Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

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Band
In Flames
Title
Lunar Strain/Subterranean (Reissues)
Type
LP/EP
Company
Candlelight
YOR
2005
Style
Death
6/17/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
In Flames - Lunar Strain/Subterranean (Reissue) - 2005 - Candlelight Records

And so it begins. Quite possibly two of the most important releases in metal history are upon us again, finally reaching these US shores a decade later. Sweden's greatest export, In Flames, stacked along side Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates as one of the founders of the melodic death movement are reintroduced to fans stateside. Youth today can experience this sound through the likes of Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy, and Children Of Bodom, but take note that everything had a beginning. It all started here, within these walls, made famous world-wide through hard work, extensive touring, and absolutely phenomenal talent.

Throughout the 90s fans of the underground were singing the praises of In Flames. With the band finally making waves with their '97 release "The Jester Race", fans started hunting down the two lost treasures, those being the '94 debut of the group, "Lunar Strain" and the '95 EP "Subterranean". At import prices ranging between $25-$40, few fans including myself could afford these original gems. NOW, Candlelight Records has teamed up with Regain Records to bring these absolute masterpieces to the domestic market, dressed up, remastered, and given a new life via demos and unreleased tracks.

This is certainly something special, something both rewarding and pleasing to the band's fan base. Really this couldn't come at a better time, with the band at this point in their career a little confused about the direction of their sound. Confusing me and just about everyone else along the way, I lost track of the group after the rather disappointing 2002 record "Reroute To Remain". But alas, we now have these monumental recordings to please our senses, opening our ears to the band's prime so to speak, and possibly breathing new life into the band's existence by revisiting these golden years.

First up is "Lunar Strain", originally released by Wrong Again Music in Europe. In Flames debut featured one Mikael Stanne on lead vocals, who later moved on to Dark Tranquillity, a band that for some reason never quite got the same headspeed as In Flames. Nevertheless Stanne's vocal display is just awe inspiring here, injecting a healthy, cold blast to this rugged, yet often melodic opus. At this point in the band's career a lot of lineup changes were taking place, with this recording only featuring one In Flames alumni, that being Jesper Stromblad. Along with the full release, Candlelight has decided to throw in some rare demos as well including an unreleased acoustic piece. Along with the added quantity of songs comes a thick, more polished sound, one that still keeps that raw intensity that made the album so good to begin with.

Next is "Subterranean", again released originally in Europe through Wrong Again Music (often referred to as WAR). This short EP is probably my favorite recording from the group, with amazing melodic journeys like "Everdying" and "Biosphere". Strangers to the band's early recordings will find a bit of a surprise here, as Stanne left to make way for vocalist Henke Forss. Forss hasn't done anything else to my knowledge but you will find his ear rattling screams on this release, the last before Anders Friden finally took the helm. Of course this one gets remastered as well, and we get a few treasures thrown in as well. Unreleased demos featuring vocalist Jocke Gothberg are here, including "Dead Eternity" and "The Inborn Lifeless" (which later became "Dead God In Me") are here as well as a couple of rare covers, "Murders In The Rue Morgue" (Iron Maiden) and "Eye Of The Beholder" (Metallica).

Cheers to Candlelight and Regain for teaming up to bring us these solid and innovative albums. With so many bands playing this style I think it is important to explain the genre's history. In Flames helped solidify the things you are seeing on MTV and Ozzfest. Historically speaking this early work from the band is just so important. It helps to explain where it all started from, how we came to this bridge, and really what waits on the other side.


--EC 05.30.05
  • 1 :REVIEW COUNT
    N/A :AVE RATING

ALL REVIEWS FOR: IN FLAMES
TITLE
DOR
COMPANY
REVIEWER DATE MADE RATING
A Sense of Purpose
2008
Nuclear Blast
Frank Hill6/12/2008
3
Battles
2016
Nuclear Blast
Eric Compton1/19/2017
3
Come Clarity
2006
Ferret Records
Frank Hill3/8/2006
-
Lunar Strain/Subterranean (Reissues)
2005
Candlelight
Eric Compton6/17/2005
-
Reroute to Remain
2002
Nuclear Blast
Guest1/21/2003
-
Siren Charms
2014
Sony Music
Frank Hill10/20/2014
3
Sounds of a Playground Fading
2011
Century Media
Eric Compton8/5/2011
3.5
Soundtrack to Your Escape
2004
Nuclear Blast
Greg Watson4/30/2004
-
The Mirror's Truth
2008
Nuclear Blast
Frank Hill3/14/2008
4
Trigger EP
2003
Nuclear Blast
Frank Hill2/20/2004
-

ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: IN FLAMES
INTERVIEW INTERVIEWER DATE TAGLINE
Anders FridenGreg Watson7/9/2004


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