"Soundtrack To Your Escape," In Flames seventh studio album, dropped in '04. The album increased the Swedish Metal band's profile selling 100,000 copies in the U.S. That led to tour slots with Judas Priest, Motley Crue, and Motorhead plus a run on the '05 Ozzfest main stage.
Fourteen years earlier, In Flames began as Jesper Stromblad's side project, a break from his 'day job' with Death Metal group Ceremonial Oath.
He envisioned the "melodic guitar style of Iron Maiden with the brutality of Death Metal." The lyrics revolved around astrology and global themes (that changed to a more introspective approach in later years).
But even before In Flames' '94 debut "Lunar Strain," Strombold left Ceremonial Oath over the typical "musical differences."
Since In Flames didn't have a vocalist, their full-length debut and subsequent EP, "Subterranean" had session vocalists. That situation was remedied with the arrival of Anders Friden prior to the recording of sophomore set "The Jester Race." A "jester" became the group's mascot.
Stromblad, who played guitar and keyboards, also was heard on drums between '93 - '95. That's when Bjorn Gelotte switched from guitar to drums ('95 -'98), before returning to guitar with the addition of Daniel Svensson.
"Whoracle" dropped in '97 with their fourth album, "Colony" closing out the decade. "Clayman" was an '00 release. Two years later, "Reroute To Remain" marked a stylistic change. Namely, clean vocals, catchier choruses and no Death Metal growls. "Soundtrack To Your Escape" followed suit.
Their self-produced eighth studio set, "Come Clarity," became the band's first #1 album on the Swedish charts. On the heels of that success came "Used And Abused: In Live We Trust, a box set consisting of live material filmed and recorded in '04.
There was a three year gap between that album and '08's "A Sense Of Purpose." Also that year, In Flames picked up the "Best International Band" award from the Metalhammer Golden Gods.
Following the initial "A Sense Of Purpose" supporting tour, the group announced that Stromblad would not be participating in the next trek in order to get treatment for his alcohol abuse problems. About a year later, word came that the group and Stromblad had parted "on good terms."
"Sounds Of A Playground Fading," an '11 release, was the first without Stromblad.
Next came In Flames' eleventh studio album, '14's "Siren Charms" which debuted at #26 on the Billboard 200.
Another line-up change occurred when Svensson announced his departure from the band to focus on his family life. Before a replacement was announced, In Flames rolled out their concert DVD, "Sounds From The Heart Of Gothenburg."
In Flames' forward momentum continued with the release of their twelfth studio album, "Battles." The '16 effort was recorded in L.A. with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (Motorhead).
Joe Rickard, who played drums on the "Battles" sessions, was later named a permanent member.
Bassist Peter Iwers was the next casualty when the band announced he was "done" with the touring lifestyle. For his part, Iwers issued a statement explaining he was off "to pursue other endeavors." He was replaced by Hakan Skoger who made his live debut with In Flames on their European tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed.
1994 Lunar Strain
1996 The Jester Race
2002 Reroute To Remain
2004 Soundtrack to Your Escape
2006 Come Clarity
2008 A Sense Of Purpose
2011 Sounds Of A Playground Fading
2014 Siren Charms
2016 Sounds From The Heart Of Gothenburg (DVD)
Progressive Nu Metal.