In Flames

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In Flames
In Flames logo.svg

In Flames at Rock am Ring 2017
In Flames at Rock am Ring 2017
General information
origin Gothenburg , Sweden
Genre (s) Alternative Metal , Melodic Death Metal (initially)
founding 1990
Founding members
Jesper Strömblad (drums: until 1995, guitar: until 2010, also studio keyboard: 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 and studio Hammond organ: 1999)
Glenn Ljungström (1993-1998)
Johan Larsson (1993–1997; also studio backing vocals: 1995)
Current occupation
Anders Fridén (since 1995)
formerly drums
Björn Gelotte (drums: 1995–1998; studio guitar: 1995 & 1997, guitar: since 1998)
Niclas Engelin (live / touring guitar: occasionally 1998–2010, guitar: 1997–1998, since 2010)
former members
Daniel Svensson (1998-2015)
Joe Rickard (2016-2018)
Peter Iwers (1997-2017)
Live support
Bryce Paul (since 2017)
Niels Nielsen (since 2017)
Tanner Wayne (since 2018)

In Flames is a Swedish metal band from Gothenburg . The band, which was founded in 1990, is one of the style - defining bands of the Melodic Death Metal subgenre alongside Dark Tranquility , At the Gates and Soilwork . In recent years, however, the band has distanced itself from its musical roots and incorporated more modern stylistic elements into their sound.

So far the band has released 13 studio albums and three live albums. She has been awarded the Swedish Grammis Music Prize three times . The band has already been nominated twice for the US Grammy .


The founding years

The band was founded in 1990 by Jesper Strömblad , who could no longer identify with the direction of his band Ceremonial Oath and left it. Wanting to write more melodic songs, he founded In Flames.

With the guitarist Glenn Ljungström and the bassist Johan Larsson the first line-up was complete. The three of them played a three-song demo that caught the attention of Wrong Again Records ; Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquility established the contact to the record company . To increase the chances of getting a contract, the band lied to the owner of Wrong Again, claiming they had already written 13 songs. Nevertheless, the band was signed. Wrong Again received their offer through a phone call .

Lunar Strain and The Jester Race

Anders Fridén (2011)

The self-produced debut album Lunar Strain was recorded in 1993 in the Fredman studio. Since the band didn't have a singer at that time, Jesper Strömblad asked his friend, singer Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquility , if he wanted to help out. Stanne agreed and Lunar Strain was released in 1994. In the same year the band pushed the EP Subterranean after. Since it was "incredibly difficult to get a good singer" for the band, they resorted to Dawn's Henke Forss for the EP. The EP brought the band a contract with the German record company Nuclear Blast .

In Flames, they were tired of constantly looking for new guest singers and musicians for album recordings and concerts. For a while, Anders Jivarp (also Dark Tranquility) and Anders Iwers ( Tiamat ) were guest musicians in the In Flames line-up alongside Mikael Stanne . In 1995 Anders Fridén became a permanent singer of the band. Björn Gelotte took the position behind the drums . Together the band recorded the album The Jester Race , which was released in 1996. With this album, the band made their breakthrough in the metal scene and at the same time released a genre classic. The Jester Race influenced not only the melodic death metal, but also the metalcore scene. In Flames went on a European tour with bands like Kreator , Samael and Grip Inc.

Whoracle and Colony

In Flames live at Wacken Open Air 2018
Jesper Strömblad

In 1997, In Flames returned to the Fredman studio to record the third studio album, Whoracle . After completing the recording, Ljungström and Larsson left the band to pursue other projects. The vacant positions were filled by Niclas Engelin (guitar) and Peter Iwers (bass). With the new line-up, the band played a small tour with Dimmu Borgir . The two new members were firmly integrated into the band and In Flames played a European tour and for the first time in Japan. The album Whoracle was successful and made it into the German album charts as the first In Flames album, where it reached number 78.

At the end of 1997 Engelin left the band to concentrate more on his own band Gardenian . Drummer Björn Gelotte then switched to guitar and was replaced by the former Sacrilege drummer Daniel Svensson. The first album with this line-up was Colony , which was released in 1999. The German Metal Hammer drew Colony from an album of the month. After another successful tour through Europe and Japan, the band played their first concert in the USA at the Milwaukee Metal Fest.

Clayman and Reroute to Remain

A year later the very successful album Clayman followed , on which the band, according to some critics, was more willing to experiment. The band spent three months in the studio before the album was released in August. Within a few months, the album sold more frequently than its predecessors. Throughout the year 2000, the band played 150 concerts with bands from different directions such as Dream Theater , Testament or Slipknot . At some concerts Peter Iwers was replaced by Dick Löwgren from the band Armageddon, as Iwers became father. The live album The Tokyo Showdown was recorded during a concert in Tokyo . 2001 was a relatively calm year. The band took a little break and only played a few concerts. A concert in Gothenburg was broadcast live on the radio and recorded by several TV stations.

Guitarist Björn Gelotte and singer Anders Fridén at the Rockharz Open Air 2018

The band wanted to break new ground. For the second time she changed the band logo (the first change was in 1997). She also wanted to try a new studio and a new producer after all previous albums had been created in Studio Fredman. The decision was made for the Dug Out studio and producer Daniel Bergstrand. Reroute to Remain increased the band's popularity even further, while many fans of the older albums were disappointed. Two headline tours in Europe and North America played in Flames and shared the stage with bands like Slayer , Soulfly and Mudvayne . After their appearance at the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden, In Flames received the offer to support the Metallica concert in the Spanish capital, Madrid .

Soundtrack to Your Escape and Come Clarity

In May 2003 the band rented a secluded house in Denmark , where the seventh studio album Soundtrack to Your Escape was largely recorded. The band wanted to record abroad in order to work on the new material undisturbed. Only the drums were recorded in the Dug Out studio. The producer was again Daniel Bergstrand. Because of the experimental songs, the album is controversial among fans. In addition to their own headlining tour, In Flames also played in the opening act for other bands such as Metallica, Judas Priest , Motörhead and Mötley Crüe . During these tours the album Used and Abused: In Live We Trust was created , which was released on DVD and as a live album / DVD combination.

Bass player Peter Iwers

Also in 2005, the band signed a contract with the US record company Ferret Music to improve the distribution of In-Flames albums in North America. On February 3, 2006, the album Come Clarity was released , with which the band expanded their own style, but also used elements of their earlier albums. In Flames made it to number one on the album charts for the first time in their home country Sweden. Also in Finland it reached number one in the charts. The album reached number six in Germany. This was followed by a headlining tour through Europe with Sepultura . In the fall of 2006 In Flames took part in Slayer's "Unholy Alliance" tour.

A Sense of Purpose and Sounds of a Playground Fading

Between September and November 2007, the band recorded their ninth album A Sense of Purpose in their own studio . In North America the album was released on Koch Records , while the band extended its contract with Nuclear Blast for the rest of the world. During the recording, the band recorded a video diary, which was distributed over the Internet in a total of twelve episodes. The album, released on April 4, 2008, was named "Album of the Month" by Rock Hard . The EP The Mirror's Truth was released on March 7, 2008 and reached number 71 in the single charts in Germany.

Between February and December 2009 the guitarist Jesper Strömblad went to rehabilitation against his alcoholic illness . In the meantime, Strömblad has been replaced by Niclas Engelin from the band Engel , who had already helped out at In Flames in 1997. On December 11, 2009, Strömblad returned for a concert in Stockholm . The concert, followed by 8,335 spectators, was the largest single concert in the band's history to date.

On February 12, 2010 the band announced that Jesper Strömblad had left the band. According to his own statement, he is leaving the band for good to "fight and defeat his inner demons". Strömblad was replaced by Niclas Engelin. In March 2011 the band signed a contract with Century Media . The tenth studio album Sounds of a Playground Fading was released on June 17, 2011. The album was awarded gold in November 2011 in Sweden .

Siren Charms

At the 2013 summer concerts, The Haunted guitarist Patrik Jensen replaced guitarist Niclas Engelin as he became a father. The band also announced that they wanted to take a break after the festival appearances in the summer to start recording a new studio album. The new album Siren Charms was released on September 5, 2014. In November 2015, drummer Daniel Svensson left the band in order to be able to take care of his families more and to start a brewery . His successor was Joe Rickard, who previously played in the American band Red . On November 29, 2016, bassist Peter Iwers announced his departure at the end of the current tour.


Daniel Svensson
Niclas Engelin at the Rockharz Open Air 2018
Live musician Nils Nielsen on the keyboard at the Rockharz Open Air 2018
Live musician Bryce Paul on bass at Rockharz Open Air 2018


When Jesper Strömblad founded the band In Flames, he wanted to write music that combines Iron Maiden's guitar style with the harshness of death metal . In addition, the band had been using keyboards since their early days , which was an unusual instrument in death metal at the time. The inclusion of a permanent keyboardist in the band was never an issue.

In Flames' music is characterized by the permanent use of two harmonizing lead guitars that play over a rhythm guitar. Since the band only has two guitarists, there were always difficulties performing the songs at concerts . For this reason, when writing new songs, the band pays attention to whether they can also be reproduced live.

Whether the band can still be assigned to the genre Melodic Death Metal today is controversial. The album A Sense of Purpose was given the genre icon for "Modern Metal" by the German Rock Hard magazine . In Flames are sometimes also referred to as Metalcore nowadays , although typical features of this genre such as breakdowns are missing. The band has stated in several interviews that they will not go back to their roots.

Lyrics and vocals

Over the years, the subjects of the lyrics have changed. The previous albums were often about the future of humanity and other global issues. Whoracle is a concept album about the fall of a civilization. Since the album Soundtrack to Your Escape, the focus has been more on personal experiences and thoughts.

In the beginning, singer Anders Fridén mainly used growls . Later the vocals became more of a mixture of growls, screams and shouts, which alternated with clear vocals. In recent years, Fridén has been using clear vocals, especially in the refrains .


As co-pioneers of their genre, In Flames have inspired many other bands. Most of these bands come from the field of melodic death metal. Some metalcore bands like Darkest Hour or As I Lay Dying were also influenced by In Flames.



In Flames, they were awarded the Grammis , the Swedish Grammy , three times in their home country Sweden . In 2005 they were awarded for the album Soundtrack to Your Escape in the category "Best Hard Rock / Metal Album". A year later, In Flames became the first metal band to receive the “Export Award”. In 2007, Come Clarity was honored as “best hard rock / metal album” . Most recently, Come Clarity was named the best Swedish album of the decade by the Swedish daily Aftonbladet at the end of December 2009 .

Ribbon mascot

While recording the album The Jester Race , singer Anders Fridén had the idea for a mascot . This idea of "Jester Head" was created ( Engl. Fool head ), who appeared on the cover of the album. Since then you can see the mascot again and again on the cover artwork of the albums and on the band's t-shirts.

IF Studios

Since 2006 the band has had its own studio, IF Studios . The band bought the former premises of his studio Fredman from their long-time producer Frederik Nordström . Nordström moved his studio to a suburb of Gothenburg. The IF Studios are located in an industrial area near the center of Gothenburg and also serve as a rehearsal room and office for the band.

Borgholm Brinner

In 2018 the band hosted their own music festival Borgholm Brinner (Swedish: Borgholm brennt ) for the first time . The festival takes place in the ruins of Borgholm Castle on the island of Öland . In Flames play as headliners of the day at the two-day festival.

2018 : In Flames, Dark Tranquility , Raised Fist , Danko Jones , Comeback Kid , Satyricon , Bullet for My Valentine , Graveyard , Tribulation .

2019: In Flames, Opeth , Of Mice & Men , At the Gates , Turbonegro , Witchcraft , Hardcore Superstar , Bombus , Skraeckoedlan


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
1994 Lunar Strain
Wrong Again Records
- - - - - -
First published: April 1, 1994
1995 The Jester Race
Nuclear Blast
- - - - - -
First published: August 12, 1996
1997 Whoracle
Nuclear Blast
DE78 (1 week)
- - - - -
First published: October 27, 1997
1999 Colony
Nuclear Blast
DE69 (1 week)
- - - - SE34 (1 week)
First published: May 21, 1999
2000 Clayman
Nuclear Blast
DE43 (2 weeks)
- - - - SE17 (3 weeks)
First published: July 3, 2000
2002 Reroute to Remain
Nuclear Blast
DE23 (3 weeks)
AT67 (5 weeks)
- - - SE5 (8 weeks)
First published: September 3, 2002
2004 Soundtrack to Your Escape
Nuclear Blast
DE28 (3 weeks)
AT25 (5 weeks)
- - US145 (2 weeks)
SE3 (8 weeks)
First published: March 29, 2004
2006 Come Clarity
Nuclear Blast
DE6 (6 weeks)
AT16 (6 weeks)
CH30 (4 weeks)
UK67 (1 week)
US58 (4 weeks)
SE1 (13 weeks)
First published: February 3, 2006
2008 A Sense of Purpose
Nuclear Blast
DE6 (9 weeks)
AT6 (15 weeks)
CH29 (4 weeks)
UK54 (1 week)
US28 (4 weeks)

(24 weeks)SE
First published: April 1, 2008
2011 Sounds of a Playground Fading
Century Media
DE1 (9 weeks)
AT6 (8 weeks)
CH12 (6 weeks)
UK74 (1 week)
US27 (4 weeks)

(22 weeks)SE
First published: June 15, 2011
2014 Siren Charms
Sony Music
DE7 (3 weeks)
AT7 (5 weeks)
CH9 (5 weeks)
UK52 (1 week)
US26 (2 weeks)

(11 weeks)SE
First published: September 5, 2014
2016 Battles
Nuclear Blast
DE7 (3 weeks)
AT8 (3 weeks)
CH13 (3 weeks)
UK75 (1 week)
US60 (1 week)
SE2 (6 weeks)
First published: November 11, 2016
2019 I, the Mask
Nuclear Blast
DE2 (8 weeks)
AT1 (6 weeks)
CH3 (8 weeks)
UK66 (1 week)
US121 (1 week)
SE1 (7 weeks)
First published: March 1, 2019

Web links

Commons : In Flames  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f BIOGRAPHY ( Memento from February 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  2. a b c d e Rüdiger Drescher: Galactic fire . In: Ablaze , No. 5, May / June 1995, pp. 54-58.
  3. a b Patrick Rennick: Anders Fridén of In Flames ( Memento from December 10, 2005 in the Internet Archive ).
  4. Lady Enslain: Interview with Jesper Strömblad ( Memento from October 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  5. a b A moment of 'Clarity' with In Flames .
  6. Dave: Dark Tranquility - Canadian explorations .
  7. Anthony Morgan: Come Clarity: Bassist Peter Iwers Earnestly Rejoices In The Belated Commercial Success Of Gothenburg Quintet In Flames ( Memento from February 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  8. ^ In Flames Interview ( Memento of March 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive ).
  9. ^ In Flames ( Memento of February 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. Jackie Smit: Moments of Clarity . CoC chats with Anders Fridén of In Flames .
  11. In Flames Signs North American Deal With Koch Records . ( Memento of the original from January 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. In Flames Extends Deal With Nuclear Blast Records . ( Memento from February 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  13. In Flames Rejoined By Guitarist Jesper Strömblad At Stockholm Show . ( Memento from December 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Guitarist Jesper Strömblad Quits In Flames . ( Memento from February 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  15. In Flames Signs With Century Media Records . ( Memento from August 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  16. In Flames: 'Sounds Of A Playground Fading' Certified Gold In Sweden . ( Memento from January 20, 2012 on the Internet Archive )
  17. In Flames: Guitarist Niclas Engelin leaves the band for some summer shows - substitute for The Haunted . on; Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  18. In Flames: Long tour break for new album - New album in May 2014 . on; Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  19. In Flames drummer Daniel Svensson Quits Band To Focus On Family Life .
  20. Bass player PETER IWERS Quits IN FLAMES., accessed November 30, 2016 .
  21. Interview with In Flames . zMETALlica
  22. Alexa Kasparek: In Flames interview . ( Memento from June 23, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Brett Powell: Interview - In Flames ( Memento of March 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive ).
  24. ^ Niklas: Daniel Svensson - In Flames .
  25. ^ In Flames ( Memento of December 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  26. Alexander Sultatos, Manolis Amolochitis: In Flames - Dialogue With The Stars . ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  27. 2004 ( Memento of July 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Swedish).
  28. Årets Hårdrock ( Memento of July 31, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Swedish).
  29. Markus Larsson: Bäst in Flames & Bossen . (Swedish).
  30. ^ Paragon Rob: Interview With In Flames Singer Anders Fridén ( Memento from July 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  31. Thomas Sonder: In Flames: Own two-day festival at a Swedish castle. Metal Hammer. Retrieved November 22, 2018 .
  32. RUNNING ORDER. Retrieved August 8, 2019 .
  33. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US SE