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Go get these tracks from the Lunar Strain Remaster - 99%

The_Wanderer, January 26th, 2006

The 1993 In Flames demo is absolutely flawless. It is easy to see why Wrong Again Records begged them for a CD after hearing this, resulting in Lunar Strain. The only reason it gets a 99 and not 100 is because of very small technicalities in songs that are better on the Lunar Strain versions. First, I'm going to start off with the difference between this and Lunar Strain. Firstly, Anders Iwers of Tiamat does some of the guitar harmonies, being replaced by Carl Naslund on Lunar Strain. The songs are all slightly longer, the title track containing a beautiful acoustic intro that was cut, Upon an Oaken Throne has its own odd spooky intro, and Clad in Shadows has an acoustic intro nearly long enough to be its own track. The song In Flames is a beautiful, dark, brooding melodeath masterpiece, and I would go as far to say it is the definition of Gothenburg perfection. The acoustic intro in this version adds to it, but the oddball sampling at the end of what sounds like little kids detracts from the dark mood. In between, the only differences are keyboard in the bridge as opposed to female operatic vocals, and a lack of the scream that opens up the song. I found myself missing these on the demo, but missing the acoustic on the final. Upon an Oaken Throne is a short burst of balanced melody and aggression with some great speedy leads by Iwers nearly identical to the final version, but enhanced by the intro. The acoustic intro to Clad in Shadows is a beautiful little piece leading into another dark In Flames classic. Raw but melodic riffage here with some more great leads by Iwers, and some sort of keyboard or odd guitar overdubbed for just a couple notes (cut from Lunar Strain). Another minor technicality is that the end to Clad in Shadows is not quite as epic as on the Lunar Strain version with the lack of echo, but it's still a great ending to a great demo that leads you very hungry for more. You won't find this anywhere, so get it on the Lunar Strain Remaster.