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A journey In Flames

Since last Monday, I set myself a personal goal- to listen to every album by In Flames. I had neglected the band for far too long, and considering the undeniable impact they had/have on melodic death metal, I felt it was due time to give the metal giants a chance. So, without further ado, I present to you my musical journey (will be updated over time).
1In flames
Lunar Strain

I feel like this is something close to what In Flames would soon become rather than a fully fleshed out In Flames. I still think that is seriously underrated as the black metal-esque vocals pair extremely well with the near-folk bm/melodic bm nature of this album. The riffs are stellar and the compositions a perfect mix of beautiful and ripping. The only flaw I think I could find off this album is that the production was a bit murky for this brand of music, but that is forgivable considering this is their first record.4/5.
2In flames

I think I made a mistake listening to the bonus version of this, because if there is one thing I have learned about In Flames, it's that I don't think they pull off covers very well. That aside however, this sounds to me like a better produced Lunar Strain if it was stripped of the folk influences and went full-blown melodic death metal. Oddly enough I think I found myself enjoying this as much as Lunar Strain regardless. 4/5.
3In Flames
The Jester Race

I don't know what to say about this album that probably hasn't been said before. It's a bloody fun adventure, full of bouncy, melodic guitar riffs, fiery mid-range snarls and vibrant drumming. I will probably say this same statement about a lot of In Flames, but this is just sheer amounts of fun. 4.4/5.
4In Flames

I suppose I can say a lot of the same here, the only difference being that I hear a potential rock and roll influence here that was seemingly not as present of prior albums. Overall a damn fine jam. 4.2/5.
5In Flames

In Flames starts to alter their sound somewhat, becoming even more accessible and melodic than they had before, churning out some of their most killer, catchy tracks (i.e Ordinary Story). 4.4/5.
6In Flames

This is perhaps my favorite album thus far. The melodic sensibilities are maxed out here, making for an album that is easy to become extremely immersed in. Also "Only for the Weak" might be in my top 10 favorite melodeath tracks ever. 4.6/5
7In Flames
Reroute to Remain

I do see why people often see this as the "beginning of the end" for In Flames, however, I still immensely enjoyed it. The new-found nu-metal type of vox are slightly awkward in conjunction with the immense melodic riffs going down, but they aren't enough to make this a bad album by any means. In fact I would say the harsh vox more than make up for this as they are as visceral as they have ever been. Far from the best i've heard by them but a bad record? Hardly. 3.7/5.
8In Flames
Soundtrack to Your Escape

This album was...weird. It felt rather disjointed, at times sounding like a wannabe melodeath influenced Korn, which is certainly rather off putting. However there were tracks that certainly still felt vibrant and eschewed much of the nu- metal influence, and even the more nu- metal tracks had some really cool electronics adding a bit of spice to the album. Definitely a step down but still solid. 3.2/5.
9In Flames
Come Clarity

Holy fuck, this is the perfect way for the band to work their more "radio friendly" melodeath brand. The hooks are perfect, inbrued with immense beauty and passion, which is only made better by some thunderous drumming and absolutely rampant guitar work. I seriously think I like this as much as some of their "classics". 4.3/5.
10In Flames
A Sense of Purpose

I have mixed feelings about this record. I feel like if you can seperate this from the band associated, it's a really strong piece of melodic-metalcore that has some vibrant guitar riffs and strong hooks, and the semi-weak cleans and the mediocre 8 and a half minute ballad become more forgivable. Detrimental still? Of course, and for that reason this album isn't -quite- up to par. 3.3/5.
edit-3.5. Guitar work is still rockin'.
11In Flames
Sounds of a Playground Fading

This album was an interesting mix. There were tracks that were actually quite solid (potentially the best "nu-flames" aside from Come Clarity), and then there were tracks that were just...bad. Anders sounds like he is finally growing into his new pop-metal/melodic metalcore harsh (sort of?) vox and they sound less forced then off of, say Soundtrack to Your Escape. The guitar work was still fun, even if it's In Flames-lite, and overall I mostly enjoyed this record. Of course, I say mostly because of two fairly bad tracks- Jester's Door and Liberation. Jester's Door is a cool, dark electronic with the most unintentionally hilarious spoken word, and Liberation is a bad Johnathan Davis-esque ballad. Mostly good overall with a few stinkers, so 3.2/5.
12In Flames
Siren Charms

This has nothing beyond surface level enjoyment. There's some great guitar leads and the album is -mildly- fun once I really tune out, but that is also the problem. I have to really turn off to get the moderate enjoyment one have from this. Also, Anders vocals are indeed quite bad. 2.6/5
Note- the first song is still pretty good.
13In Flames

Same thing basically except less fun guitar leads and no badass opening track. 2/5
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