Best In Flames Albums

Alongside fellow Swedes At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity, Gothenburg giants In Flames have served as ambassadors of the melodic death metal style since their inception in 1990. Over the course of ten full length albums, the quintet have consistently defined and re-defined what their genre is able to achieve, combining rich folk melodies with harmonized dual guitars and the scream/sing approach of frontman Anders Friden. This Top 5 list recommends the Swedish masters' most memorable moments.

If Reroute to Remain served as the transition album between "old In Flames" and "new In Flames," 1996’s The Jester Race was the polished diamond unearthed from the sharpened rocks of the band’s ’93 debut Lunar Strain and the Subterranean EP of 1994.

Practically erupting from the speakers with the triple shot of “Moonchild,” “Artifacts of the Black Rain” and “Graveland”—not to mention to soothing segue piece of “The Jester’s Dance” or late album gems “Wayfaerer” or “December Flower,” both of which set clearly on display the band’s Iron Maiden and Running Wild roots—The Jester Race remains an amazing, time capsule example of class melodic death metal performed with incomparable skill, as well as In Flames’ unparalleled career apex.

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Whoracle (1997)

In Flames - Whoracle
In Flames - Whoracle.

1997’s Whoracle was the one which blew things wide open for In Flames; the album of which nearly every metalhead with ears was forced to stand and take notice. Once again featuring a stellar Fredrik Nordstrom production, it contains some of In Flames’ best loved songs—“Jotun,” “The Hive,” “Gyroscope” and “Episode 666” to name but a few.

Whoracle continued the formula laid down upon The Jester Race while incorporating a much more aggressive, and yes "modern" instrumental turn. Nevertheless, the album remains a best-loved favorite among many of the In Flames faithful…and with good reason. Whoracle is simply stellar.

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Colony (1999)

In Flames - Colony
In Flames - Colony.

While not quite the folk-influenced In Flames of old, nor the mid-period perfection of Whoracle and The Jester Race, 1999’s Colony nevertheless stands tall as an exquisite portrait of transitional ‘Flames greatness. Once again the Studio Fredman production shines and scintillates, lending their polished, yet aggressive sheen to such certified In Flames classics as “Zombie Inc.,” “Scorn,” “Ordinary Story” and the massive “Embody the Invisible,” while bringing to bright, white light the true golden age where the band could almost do no wrong.

Colony is a clear and loud signal from a band who knew exactly what they were doing, not to mention a timeless piece of metal which holds strong to this very day.

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Come Clarity (2006)

In Flames - Come Clarity
In Flames - Come Clarity.

Whereas Reroute to Remain divided many In Flames fans at the time—with the band’s new, updated sound doing much to stand their old school fans ablaze—2006’s Come Clarity received almost universal critical and commercial praise from the In Flames faithful for its effortless combination of new and old.

The album was warm and crackling with In Flames energy of old, yet contained all of the modernized elements utilized by the band on Reroute, as well as its 2004 follow-up, Soundtrack to Your Escape. The result: an excellent collection of songs—“Take This Life,” “Dead End,” “Crawl Through Knives” and the anthemic title track—which lent further credence to the band’s impeccable metal rep.

Although much maligned upon its original release back in 2002, Reroute to Remain has received a fair share of critical praise, as well, primarily due to the album’s melodic song structures, massive choruses and strong transitional spirit, sounding a rallying call which ushered In Flames towards a new, modern melo-death sound.

Despite containing a number of legitimate, nu-metal clunkers, Reroute to Remain shines with breakout gems “Trigger,” “Freefall,””Drifter” and the title track. The album is also notable for offering up one of In Flames’ most maddeningly catchy tunes, the impeccably infectious “Cloud Connected.”