‘In Flames’ albums ranked

In Flames: A Swedish Melodic Death Metal Journey

In Flames is a renowned Swedish heavy metal band that originated in Gothenburg in 1990. Together with At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity, they played a pivotal role in shaping the genres of Swedish death metal and melodic death metal.

The Rise of In Flames

In the early 1990s, In Flames emerged as a dominant force in the influential melodic death metal scene. While many of their contemporaries remained underground, the band aimed for wider recognition by infusing their music with larger hooks, catchier melodies, and polished production.

Evolution and Controversy

As In Flames evolved over the years, they faced criticism from some death metal purists who felt the band was departing from their extreme roots. However, this evolution also attracted new fans from different musical backgrounds, expanding their appeal.

Ranking the Studio Albums

Let’s take a closer look at all 14 of In Flames’ studio albums, ranked from worst to best:

14. Battles (2016)

Battles received mixed reviews due to its departure from the band’s traditional sound. The album, produced and co-written by controversial figure Howard Benson, leaned heavily towards hard rock, alienating some longtime fans.

13. Siren Charms (2014)

Siren Charms was criticized for its lackluster execution and uninspired songwriting. The album felt flat, failing to capture the energy and passion that characterized In Flames’ earlier works.

12. I, The Mask (2019)

Following the disappointing Siren Charms and Battles, I, The Mask showed glimpses of the band’s former glory. While some tracks, like “(This Is Our) House,” received criticism, the album had its moments of redemption with songs like “Voices” and “I Am Above.”

11. Lunar Strain (1994)

As their debut album, Lunar Strain showcased a blend of elements that would later define melodic death metal. Although it wasn’t a cohesive masterpiece, it provided an intriguing glimpse into the band’s formative years.

10. Sounds Of A Playground Fading (2011)

Sounds Of A Playground Fading faced a challenge after the departure of guitarist Jesper Strömblad. Despite this setback, the album managed to deliver a decent offering, incorporating elements of gothic groove metal.

9. Foregone (2023)

With Foregone, In Flames regained some of their heaviness while maintaining their signature melodic hooks. The album struck a better balance, pleasing both old and new fans with tracks like “State Of Slow Decay” and “The Great Deceiver.”

8. Reroute To Remain (2002)

Reroute To Remain marked a significant shift towards a more user-friendly sound, incorporating elements of arena rock and electronic music. Though controversial among longtime fans, it helped the band gain recognition on the international stage.

7. A Sense Of Purpose (2008)

Despite facing criticism for abandoning death metal elements entirely, A Sense Of Purpose proved to be an eclectic and engaging album. Songs like “Disconnected” and “Alias” showcased the band’s ability to create memorable tracks.

6. Soundtrack To Your Escape (2004)

Soundtrack To Your Escape bridged the gap between Reroute To Remain and Come Clarity. Although not as frequently discussed, it offered a cohesive flow and displayed the band’s musical growth.

5. Come Clarity (2006)

Come Clarity demonstrated In Flames’ capability to create a powerful metalcore album that outdid many of the bands they influenced. The album’s tight anthems left a lasting impact on the metalcore scene.

4. The Jester Race (1996)

The Jester Race refined the elements introduced in Lunar Strain, resulting in a cohesive and influential album. The melodic guitars and high-octane drumming showcased the band’s potential for future success.

3. Clayman (2000)

Clayman marked a turning point for In Flames, with an increased emphasis on accessible hooks and clean singing. It struck a perfect balance between melody and intensity, delivering enduring favorites like “Only For The Weak” and “Bullet Ride.”

2. Whoracle (1997)

Whoracle showcased a heavier side of In Flames, verging closer to death metal territory. The album’s raw production and aggressive songwriting solidified its place among the band’s best works.

1. Colony (1999)

Colony stands as an undisputed melodic death metal masterpiece. With its relentless pace, powerful melodies, and gripping guitar work, the album is a defining moment in In Flames’ discography.


In Flames’ journey through the realms of melodic death metal has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite facing criticism and evolving their sound, the band continues to captivate audiences with their unique blend of aggression and melody. From their early days in Gothenburg to their arena-filling performances, In Flames remains an influential force in the metal genre, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations of heavy music enthusiasts.

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