Review: In Flames

In Flames
“‘The Tokyo Showdown’ (Live In Japan 2000)”
(Nuclear Blast)

Live In Flames.  Recorded pristinely.  A lot of bands could hope to sound this good in the studio.  Opening with ‘Bullet Ride’ from their last album ‘Clayman’, the righteousness of traditional metal, soaring duel solos and all, comes triumphantly through In Flames.  Actually, about a third of the material is off their latest (6th!) full length ‘Clayman’ including the title track, ‘Invincible……  So if you are a newer recruit to the In Flames camp, you will recognize a lot of this material.  A few choice tracks from ‘Colony’ and about as many from ‘Whoracle’ with a track from ‘Lunar Strain & Subterranean’ pretty much rounding out this disk.  ‘Scorn’ shows their sense of humor and homage to influences when mid song, they break out into the recognizable riff from Slayer’s ‘Season In The Abyss’.

So this a good sampling of the complete works of this band.  Making this an excellent first disk to turn someone onto In Flames.  Especially if they like the more traditional European flavorings in their metal, as the band is leading the pack for this genre and show great adaptations of contemporary metal and rock into this formula which keeps it fresh and noticeable.  So very melodic at times to the point they start to transcend their definitions of what ‘metal’ would normally mean when applied to a band like In Flames.  You 80’s traditional metal purists all know about In Flames so I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but if you missed the boat on these guys, adjust the mistake.  Big, grand, dramatic metal not afraid to work out on them solos.  Skipping beats, and single note guitar strides create the mass of this rocking metal, but range from song to song, and within most songs, showcases the creative drive of In Flames.  Undeniable.