Where would heavy metal be right now without Sweden?  Some of the most influential bands of the past 30 years have come from the Scandinavian region, and somewhere towards the top of that list we have In Flames. In the early to mid-90s, this group helped to formulate a new style of extreme metal known as melodic death metal.  Although bands such as Carcass had already been experimenting with the sound, In Flames established their own unique brand of melodeath, incorporating a mix of dual lead guitar riffs, harsh vocals, and acoustic breaks.

The band has released a total of 10 albums, with ones such as “The Jester Race” (1996), “Whoracle” (1997), and “Colony” (1999) having served as a major influence to many American heavy metal and hardcore bands in the early 2000s. With later albums such as “Reroute to Remain” (2002) and “Soundtrack to Your Escape: (2004) In Flames began experimenting with a more alternative metal sound.  Although they’ve gone in a considerably more mainstream direction with their newer sound, the 2006 release “Come Clarity” was somewhat of a perfect blend between their melodeath and alternative styles, and in my personal opinion their strongest album since “Colony”.

If you haven’t listened to In Flames here are The Circle Pit’s recommendations.

Fans of metalcore and alternative metal should check out “Come Clarity”.

Fans of thrash or death metal should first check out “The Jester Race”, then “Whoracle”, “Colony”, and “Clayman”.

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