Swedish metal stalwarts In Flames are one of the few bands to successfully pull off a radical stylistic shift and not only maintain but actually grow their fan base, while also staying true to the group's core sense of self. Making their name first as part of the hugely influential Gothenburg melodic-death-metal scene, the band closed that era with 2000's Clayman and blasted headlong into their "new," hookier and more hard-rock-inclined era with 2002's Reroute to Remain. With that in mind, we were curious to see where you the fans would land when we asked you to pick In Flames' single greatest song: old school or new? See the top-five vote-getters below.
The title track of In Flames' 2006 album falls firmly in the band's "new" era, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Come Clarity won the award for "Best Hard Rock Album" at the 2007 Swedish Grammis, due in small part to this nearly four-minute-long standout full of acoustic sections, charging solos and desperate, frenzied vocals and lyrics ("I want you to lead me/Take me somewhere/Don't want to live in a dream one more day").
Ah, a cut off 1996's The Jester Race. The album — a core piece of the Gothenburg melodic death-metal pantheon — is where In Flames started to realize their full power. It's also the group's first LP to feature current frontman Anders Fridén, and on "Artifacts of the Black Rain," his guttural vocals are so unhinged and vicious that even the impressive guitar harmonies can't take the spotlight from him.
1999's Colony introduced the world to what many consider to be In Flames' classic lineup (which remained unchanged until 2010), and vocalist Anders Fridén, guitarist Jesper Strömblad and Co. kicked off the era in crushing and shreddy style. Do you know how many guitar solo covers of "Zombie Inc" are on YouTube? Neither did we, but there's a shitload, and for good reason: Its epic glory is placed in the middle of a badass breakdown.
"Pinball Map" stands as one of OG Swedish melodic death metal's must-know tracks. The speedy, aggressive rager off 2000's Clayman captures Fridén and cohorts at peak fury. No wonder the current incarnation of In Flames chose the whip-lashing fan favorite among the four cuts they re-recorded for the album's forthcoming 20th anniversary edition.
According to voter comments, for many of you, this was your introductory song to In Flames, which makes sense. While 2002's Reroute to Remain saw the Swedish veterans step away from full-on death metal, it also brought the band a new level of popularity — the LP peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart — and launched them onto bigger stages, including Ozzfest's. Single "Cloud Connected" has all the hallmarks of a perfect melodic metal song: bloody screams, nasty guitar riffs and an inescapable hooky chorus: "I've come to realize/ Every little glimpse, you fade/I was told that I could fly."