THE ALBUM OF THE DAY IS…
IN FLAMES, CLAYMAN
With the release of Clayman in 2000, In Flames took the first step towards what would ultimately cause many die-hards to abandon them. The improved production value is immediately apparent, a big step up from Colony released just a year earlier. The songwriting on this album is also more finely tuned, frontman Anders Friden cleanly sings some of the choruses, and the band experiments more here with samples and background loops. All of these trends would continue on the subsequent releases Reroute to Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape, ultimately causing many fans to cry “sellout” (present company excluded — these albums both rock).
The album opens with the fiery “Bulletride” and the now classic live staple “Pinball Map,” followed by the broody yet brutal “Only for the Weak.” “As the Future Repeats Today” and “Square Nothing” both mix clean arpeggiated guitar picking with In Flames’ trademark neo-classical twin guitar attack. This is an excellent In Flames album in a sea of great In Flames albums, one that metalcore pioneers Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall surely had on repeat in their CD players in their early years.
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