres, it is clear you don't really know them that well.

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 19th 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I like, I like.

Cravinov13
October 19th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. I love the song Only For The Weak.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 19th 2006



4950 Comments


@ Drunken Viking... I really don't see that much talk about genres at all; I don't know what review you're reading.

I think the review is solid enough, although the rating is too high for the negatives you mention. The only thing that bothers me is that you give too much band history; that stuff belongs in the band description, not your review.

Shattered_Future
October 19th 2006



1540 Comments


Decent review for a decent album. There's some interesting stuff on here, but I'd much rather prefer Dark Tranquillity over these guys.

wikuk
October 20th 2006



1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, but you need to stop talking about genres, it is clear you don't really know them that well.
What do you mean?

Drunken Viking
October 20th 2006



1023 Comments


You called CC metalcore based, and a few other various things like that, nothing really that big.

But overall wonderfull review, don't think to much of my previous comment.

wikuk
October 20th 2006



1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

CC is compared to other releases more metalcore-based. You can't deny that, but that doesn't matter that CC is awesome. In flames put the metalcore traits in a good way.

wikuk
October 20th 2006



1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh f*ck. Da*mit, I copied it from my Whoracle review, forgetting the line-up change :S

wexenhex
November 13th 2008



192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wasnt Lunar Strain their first album? O.o

fireaboveicebelow
November 13th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yep

ninjuice
November 13th 2008



6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mikael Stanne did vocals on that one though, so I guess you could say Jester Race is "official" because it has Anders.

DethThrasher
November 14th 2008



463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As if, Lunar Strain was the first and it roooles

rasputin
November 14th 2008



14538 Comments


Yeah just because they had a different vocalist doesn't make a difference



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