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In Flames is a Swedish band from Gothenburgmarker, 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. As of 2008, In Flames has sold over 2 million records worldwide.


Lunar Strain (1990–1994)

In Flames was founded in the year 1990 by Jesper Strömblad as a side project from his then-current death metal band, Ceremonial Oath. 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. In 1993, Jesper decided to quit Ceremonial Oath due to musical differences and began focusing more on In Flames. That same year, Jesper (guitar, drums, keyboards) recruited Glenn Ljungström (guitar), and Johan Larsson (bass) to form the first official In Flames line-up.

The trio recorded a three song demo and sent it to Wrong Again Records. 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. The owner of Wrong Again Records, seeing promise in the band, offered In Flames a record deal over the phone.

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. In 1994, Lunar Strain was released.

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.

The Jester Race (1995–1996)

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. 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.

Whoracle (1997–1998)

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. Niklas Engelin (guitar) and Peter Iwers (bass) were recruited to fill in the vacant spots during a tour with Dimmu Borgir. 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 Japanmarker. 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.

Colony and Clayman (1999–2001)

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. Afterwards, In Flames toured Europe, Japan, and played their first show in the United Statesmarker during the Milwaukeemarker Metal Fest.

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. 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)

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. Reroute to Remain represented a stylistic shift in In Flames music, in the addition of clean vocals and catchier choruses. It was also their first album to have official singles released from it. That year the band toured with bands such as Slayer, Soulfly, and Mudvayne.

Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004–2005)

In 2003, In Flames recorded their seventh studio album, Soundtrack to Your Escape, and released it in 2004. The majority of the album was recorded in a house that the band rented in Denmarkmarker, 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",. The ensuing world tour saw the band make their first trip to Australia, where they played to mostly sold out crowds. Afterward, In Flames toured with bands such as Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, and Motörhead. In Flames was also featured on the main stage at Ozzfest 2005.

Come Clarity (2006–2007)

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. 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.

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

A Sense of Purpose (2008 onward)

In Flames at House of Blues, New Orleans LA on 9-27-09
In October 2007, In Flames finished recording their ninth studio album in IF Studios, their own studios located in Gothenburgmarker, Swedenmarker (formerly Studio Fredman). Alongside the recording sessions, the band released studio diaries documenting the recording process. On January 23, 2008 the band confirmed that they had recorded a video for the single "The Mirrors Truth", and posted photos from the video on their official Myspace profile. In Flames were featured on the Gigantour 3 North American tour with Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy, and High on Fire.

On April 4, 2008, In Flames released their 9th studio album, A Sense of Purpose. The first single from the new album was titled "The Mirror's Truth" and was released in Europe on March 7, 2008. In June 2008 In Flames performed at Metaltown Festival, Metalcamp, Graspop Metal Meeting, Nova Rock Festival, Rock am Ring and Rock im Parkmarker, Gigantour and Download Festival. In late August, 2008, In Flames recorded a video for the second single from A Sense of Purpose, entitled "Alias".

From January 2008 to December 2009 In Flames is on the A Sense of Purpose Tour.

On February 3, 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 February 18, 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. On March 4, 2009, the band's website announced that the third single from A Sense Of Purpose is the track "Delight And Angers". The video premiered on the band's Myspace profile on March 25. It was once again directed and produced by Patric Ullaeus. Alex Pardee did the artwork for the song like he did with all of A Sense of Purpose.

The band announced on August 5 that they would be teaming up with Killswitch Engage and further bands to be announced later for the UK Edition of the Taste of Chaos 2009 in November.


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 Gothenburgmarker, Swedenmarker and they were all friends who shared the same musical interests. 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. 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.

Musical style

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 followed upon on the following albums.

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. 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.

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. 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.This later style of the band has been noted for influences from both metalcore, nu-metal alternative metal


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, As I Lay Dying, and Still Remains 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, Omnium Gatherum, Blood Stain Child, also include In Flames as one of their biggest influences.



In Flames has been awarded four Grammis awards (the Swedishmarker equivalent of the Grammy Awards) to date. In 2005, In Flames won their first Grammis award in the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Album for Soundtrack to Your Escape. In 2006, In Flames won the Swedish Export Award, their second Grammis award. 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." In 2007, In Flames once again won the category of Best Hard Rock/Metal Album for Come Clarity. They have also won the "Best international Band" award from the Metalhammer Golden Gods in 2008. In 2009 In Flames won another Grammis for "Best Hard Rock" for A Sense Of Purpose.

Jester Head

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. 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. 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).


In Flames Lineups

DEMO '93
Lunar Strain


The Jester Race
Black-Ash Inheritance


The Tokyo Showdown
Reroute To Remain
Soundtrack to Your Escape
Used & Abused In Live We Trust
Come Clarity
Come Clarity - EP
A Sense of Purpose

Current members

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

Name Instrument Membership Reason for departure
Glenn Ljungström guitar 1990–1997 Quit to support family.
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.

Session members

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)
Jocke Göthberg 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)



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