Welcome to a trip inside the mind of every single In Flames fan who found them at or before Soundtrack to Your Escape (I’d be willing to let the line be drawn with Come Clarity). I am included as I found IF love at Clayman. The stubborn Jesterheads in this world were introduced to a brilliantly heavy and melodic sound of what defines Gothenburg melodic death metal. There’s nothing out there that rivals it. Like any good drug, after the first hit, it’s just chasing the dragon that doesn’t exist. We long for the days of the brutal rhythms overlaid with sweet melodic tones – all of which is accompanied by an angry dreadlock wearing Anders Friden. I’m getting nostalgic thinking about it. Those were the days.
When it comes to In Flames, I find myself being 100% guilt of what bothers me about MetallicA fans. MetallicA is THE reason I’m even writing this. My MetallicA story started with Load. My introduction was the music video for “Until It Sleeps” on what was a once cool channel called MTV. I was but a wee lad, and this song had a chugging heaviness accompanied by a dark and strange music video – the perfect recipe for a young teen looking for the answer. If you know MetallicA, Load is arguably their “softest” album (maybe Reload, and LuLu was not a MetallicA album). However, this was my introduction, and it was heavy, and I loved it. This also harkens back to the days of record stores, but that’s an entirely different story. I bring this up because I hear all to often that MetallicA “soldout” at or after the Black Album. In my perspective, that’s completely not true. Load is heavy in its own right. Yes, it’s different than MoP or AJFA, but it’s still heavy, and they did not sellout.
As I age into decrepitness, I have realized I have become “that guy” – not to MetallicA, but to In Flames. My introduction to In Flames came during the Clayman era. That’s what I fell in love with, and that’s what I want forever. Just like “old-school” MetallicA fans fell in love with Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, etc. during those eras – that’s what they want forever. So now, while I disagree, I understand the MetallicA “sellout” theory. In my infinite wisdom, I have realized this, accepted it, but I won’t put such a label on In Flames because I understand WHY people feel that way.
As I continue to further age towards death, I have come to realize that with every In Flames release, I will always hope for a return to the glory days. I’m sure a big factor of this never happening is the lack of Jesper to the ranks, but nonetheless, I still hope, and I’m still let down. I just need one more Colony! One more Whoracle! However, at the same time, there exists plenty of “me” kids out there in terms of In Flames. They discovered In Flames with Battles or Siren Charms, and that is their glory days and why/how they fell in love with In Flames. Old farts like me are prone to say those albums “soldout”, but those young whippersnapper fans will refute that sentiment – all because they fell in love at a different point in the In Flames career. I suppose this holds true for all bands as well. Oh well. I’m still hopeful the new album will magically sound like The Jester Whorolony Man.
~ Devin Walsh
Image source: http://www.inflames.com/