Metal Archives. An interesting thing is that, for a band of this size, they have incredibly low average scores on the album-reviews there. I assume this has to do with the fact that so many fans have felt betrayed in one way or another during the years.
Apparently founding member Jesper Strömblad formed the band in 1990 with an intention to combine "the melodic guitar style of Iron Maiden with the brutality of death metal". Well, either his intentions were a complete failure or they have changed their music style a lot over the years. Because the few songs that I've heard (yes, that was a lame joke at the beginning of this text. Get over it) have not had anything to do with neither Iron Maiden nor death metal. Well well, let's see who's right shall we?
The first sign of life from the band (apart from a demo in -93) was the self-produced "Lunar Strain". I have my doubts already - production-wise - and the fact that the album cover is one ugly thing. I choose to digest the title track because it's the title track. That's how crafty I am.
On to their second album then - the incredibly praised "The Jester Race" from 1996. Apparently, this is sort of the iconic album of the entire Gothenburg-melodic-death-metal scene. I realize I have to choose a good track here and my choice fell on something called "Artifacts of the Black Rain" - because I have heard OF this song before, yet never actually listened to it.
I have always loved the album title "Whoracle" - why I don't really know because it sounds rather 1997 to me now. Oh, that's right - the album is from 1997. And so is the song "Gyroscope".
Up next is "Colony" - last of the albums made in the 90's. This time I went with the first track since bands tends to place their best songs there. Hopefully, "Embody the Invisible" will be better than "Gyroscope".
New millennium. New album. "Clayman" it's called. "Pinball Map" is the name of the song. And yes, I chose it solely based on the stupid title.
I'm assuming that 2002 and the album "Reroute To Remain" was something of In Flames' big breakthrough. I'm assuming here, because I've actually heard the song "Cloud Connected" before and I get why they made a video to this song and why it became so popular.
Once again, I chose a song on random from an album - this time it turned out to be "Like You Better Dead" from "Soundtrack To Your Escape". Deal with it.
For 2006's "Come Clarity" I just chose the song that sounded most metal - "Crawl Through Knives". And again, it turns out the band has done a video for this one. I'm fucking Nostradamus reincarnated!
Now we write 2008 in the calendar and would you believe it? Another album from In Flames! As I said, I'm beginning to grow tired of the same formula all the time and I sincerely hope that "A Sense Of Purpose" will bring something new to the table. I just chose the first song "The Mirror's Truth", and it made me Nostradamus all over again.
Finally, I've arrived at the latest In Flames-album "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" (that's one of the most stupid album titles I've ever heard). I just went with the first song to get it over with.
In conclusion, I always thought that my biggest problem with In Flames would be the annoying vocals - which in reality weren't as annoying as I thought. Either that or the much to melodic and gradually softer approach to the music. But no way. Turns out it was the fact that EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SONG SOUNDS THE SAME! I'm impressed that this band still can draw such big audiences to their shows and sell so many albums when they have done the same thing since 1997 - more or less.
Yeah, I know I might be wrong and I'm sure there's an acoustic semi-interlude and some slower songs here and there on each album. Still, their singles, videos and "popular" songs are all written in the exact same way - you can't deny that. Or rather, you can deny it, but I'm not agreeing with you.