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AreYouGammaRay
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:48 am
Posts: 53
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:28 pm 
 

I think we all know the vast majority of metal fans that used to like In Flames only dig the first 5 albums and think the rest of their albums are garbage. My question...why is an album like Clayman put into the discussion of classic In Flames from metal heads? Songs like Only For The Week, Pinball Map, and Bullet Ride sound like they can be on RTR and even Come Clarity. Hell, even with Colony they clearly took a safer approach musically and yet it's praised as one of their best.

Just never understood why those albums get lumped together with The Jester Race and Whoracle.

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4998
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:30 pm 
 

I never liked them. Anders has always been a terrible vocalist and the guitarists terribly unexciting.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12163
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:38 pm 
 

I'm pretty close to necro here. I gave them a shot and thought it was pretty mediocre. I was always more fond of dirty nasty mean sounding death metal. Melodic based happy 'death metal' is not interesting.
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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:46 pm 
 

In Flames are good mindless fun for me, but I've never been able to sit through a whole album without getting bored at some stage. There are always a couple of good songs, some mediocre and one or two bad ones. I don't find Lunar Strain at all classic though. If only they could have made a whole album like Subterranean.

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Folkemon_
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:43 pm
Posts: 2144
Location: England
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:54 pm 
 

Clayman is pretty commercial but it still sounded like In Flames , i dont hear any american influence unlike RTR
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ChildClownOutlet
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 285
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:57 pm 
 

I liked RTR........
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Mayhem62
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:22 pm
Posts: 397
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:15 pm 
 

ChildClownOutlet wrote:
I liked RTR........


Actually I do to. RTR is where I started with In Flames. I admit the previous releases are a whole lot better and what followed was disappointing, but I still enjoy Reroute to Remain.

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LifeDemise
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:54 pm
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:41 pm 
 

Folkemon_ wrote:
Clayman is pretty commercial but it still sounded like In Flames


Pretty much this.

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absurder21
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:51 pm
Posts: 673
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:46 pm 
 

AreYouGammaRay wrote:
I think we all know the vast majority of metal fans that used to like In Flames only dig the first 5 albums and think the rest of their albums are garbage. My question...why is an album like Clayman put into the discussion of classic In Flames from metal heads? Songs like Only For The Week, Pinball Map, and Bullet Ride sound like they can be on RTR and even Come Clarity. Hell, even with Colony they clearly took a safer approach musically and yet it's praised as one of their best.

Just never understood why those albums get lumped together with The Jester Race and Whoracle.

But then you have songs like Suburban Me, As the Future Repeats today, Swim, Clayman and Brush the Death away which have some great NWOBHM riffing. I admit the tracks you mention(other then Bullet ride) are pretty weak which is why I'm half and half on this album, but RTR is just 100% boring. It's hardly a Death Metal album but then again most Melo Death lacks in the Death part so it's not really something different for the genre.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5018
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:23 pm 
 

Clayman is an exceptional album. It was a transition in many ways, between the 90s metal underground and the internet-driven 00s, it mixed extreme metal and incoherent growls with audible vocals, and it mixed simpler groovy riffs with more extreme metal and it highlighted melodies in the guitars as In Flames have always while having a pretty non-melodic vocals. The songwriting is exceptional, and there's not a bad song on the album.

The riffing has a flair of classic/80s/NWOBHM metal or whatever you want to call it, which In Flames had always had (see: Wayfaerer), highlighting harmonized melodies like Iron Maiden while having a lot of groove, but not formulaic abuse like the Massachusetts metalcore scene would do a few years later. It's an excellent blend of earlier days and what was to come - it came from a band that had already established themselves and came from a highly regarded scene where nearly everyone was in a world-class band.

The overall sound of the album was monumental too. It wasn't the overly thick and chunky nu-metal sound, it wasn't brutally rough like death metal, but it showed the maturation of Fredrik Nordstrom as a producer, who had previously captured the unique sound of GBG bands, but hadn't built it into an iconic sound since 1995's "Slaughter Of The Soul". The Clayman sound was heavily imitated, in technique and product, particularly by American metalcore bands and modern melodic metal bands from Europe, which made up the majority of commercially successful metal from the first half of the decade.

Clayman was the last album that prominently displayed In Flames' death metal roots while blending them with the modern style that made them and their imitators commercially successful. The imitation of the songwriting, style, and sound generally sees a lot of animosity from die-hard underground metal fans, who are heavily represented on this site. It was an icon, the bridge between old In Flames and the new In Flames that would see massive international success, among the most of any bands of that era that had screamed vocals.

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americanholocaust
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:38 pm
Posts: 1983
Location: FUCK YEA!!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:49 pm 
 

Mayhem62 wrote:
ChildClownOutlet wrote:
I liked RTR........


Actually I do to. RTR is where I started with In Flames. I admit the previous releases are a whole lot better and what followed was disappointing, but I still enjoy Reroute to Remain.


Yeah, for some reason RTR is a weakness of mine. Judging it by the style and sound, it's not something I should like when comparing my other musical interests, but somehow it gets a pardon. I never really understood why.. It's just a catchy memorable record I guess.
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Goatfangs
Wicker Mantis

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:02 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:16 pm 
 

Clayman is one of their catchiest and definitely a fun album to listen to. Reroute To Remain isn't complete garbage either, that's the album that introduced me to In Flames (and I seem to be not alone in this regard, though the first In Flames song I heard was Touch of Red...). There are traces of the old In Flames sound on Reroute To Remain... for example Minus contains a Colony-esque solo and Dark Signs could easily have been a Clayman song. Soundtrack To Your Escape was the least In Flames album from In Flames.

Come Clarity and later albums have traces of their old sound... but whenever they reference their old sound it's almost always something reminiscent of Clayman. A Sense of Purpose does this quite a bit - look at songs I'm the Highway, Move Through Me, Sober and Irrelevant, Eraser, Tilt, Disconnected and March to the Shore. Sounds of a Playground Fading also, definitely with A New Dawn (which is their best song since Clayman) and on a lesser extent the title track and Darker Times.
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Turner
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:39 pm 
 

they lost that 'something' after colony - it was gone on clayman, even though one or two songs were ok.
plus anders' clean voice is horrible. he should only have ever sung like he did on jester race and whoracle.
and when i saw them in 2007 or so he introduced graveland as "from back when we were a shit band" and when people booed, he got really indignant and went "what?! we WERE shit! fuck!"

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Goatfangs
Wicker Mantis

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:02 pm
Posts: 2217
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:09 am 
 

Turner wrote:
they lost that 'something' after colony - it was gone on clayman, even though one or two songs were ok.
plus anders' clean voice is horrible. he should only have ever sung like he did on jester race and whoracle.
and when i saw them in 2007 or so he introduced graveland as "from back when we were a shit band" and when people booed, he got really indignant and went "what?! we WERE shit! fuck!"


I think he got better on the recent two albums, he's no Bruce Dickinson though. As for introducing Graveland like that, I hope he was joking.
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lupin99
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 94
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:47 am 
 

I honestly could never get into band, even with there early stuff I just never could dig it. Ive seen them a few times live back in 05 and 06 and he sounded terrible live.

Also this thread reminded me of this pic:

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9882
Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:51 am 
 

Clayman is the last hump I give In Flames before they lose every bit of quality. It's still a pretty bad album overall, with that zany, wild-child attitude that the previous albums never had and never needed. The band moved away from the vintage, antique tones and themes and moved into "yowwww" territory. It only further degraded the compositions.

Svensson, however, I still hold as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Sacrilege is one of my favorite Gothenburg bands, and he's a monster when it comes to vocals and drumming. In Flames, the way they've been for over ten years, doesn't need it. I mean they could absolutely use it, but it'd be out of place unless the whole songwriting style was changed.
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Odovacar
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:31 am
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:26 am 
 

lupin99 wrote:
I honestly could never get into band, even with there early stuff I just never could dig it. Ive seen them a few times live back in 05 and 06 and he sounded terrible live.

Also this thread reminded me of this pic:

Image



Best boy band I've ever listened to! :P

I have a soft spot for Clayman since it was around in the early days of my musical growth and there are quite a few standout tracks like Suburban Me and Swim. Jester Race and Whoracle are the favorites of mine, and I enjoy some tracks on RTR and STYE.

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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:24 am 
 

americanholocaust wrote:
Mayhem62 wrote:
Actually I do to. RTR is where I started with In Flames. I admit the previous releases are a whole lot better and what followed was disappointing, but I still enjoy Reroute to Remain.


Yeah, for some reason RTR is a weakness of mine. Judging it by the style and sound, it's not something I should like when comparing my other musical interests, but somehow it gets a pardon. I never really understood why.. It's just a catchy memorable record I guess.


Me too. It's not a good album but I'd take it over Clayman. I'd rather an album which takes the plunge into the style they were heading towards for many years than an album showing the reluctant last gasps of what they were moving away from. I always saw Clayman as just a dilution of their old melodeath style, and R2R as a (pretty crappy) rebirth of what they always wanted to be.

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Death_Welder
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:53 am
Posts: 188
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:04 am 
 

Jester Race :headbang: I'll admit I like Take This Life, though :-D

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BasqueStorm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 2038
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:59 am 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Clayman was the last album...

+1.

Turner wrote:
and when i saw them in 2007 or so he introduced graveland as "from back when we were a shit band" and when people booed, he got really indignant and went "what?! we WERE shit! fuck!"

That's just stupid.

Expedience wrote:
rebirth of what they always wanted to be.

No fucking way. You have old and new In Flames. That's all.

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Expedience
Veteran

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:57 am 
 

BasqueStorm wrote:
Expedience wrote:
rebirth of what they always wanted to be.

No fucking way. You have old and new In Flames. That's all.


A new In Flames which now writes songs about their newfound "Clarity" and "Sense of Purpose" and about a "Playground Fading". You don't think maybe they're trying to tell us something there?

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10261
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:00 am 
 

ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
I'm pretty close to necro here. I gave them a shot and thought it was pretty mediocre. I was always more fond of dirty nasty mean sounding death metal. Melodic based happy 'death metal' is not interesting.


They were always just barely and ever-so-slightly-death metal, and mostly on Lunar Strain and bits of The Jester Race at that. I don't think there's technically anything wrong with Iron Maiden/Helloween-ish metal with harsh vocals, and even when I listened to them a hell of a lot more in the 90s I pretty much thought that was what they sounded like. I was already slightly familiar with some real death metal then and I knew instinctually that that was a different beast entirely. Anyway, as to the OP's question, I'm not quite sure what this general concensus might be about In Flames' albums....there are people who dropped off with WHoracle, you know, and even those who thought that The Jester Race was the band "jumping the shark". I don't know if you were around at the time, but I promise you that this is the case. Of course COlony marked a pretty big change in their approach....simplifying the riff-craft generally and adopting a "fat" and chunky guitar tone. A friend of mine, who was a big fan of melodic death metal at the time, said that Colony sounded like "dirt rock" (I think he meant stuff like Korn!) and that he had no interest in it at all.

On the other hand I always respected Dark Tranquillity a lot more, even though their current output seems very boring and shitty to me. The Gallery is not real death metal either but it's pretty much a stellar album full of wonderful melodies and flying guitars. In Flames just never could accomplish anything like this.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:55 am 
 

I absolutely agree! I'm big fan of Dark Tranquility's early work. It goes to show that melody can be interesting if applied correctly.
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Evoken
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 11:02 am
Posts: 562
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:33 pm 
 

I consider Clayman to be the last "good" In Flames album. Yes, Clayman kind of went a bit further with the more commercial songwriting the band started using slightly on Colony, but at no point did it have any nu-metal influences like Reroute to Remain.

Another thing that helps Clayman sound similar to the band's early material is the production job. It sounds basically the same as Colony, where once Reroute to Remain came out the band went with a more muddy production sound and the drums having a more flat "nu-metal"ish tone. In fact, that awful muddy production was one of the most unappealing aspects of In Flames' later albums for me.

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TheFourHorsemen666
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:44 pm
Posts: 581
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:41 pm 
 

The Jester Race is a great album for the most part, I'll give them that, but since then it's been a downward slope with Whoracle just being merely good and Colony (to me) is where they got shitty and boring.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5018
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:50 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
I'm pretty close to necro here. I gave them a shot and thought it was pretty mediocre. I was always more fond of dirty nasty mean sounding death metal. Melodic based happy 'death metal' is not interesting.


They were always just barely and ever-so-slightly-death metal, and mostly on Lunar Strain and bits of The Jester Race at that. I don't think there's technically anything wrong with Iron Maiden/Helloween-ish metal with harsh vocals, and even when I listened to them a hell of a lot more in the 90s I pretty much thought that was what they sounded like. I was already slightly familiar with some real death metal then and I knew instinctually that that was a different beast entirely. Anyway, as to the OP's question, I'm not quite sure what this general concensus might be about In Flames' albums....there are people who dropped off with WHoracle, you know, and even those who thought that The Jester Race was the band "jumping the shark". I don't know if you were around at the time, but I promise you that this is the case. Of course COlony marked a pretty big change in their approach....simplifying the riff-craft generally and adopting a "fat" and chunky guitar tone. A friend of mine, who was a big fan of melodic death metal at the time, said that Colony sounded like "dirt rock" (I think he meant stuff like Korn!) and that he had no interest in it at all.

On the other hand I always respected Dark Tranquillity a lot more, even though their current output seems very boring and shitty to me. The Gallery is not real death metal either but it's pretty much a stellar album full of wonderful melodies and flying guitars. In Flames just never could accomplish anything like this.


I think it speaks for the quality of the albums that it's common to hear people suggest turning points at any of the first five albums, and it's tough to find a consensus.

In Flames has always been quite palatable because they're barely death metal - the Gothenburg scene was an interesting mix because the earlier output was much less unique - in the shadow of the Stockholm scene - but their later output was ahead of, or at the very least at the front of it. By the time the GBG scene was maturing, a lot of the '"death" in "death metal" was worn out and stale - gore, rough production, and amateurs trying to push boundaries with unrefined speed and brutality (or, "too many sick riffs!"). Thrashy American death metal was becoming a lot more technical, some groovy bands tried death n roll, a refined mix of black/death metal was entering its prime, and many bands were getting more polished production because of the commercial success of extreme metal labels.

GBG bands were making death metal without much "death" - the vocals were still growls, though much more coherent than most (Friden/Lindberg/Stanne could often be understood). The guitars were downtuned and complex (not stripped down a-la Pantera), and there was a thick, heavily distorted guitar sound, but it was really refined, especially by Fredman. The last GBG scene album with a dirty, deathy sound was probably released in 1993 (ATG or Eucharist). When the fear factor of death metal died down a bit, melodic death metal was quite palatable and marketable. It was downtuned melodic heavy metal, with Iron Maiden melodies but not the abrasive, pummeling brutality of Dismember. There were growled vocals, heavier than Phil Anselmo's anthemic shouts, but not ear-ripping like Martin van Drunen. It's unsurprising that the same guys were also involved in starting up Hammerfall.

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zahgurim
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:35 am
Posts: 143
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:32 pm 
 

Expedience wrote:
If only they could have made a whole album like Subterranean.


This. That EP is the best they ever did in my opinion and it's largely due to Daniel Erlandsson and Henke Forss doing session drums and vocals, respectively. I remember buying 'Subterranean' when it came out and was really into it. Then they put out their second full length and I stopped caring about them altogether.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:35 pm 
 

In Flames is astounding in that they manage to make Maidenesque melodic guitar work so boring and lame. Even on the old shit.
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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:47 pm 
 

Pretty much. It always seemed like a winning formula to me until In Flames shat all over it.
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Metallic Shock
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:25 pm 
 

Wow, who knew In Flames were so generally disliked here? I guess if you're one of those "anything happy/melodic sounding isn't good" people it makes sense, but when you have people into power metal dissing it that's what I find surprising. Regardless, I like the classic era but "Clayman" is sometimes a tough sell for me. Not so much because of the more poppy vibe but because it's a tad less interesting to me than the previous ones. Songwriting wise it's a bit on the generic side, but it still works nicely enough.

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Aeonblade
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:11 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:33 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
In Flames is astounding in that they manage to make Maidenesque melodic guitar work so boring and lame. Even on the old shit.


You just summed up the whole Gothenburg scene.

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LifeDemise
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:54 pm
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:37 pm 
 

Can you guys actually stick to the topic? This isn't a "What do you think of In Flames" thread.

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:55 pm 
 

But it is, the OP assumed everyone thought the first 5 albums were good while the rest are crap, when in fact a lot of people think they're all crap.
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LifeDemise
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:54 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:10 pm 
 

Not everyone...people who like or liked In Flames and it's on Clayman and Colony. It is pretty obvious a lot of people don't like In Flames :roll:. But yeah, moving on.....

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5018
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:19 pm 
 

Metallic Shock wrote:
Wow, who knew In Flames were so generally disliked here? I guess if you're one of those "anything happy/melodic sounding isn't good" people it makes sense, but when you have people into power metal dissing it that's what I find surprising. Regardless, I like the classic era but "Clayman" is sometimes a tough sell for me. Not so much because of the more poppy vibe but because it's a tad less interesting to me than the previous ones. Songwriting wise it's a bit on the generic side, but it still works nicely enough.


There's a lot of dislike for In Flames, though most people like something by them, few people like all of it. I really enjoy the first five LPs and two EPs, enjoy portions of RTR and ASOP, don't like much of anything about STYE and CC, and haven't even bothered to listen to the last one. I know a few people who seem to have the exact opposite taste for In Flames as me, and fans of their music of the last decade tend to be a lot more interested in other modern metal similar to what IF have done.

I think there are a lot of In Flames fans who love some of it and like/accept the rest, but their tastes are more apparent based on other bands they like and which era of IF they like.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5018
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:21 pm 
 

LifeDemise wrote:
Not everyone...people who like or liked In Flames and it's on Clayman and Colony. It is pretty obvious a lot of people don't like In Flames :roll:. But yeah, moving on.....


Rather than saying "moving on", you could contribute something to the discussion. That tends to get better quality responses than off-topic one-liners.

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lupin99
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 94
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:27 pm 
 

I remember awhile ago, a friend of mine was a die hard fan of them and recommend me one their albums (this was the first time I heard them) He gave me "Soundtrack to your Escape" I turned it off by the third track.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5619
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:29 pm 
 

Die hard In Flames fans are not to be trusted in regards of the quality of the band's output.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:42 pm 
 

Metallic Shock wrote:
Wow, who knew In Flames were so generally disliked here? I guess if you're one of those "anything happy/melodic sounding isn't good" people it makes sense, but when you have people into power metal dissing it that's what I find surprising. Regardless, I like the classic era but "Clayman" is sometimes a tough sell for me. Not so much because of the more poppy vibe but because it's a tad less interesting to me than the previous ones. Songwriting wise it's a bit on the generic side, but it still works nicely enough.


I like my music sounding like the musicians give a shit what they're playing, and sound enthusiastic and passionate. In Flames sound like they're too timid to actually do anything exciting.
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BasqueStorm
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:50 pm 
 

Expedience wrote:
A new In Flames which now writes songs about their newfound "Clarity" and "Sense of Purpose" and about a "Playground Fading". You don't think maybe they're trying to tell us something there?

Are you serious? ALWAYS wanted to be?!?
No. They changed their style or sell out. You choose.

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