In Flames is a Swedish heavy metal band, which was formed by guitarist Jesper Strömblad in 1990 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Along with the bands At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity, In Flames was originally a metal band responsible for developing the genre now known as melodic death metal.

During the band's early years, the band had a varying group of musicians recording with the band, including many session musicians. By the release of Colony (1999) the group had established a stable lineup. Their sixth studio album Reroute To Remain (2002) showed the band moving toward a newer style of music that moved further away from melodic death metal and closer to alternative metal. This decision was criticized by fans of the group's heavier metal sound; however, it increased the band's mainstream audience and bolstered their album sales. As of 2008, In Flames had sold over 2 million records worldwide.[5]


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.[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 melodic guitar style of Iron Maiden with the brutality of death metal, something which Jesper stated he had never heard any band do.[7][8] In writing songs, Jesper also decided to make use of keyboards, something which was (at the time) uncommon in death metal. Ever since In Flames' debut studio album, Lunar Strain, the band has made use of keyboards. Despite their sometimes heavy use of keyboards in their music, they still refuse to recruit a full-time keyboardist.[9][10]

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 often 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 been continued on the later albums.[11][12][13]

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][14] 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.[6][10][14]

Since Reroute to Remain was released in 2002, In Flames fan base has been split because of the gradual change in style towards a more alternative sound.[15] 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 uplifting chorus melodies.[16] This later style has been mostly described as alternative metal.[17][18] Since Siren Charms, they have more extensively used clean vocals as opposed to screams and growls, and a lighter overall sound, putting more emphasis on a melodic metalcore/alternative rock direction.


In Flames, being one of the pioneers of a new music genre, have influenced many bands. They have been especially influential to melodic metalcore, with bands such as Darkest Hour,[19] As I Lay Dying,[20] and Still Remains[21] naming them as a source of inspiration. They have also influenced a number of subsequent melodic death metal bands, including Insomnium,[22] Omnium Gatherum,[23] and Blood Stain Child.[24]


Current membersEdit

Former membersEdit

* Engelin was a touring guitarist occasionally between 1997–2011, first helping the band after Ljungström left the band in 1997, and later filling in for then-guitarist Strömblad, who could not play because he had been struggling with his ongoing battle with alcoholism. As of 2011, Engelin is an official, full-time member of In Flames.


Studio albumsEdit


  1. Artists :: IN FLAMES. MusicMight.
  2. Henderson, Alex. Lunar Strain - In Flames. AllMusic.
  3. Anderson, Jason (1997-11-18). Whoracle - In Flames. AllMusic.
  5. Kilgore, Kym (6 October 2008). "In Flames finds 'A Sense of Purpose' in North America". LiveDaily. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Rennick, Patrick (2 August 2005). Anders Fridén of In Flames. Metal Review. Archived from the original on 10 December 2005.
  7. Lady Enslain (1999). Interview with Jesper Strömblad. Enslain. Archived from the original on 26 December 2002.
  8. German, Eric (19 November 1999). Interview with Jesper Strömblad. Metal Update.
  9. Dusedau, Zack (8 August 2005). Interview with In Flames.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sultatos, Alexander (24 February 2004). In Flames - Dialogue with the Stars. Metal Invader.
  11. Kasparek, Alexa (18 February 2004). In Flames Interview. Tartarean Desire.
  12. Powell, Brett (2006). Interview — In Flames. Skratch Magazine.
  13. Lundqvist, Niklas (21 November 2006). Daniel Svensson - In Flames. Metal Covenant.
  14. 14.0 14.1 In Flames Interview. Metal Pigeon (17 July 2006). Archived from the original on 21 October 2006.
  15. Interview with In Flames.
  16. Matthias Sheaks (3 September 2002). Reroute to Remain - In Flames | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards. AllMusic.
  17. "It is time to rock on". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 January 2009.
  18. Domain name registration & web hosting from 123-reg.
  19. Gosman, Alex (2006). Darkest Hour Interview. Caught in the Crossfire.
  20. Christie, Dixon (20 October 2006). As I Lay Dying Interview with Jordan Mancino in Support of Their 2006 Release, Shadows Are Security. Archived from the original on 18 November 2006.
  21. Omowale, Karma E. (5 March 2005). Still Remains Interview. FourteenG.
  22. Zemla, Sherrie (February 2004). Insomnium. Tartarean Desire.
  23. Stefanis, John (2005). Interview: Markus Vanhala (Omnium Gatherum). Get Ready to Rock.
  24. Blood Stain Child Bio. Blood Stain Child. Archived from the original on 2 June 2007.

External linksEdit

Template:In Flames

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