|Review: In Flames - Whoracle|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 1997
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: April 3, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.54/5 (70.86%) (35 Votes)
There's no disputing the rise to fame of this Swedish behemoth after the release of this album, one that, with a handful of others, defined Melodic Death Metal as we know it. In Flames reached their creative peak with The Jester Race a year before, but Whoracle thrust them into their second phase, which they held onto for two more albums before becoming a commercial commodity.
Terms such as ‘Evil Power Metal' and ‘The Iron Maiden of Death Metal' are the kind of things I think define this pretty well; from the brutality of The Jester Race, Jesper Stromblad and chums stripped their sound down to a mid-paced, harmony-laced crawl that was smart, concise, and all too irresistible. Perfect examples of the style can be found in "The Hive", "Jotun", and "Episode 666", three of the band's best tunes, two of which you can still hear during their live shows. Anders Friden started to open up his growling into more distinctive phrases, and the duel guitar approach really took off here, producing a particular highlight in "Dialogue With The Stars", a kick-ass instrumental that, like some of the best from The Jester Race, proves how much melody this genre can exude.
In Flames might have fallen out of favor with many over the years, but you can't deny the mastery of an album like this. For those of you who like a perfect balance of melody and aggression, dirt and crystal, this is a must have for your collection.
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