In Flames
In Flames
Background Information
Origin Gothenburg, Sweden
Genre Melodic Death Metal[1][2][3]
Years active 1990-present
Label(s) Nuclear Blast
Wrong Again
Associated Acts Dark Tranquillity
Ceremonial Oath
Dimension Zero
All Ends
Sacrilege GBG
Anders Fridén
Jesper Strömblad
Björn Gelotte
Peter Iwers
Daniel Svensson
Former Members
Glenn Ljungström
Johan Larsson
Niklas Engelin

In Flames is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1990. The band is considered to be a pioneer and major influence to the melodic death metal music genre. Since the band's conception in 1990, they have received numerous awards and released nine studio albums and one live DVD. The band has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, both in its native Sweden and internationally. To date the band has sold over two million records worldwide.[4]


Lunar Strain (1990–1994)Edit

In Flames was founded in 1990 by Jesper Strömblad as a side project from his then-current death metal band, Ceremonial Oath.[5][6] Jesper formed In Flames with the purpose of writing songs with a more melodic musical direction, something which he was not allowed to do in Ceremonial Oath.[6][7] In 1993, Jesper decided to quit Ceremonial Oath due to musical differences and began focusing more on In Flames.[6][7] That same year, Jesper (guitar, drums, keyboards) recruited Glenn Ljungström (guitar), and Johan Larsson (bass) to form the first official In Flames line-up.[7]

The trio recorded a three song demo and sent it to Wrong Again Records.[8][5] In order to increase their chances of being offered a record deal, the trio lied to the owner of the record label by telling him that they already had 13 songs done.[8] The owner of Wrong Again Records, seeing promise in the band, offered In Flames a record deal over the phone.[5]

During 1993, In Flames wrote, recorded, and self-produced their debut studio album, Lunar Strain, in Studio Fredman. Since In Flames did not have a vocalist yet, Jesper asked Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity to provide session vocals.[9] In 1994, Lunar Strain was released.[10]

During 1994, In Flames recorded and self-produced their first EP, Subterranean, in Studio Fredman. In Flames still did not have a vocalist yet, so session vocals were provided this time by Henke Forss. In 1995, Subterranean was released. Subterranean garnered much attention and led the band to acquire a record deal with Nuclear Blast.[5]

The Jester Race (1995–1996)Edit

In 1995, In Flames finally got tired of using session musicians to record an album or to do live shows, so the trio asked Björn Gelotte to join the band as the full-time drummer, and 6 months later asked Anders Fridén to join the band as the full-time vocalist.[8][6][5] That same year, the new line up recorded and released the band's second studio album, The Jester Race. This album was recorded once again in Studio Fredman, but unlike previous albums, it was co-produced by the studio's owner, Fredrik Nordström. Afterwards, In Flames toured with bands such as Samael, Grip Inc., and Kreator.[5]

Whoracle (1997–1998)Edit

In 1997, In Flames recorded and released their third studio album, Whoracle. This album was recorded once again in Studio Fredman and co-produced by Fredrik Nordström. After the album was recorded, Glenn Ljungström and Johan Larsson unexpectedly announced that they were leaving In Flames.[5] Niklas Engelin (guitar) and Peter Iwers (bass) were recruited to fill in the vacant spots during a tour with Dimmu Borgir.[11][5] After the tour both Niklas Engelin and Peter Iwers were asked to join the band permanently, and they did. With the new line-up, In Flames then proceeded with a European tour and played their first two shows in Japan.[5] However, by the end of that tour in 1998, Niklas Engelin quit In Flames, so the band decided to switch Björn Gelotte from his position as drummer to guitarist, and they recruited Daniel Svensson to take over as drummer.[12][13]

Colony (1999)Edit

In 1999, the new line-up recorded and released the band's fourth studio album, Colony. This album was recorded once again in Studio Fredman and co-produced by Fredrik Nordström. Also the second solo on "Coerced Coexistence" was recorded by Kee Marcello.[14] Afterwards, In Flames toured Europe, Japan, and played their first show in the United States during the Milwaukee Metal Fest.[15]

Clayman (2000–2001)Edit

In 2000, In Flames recorded and released their fifth studio album, Clayman. This album was recorded once again in Studio Fredman and co-produced by Fredrik Nordström. Afterwards, In Flames did some tours with bands such as Dream Theater, Slipknot, and Testament.[5] In August 2001, In Flames released The Tokyo Showdown, a live album recorded during the Japanese tour in November 2000.

Reroute to Remain (2002–2003)Edit

In 2002, In Flames recorded and released their sixth studio album, Reroute to Remain. Unlike all previous albums, Reroute to Remain was not recorded in Studio Fredman or produced by Fredrik Nordström. The album was recorded in Dug-Out studio and produced by Daniel Bergstrand. That year the band toured with bands such as Slayer, Soulfly, and Mudvayne.[5]

Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004–2005)Edit

In 2003, In Flames recorded their seventh studio album, Soundtrack to Your Escape, and released it in 2004.[16] The majority of the album was recorded in a house that the band rented in Denmark, only the drums were recorded in Dug-Out studio. This album was once again produced by Daniel Bergstrand. Soundtrack to Your Escape increased the band's popularity considerably, selling 100,000 copies in the United States and yielding a #2 single on the Swedish charts with "The Quiet Place",[17]. The ensuing world tour saw the band make their first trip to Australia, where they played to mostly sold out crowds. Afterwards, In Flames toured with bands such as Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, and Motörhead.[13] In Flames also headlined the second stage at Ozzfest 2005.

Come Clarity (2006–2007)Edit

In 2005, In Flames recorded and self-produced their eighth studio album, Come Clarity, in Dug-Out studio. That same year, In Flames released Used and Abused: In Live We Trust, a box set consisting of material filmed and recorded throughout various live performances during 2004. Also in 2005, In Flames decided to sign with an additional record label so future releases could have better distribution in North America.[18] In 2006, Come Clarity was released in North America through Ferret Music and elsewhere through Nuclear Blast. It became the band's first #1 album on the Swedish charts. That same year, In Flames toured with Sepultura, co-headlined a U.S. tour with Lacuna Coil, toured on The Unholy Alliance tour, was one of the headliners on the Sounds of the Underground tour, and played on the main stage at Download Festival.[13]

In 2007, the band played in Dubai for the annual Dubai Desert Rock Festival. In Flames also played at Bloodstock Open Air festival in August 2007.

A Sense of Purpose (2008–present)Edit

In Flames finished recording their ninth studio album in October 2007 in their own studio, IF Studios, located in Gothenburg, Sweden; originally Studio Fredman. Alongside the recording sessions, the band released studio diaries documenting the recording process.[19][20]

On January 23rd the band confirmed that they had recorded a video for the upcoming single release of "The Mirrors Truth", and posted photos from the video on their official Myspace profile.[21]

In Flames were featured on the Gigantour 3 North American tour with Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy, and High on Fire.[22]

On April 4th, 2008, In Flames released their 9th studio album, A Sense of Purpose.[23] The first single from the new album is titled "The Mirror's Truth" which was released in Europe on March 7, 2008.

In Flames has performed at Metaltown Festival, Metalcamp, Graspop Metal Meeting, Nova Rock Festival, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, Gigantour and Download Festival in June 2008.

In late August, 2008, In Flames recorded a video for "Alias", which is to be the second single released from "A Sense of Purpose".

In Flames are currently on the A Sense of Purpose Tour.

On 3 February, 2009, the band's website announced that Jesper Strömblad would not be participating in the Australia/South America/Japan tour in order to get treatment for his alcohol abuse problems. Niklas Engelin was announced as his replacement for the tour.

On the 18th of February 2009, the band announced their United Kingdom and Ireland tour would not go ahead as planned due to Jesper Strömblad's alcohol rehabilitation and the birth of Peter Iwers' child.[24]

The band's website announced that the third single from A Sense Of Purpose will be the track "Delight And Angers". The video will premiere on the band's myspace profile 25th March 10:am and will once again be directed and produced by Patrick Ullaeus. The artwork of the album will be the same man responsible for all of In Flames art work from the A Sense Of Purpose album, Alex Pardee. The track listing has been revealed to be Delight and Angers (Album Version), Delight and Angers (Video), and Delight and Angers (Instrumental).

Background Edit

In Flames, along with Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates, pioneered what is now known as melodic death metal. The founding members of all three bands all lived in Gothenburg, Sweden and they were all friends who shared the same musical interests.[9][6] Eventually, that group of friends branched off into three bands with the same musical direction, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and At the Gates.

Jesper Strömblad formed In Flames to write music that combined the guitar style of Iron Maiden with the brutality of death metal, something which Jesper stated he had never heard any band do.[25][7] In writing songs, Jesper also decided to make use of keyboards, something which is uncommon in death metal. Ever since In Flames' debut studio album, Lunar Strain, the band has made use of keyboards, but has refused to this day to recruit a full-time keyboardist.[26][27]

Musical styleEdit

In Flames' musical style is characterized by the constant use of harmonized lead guitar melodies and screaming-style singing along with death growl. In early albums such as The Jester Race, In Flames would many times employ two harmonized lead guitars playing over a rhythm guitar. However, since the band only has two guitar players, they found it hard to reproduce those songs during live performances and ever since Reroute to Remain they have focused on writing songs with the intention of playing them live. On the album Soundtrack to Your Escape, the band focused on less guitar melodies, giving place for more synths. However, this has not followed upon on the following albums.[28][29][30]

In Flames' vocal style is characterized by the use of growled vocals or screamed vocals complemented at times by clean vocals. In more recent albums such as Come Clarity, the band makes more prominent use of clean vocals, especially during choruses. In Flames' lyrics have also varied during their career. In early albums such as The Jester Race and Whoracle, In Flames' lyrics focused on astrology, mankind, and other global themes.[6][31] In later albums such as Soundtrack to Your Escape and Come Clarity, In Flames' lyrics focus more on personal issues, thoughts, and other introspective themes.[31][27][6]

Since Reroute to Remain was released in 2002, In Flames fanbase have split because of the gradual change in style, towards a more mainstream, alternative sound. Some fans prefer the heavier, more death metal-influenced albums like Lunar Strain and Whoracle, and this has led to the band being referred to as "sellouts" by fans of the older style.[32] Still, In Flames have a solid and growing worldwide fanbase. The stylistic changes include screamed and clean vocals, as opposed to the death growl on the early records, more prominent rhythm section and less guitar melodies and solos, more obvious use of synthesizers and electronics and a clear influence from modern American metal in especially the chorus melodies.[33]

Influence Edit

In Flames, being one of the pioneers of a new music genre, have influenced many bands and most notably they were a direct influence on the new wave of metalcore. Many metalcore bands such as Darkest Hour,[34] As I Lay Dying,[35] and Still Remains[36] name In Flames as one of their biggest influences. In Flames is also a direct influence on many of the melodic death metal bands that have followed. Melodic death metal bands such as Insomnium,[37] Omnium Gatherum,[38] Blood Stain Child,[39] also include In Flames as one of their biggest influences.



In Flames has been awarded four Grammis awards (the Swedish equivalent of the Grammy Awards) to date.[40] In 2005, In Flames won their first Grammis award in the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Album for Soundtrack to Your Escape.[19] In 2006, In Flames won the Swedish Export Award, their second Grammis award.[19] In Flames was the first metal band to ever win that award and the Swedish economy minister at the time, Thomas Östros, was quoted as saying "Thanks to In Flames, Sweden now have a metal band in the absolute world elite."[13] In 2007, In Flames once again won the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Album for Come Clarity.[40][19][13] They have also won the "Best international Band" award from the Metalhammer Golden Gods in 2008[41]. In 2009 In Flames won another Grammis for "Best Hard Rock" for A Sense Of Purpose.

Jester HeadEdit

When In Flames was recording their second studio album, The Jester Race, Anders Fridén and Niklas Sundin came up with an idea to create a symbol/mascot for In Flames.[42] The result was the Jester Head. This symbol made its first appearance in the cover artwork of The Jester Race and ever since, the Jester has been featured in various forms somewhere on every studio album that In Flames has released, either as a song title or on the album artwork.[43] The Jester Head is also featured in many of In Flames' merchandise and has been featured in banners as part of In Flames' live set. In anticipation of their ninth studio album, A Sense of Purpose, the official In Flames fansite was launched, featuring the Jester Head as the site's symbol (and domain name).

Members Edit

In Flames Lineups
DEMO '93
Lunar Strain
The Jester Race
Black-Ash Inheritance
The Tokyo Showdown
Reroute To Remain Fourteen Songs of Conscious Insanity
Soundtrack to Your Escape
Used & Abused In Live We Trust
Come Clarity
Come Clarity - EP
A Sense of Purpose

Current members Edit

Name Instrument Membership Additional information
Anders Fridén vocals 1995–present
Jesper Strömblad guitar 1990–present Also played drums and keyboards until 1994.
Björn Gelotte guitar 1995–present Originally played drums from 1995–1998.
Peter Iwers bass guitar 1997–present
Daniel Svensson drums 1998–present

Former members Edit

Name Instrument Membership Reason for departure
Glenn Ljungström guitar 1990–1997 Quit to support family.[7]
Johan Larsson bass guitar 1990–1997 Undisclosed.
Niklas Engelin guitar 1997–1998 Quit to focus on Gardenian. He now plays guitar for the band Engel.[5]

Session members Edit

Name Instrument Album(s)
Mikael Stanne vocals Lunar Strain (1994)
Robert Dahne vocals VV.AA - Metal Militia (Tribute to Metallica) (1994)
Carl Näslund guitar Lunar Strain (1994)
Henke Forss vocals Subterranean (1994)
Anders Jivarp drums Subterranean (1994)
Daniel Erlandsson drums Subterranean (1994)
Fredrik Nordström keyboards The Jester Race (1995)
Charlie Storm keyboards Colony (1999) and Clayman (2000)
Örjan Örnkloo keyboards Reroute to Remain (2002), Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004), Come Clarity (2006) and A Sense of Purpose (2008)


Main article: In Flames discography

Studio albums Edit


  1. The Metal Crypt - Description of Metal Genres "A new crop of bands such as Dark Tranquility and In Flames injected a dose of old-school guitar harmonies into their Death Metal. The movement was soon known as Melodic Death Metal"
  2. Antenna - Genre descriptions "At the Gates pioneered the style in the mid-90s, whereas In Flames and Dark Tranquillity perfectioned the subgenre in the following years."
  3. metal-observer - Do you speak Metal? "creating a quite own style of Melodic Death Metal, where the emphasis is not so much on the brutality and speed, but features a lot more melodies/melodic guitar Examples: IN FLAMES,…"
  4. In Flames finds 'A Sense of Purpose' in North America >> Tour dates and concert ticket info >> LiveDaily
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 In Flames Biography
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Anders Fridén of In Flames
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Interview with Jesper Strömblad
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Moment of 'Clarity' with In Flames
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dark Tranquillity - Canadian explorations (Mikael Stanne)
  10. Releases
  11. Come Clarity
  12. Dawn with Daniel Svensson
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 News
  14. In Flames website
  15. In Flames: Interview with Björn Gelotte
  16. In Flames rocks Bogart's
  17. Swedish Singles Charts: In Flames
  18. Moments of Clarity
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 News Archive
  20. In Flames MySpace Profile
  21. Komodo Rock | In Flames Record Video For The Mirrors Truth; Photos Available
  22. Gigantour 2008 lineup. [1]
  23. IN FLAMES - The official homepage
  25. Interview with Jesper Strömblad
  26. Interview with In Flames
  27. 27.0 27.1 In Flames - Dialogue with the Stars
  28. In Flames Interview
  29. Interview — In Flames
  30. Daniel Svensson - In Flames
  31. 31.0 31.1 In Flames Interview
  33. allmusic ((( Reroute to Remain > Overview )))
  34. Darkest Hour Interview
  35. As I Lay Dying Interview with Jordan Mancino in Support of Their 2006 Release, Shadows Are Security
  36. Still Remains Interview
  37. Insomnium
  38. Interview: Markus Vanhala (Omnium Gatherum)
  39. Blood Stain Child Bio
  40. 40.0 40.1 In Flames - Honoured With Swedish Grammy
  41. Metal Hammer - News Article
  42. Interview with In Flames singer Anders Fridén
  43. In Flames Interview

External linksEdit

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