IN FLAMES — Subterranean (review)

IN FLAMES — Subterranean album cover EP · 1995 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Subterranean" is an EP release by Swedish melodic death metal act In Flames. The EP was released through Wrong Again Records in June 1995 and bridges the gap between the band´s debut and second full-length studio albums "Lunar Strain (1994)" and "The Jester Race (1996)". Just as the case was on "Lunar Strain" band founder and guitarist Jesper Strömblad hadn´t yet found a stabile lineup and therefore Henke Forss from Dawn performs vocals. The drums are this time around played by sessions musicians Anders Jivarp (plays on "Subterranean" and "Biosphere") and Daniel Erlandsson (plays on the remaining tracks). Guitarist Carl Näslund has left the band, so besides Jesper Strömblad, it´s only guitarist Glenn Ljungström and bassist Johan Larsson, who are left from the lineup who recorded the debut album.

The 5 tracks on the 21:46 minutes long EP continue the melodic death metal style which was initiated on "Lunar Strain (1994)". The music features loads of harmony guitar themes and leads, aggressive and rather high pitched growling vocals (or blackened growling if you will), an epic atmosphere, and the occasional nod towards folk. The rhythms are relatively varied, and there are acoustic sections in the music too, so it´s a pretty dynamic release. In terms of style and consistency "Subterranean" flows really well.

The musicianship is on a high level throughout and the EP is relatively well produced too, although there are some issues with the acoustic sections being too high in the mix compared to the the distorted sections. That was an issue on "Lunar Strain (1994)" too, but the production is still raw, powerful, and detailed as required for this type of music.

So upon conclusion "Subterranean" is the natural successor to "Lunar Strain (1994)". It´s a bit of a case of more of the same, as there hasn´t been much development of sound since "Lunar Strain (1994)", but in this case it´s not an issue, as the material is as strong as it is. Combined with the high level musicianship, and a suiting raw sound production, the outcome is strong. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
24 days ago
I´m not a huge fan of any In Flames period, but I´m actually more inclined towards their later Work, which is a bit odd, since it´s not a style of music I usually enjoy. But as I said I´m not really a fan, and it´s not exactly music I put on for pleasure at home.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
24 days ago
I agree. I don't mind the next few albums but the debut despite its lower ratings is absolutely brilliant for my ears!
Vim Fuego wrote:
25 days ago
I picked up Lunar Strain with this EP also on the same disc when I lived in Korea. It also had a Metallica cover with the singer from Dark Tranquillity on it, although I'm buggered if I can remember which song they covered. Anyway, for me it was all downhill for In Flames after this.
UMUR wrote:
26 days ago
If you enjoy Lunar Strain, this EP is a mandatory listen.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
26 days ago
I love Lunar Strain but i think i've missed this EP. Great find!

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