In Flames - The Jester Race review


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Band: In Flames
Album: The Jester Race
Release date: February 1996

01. Moonshield
02. The Jester's Dance
03. Artifacts Of The Black Rain
04. Graveland
05. Lord Hypnos
06. Dead Eternity
07. The Jester Race
08. December Flower
09. Wayfaerer
10. Dead God In Me
11. Goliaths Disarm Their Davids [2002 re-release bonus]
12. Gyroscope [2002 re-release bonus]
13. Acoustic Medley [2002 re-release bonus]
14. Behind Space [live] [2002 re-release bonus]

The Jester Race is the best album from In Flames era pure Melodic Death Metal, unfortunately for the fans of this precise style, that would also be the last. The Swedish band was still playing a lot of acoustic almost classical music, and was still very close to its alter ego Dark Tranquillity. Honestly I love both "versions" of In Flames music and it's obvious for me that their "pre-Whoracle" work reached its climax with the album The Jester Race.

As a general statement, the entire album is darker than any other In Flames albums and, incredible as it may seem, it's also the most melodic. Just listen to the splendid opener 'Moonshield' or the masterpiece 'The Jester Race' and you'll get it. 'The Jesters Dance' is a great instrumental track [probably the best In Flames instrumental] and also a recurrent melody for the title track. However, one of my favorites is still track 3, 'Artifact Of The Black Rain', a genuine ID of what In Flames was in 1995: innovation, huge melodies, great riffs, all of that was already in that song.

But one of the most surprising songs is 'December Flower', which happens to be a perfect definition for the phrase "melodic death". And, of course, the level of brutality is also very high on songs such as 'Dead God In Me' or 'Dead Eternity'. So what we have here is an excellent album with several influences.

With The Jester Race, In Flames manages to catch listeners and to make them travel through the dark lands of their Melodic Death Metal world. Great compositions such as 'The Jester Race', 'Moonshield', 'Artifacts Of The Black Rain' and 'Lord Hypnos' must appeal to everyone of you one day. So why don't you try today?

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Written on 02.09.2003 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 32   Visited by: 417 users
05.05.2011 - 20:09
Haha, Adjuchas Shaman just made me laugh my ass off with some of the descriptions... But the thing's funny and sad at the same time... I can't believe what In Flames turned out to be ... Anyway, this album is one of the highlights of melodeath, and it's fuckin awesome! All the songs are killers, especially Moonshield, The Jester's Dance, Artifacts of the Black Rain, Dead Eternity and Wayfaerer...
But, there's something weird about Graveland... It has some of the best lyrics I've ever heard, and since I read them, it's one of my favourite tracks... It's weird, because I know it's clearly not the best one...
08.01.2014 - 21:13
Written by Guest on 03.02.2010 at 08:51

For some reason, I'm able to compare my feelings for In Flames to those I had for my ex-girlfriend, album by album:

Lunar Strain: "This girl is so cool! I really enjoy talking to her, and she's attractive, so I'll keep talking to her. What an awesome friendship this will be!"

The Jester Race: "I think I'm in love! Not only is she smart and sexy, but she is also easygoing. I'M GONNA ASK HER OUT!"

Whoracle: "We've been going out for a while now. I love her, even though I noticed that she has a few small quirks(why does she put so much ketchup on everything?!), but then again who doesn't?

Colony: "We just had some amazing sex! I think I'm gonna marry her one day!(who said anything about her having small quirks?)"

Clayman: "Hmm, she gained a couple pounds, but they all went to the right places! SEXY!!"

Reroute to Remain: "Whoa! My girlfriend is acing pretty weird! Did she suddenly become Bipolar? When did she start drinking ketchup bottles?"


Come Clarity: "Well, we're still friends, even though we're no longer together. She's been sort of cool lately, but we are staying friends! I do enjoy the memories that we shared though"

A Sense of Purpose: "Well she's got another boyfriend. She's also gotten pretty fat. She's being a total bitch to me lately! THIS FRIENDSHIP IS OVER!!!

Haha, good one!

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