Lunar Strain/Subterranean review by In Flames

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jan 4, 2000
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.2 (32 votes)
In Flames: Lunar Strain/Subterranean
0

Sound — 10
This is one creative cd, with the worst recording possible. This is In Flames without Anders, and it's much better. The recording really screwed it up, but it is by far the best. It has the speed of The Jester Race (think Graveland), with the melodic and creative parts of Colony (think Embody the Envisible). Each song sounds totally different, the intros are all really cool, and most songs have at least one interlude, usually acoustic.

Lyrics — 10
These are slightly dark lyrics. I'm not a big fan of death metal lyrics, but these aren't bad, and of course it stays away from swearing/anything terribly vulgar. The lyrics do flow very well with the music, and I love it when the back up singer gets going (I'm not sure who it is). The singing is much more metal, but the words are quite distinguishable (not just anders f--king mumbling/yelling, where it sounds like he's trying to spit/sneeze/cough all at the same time.The voice is higher pitched which I don't like, but it's fine actually.

Overall Impression — 10
This is definetely worth buying. As I said before, it's the most creative, and the most metal, it just didn't have the budget for a recording like CC or STYE. I love the speed, and the riffs sound very european and melodic (I'm from Cali, so it's all punk/hyphe shit) I really just don't like the recording, it's very quiet and I have to turn it up when switching CDs. If I lost this CD I would buy it back in a heartbeat.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lensver
    You wrote: "This re-release is a must for anyone interested in the initial releases from the Scandinavian black metal groups." and then: "I'm not a big fan of death metal lyrics" Do you know the difference between the two genre (black and death metal) and is this a simple misspelling? If no, your lack of knowledge makes the whole review uncredible, since In Flames has nothing to do with black metal. And what the hell is progressive metal doing up there among the genres? You even forgot to mention that this album actually contains the first In Flames LP and their first EP (Subterranean). It seems to me that you didn't look up the names of the singers (rather call them vocalists) - because there were two of them, one on Lunar Strain and Subterranean respectively - Mikael Stanne and Henke Fross. It wouldn't have been a big undertaking to reveal that, since I suspect their names are in the booklet... Anyway, what's your problem with Anders? He is (or maybe was) one of the greatest death metal vocalists. So you don't like his Jester Race/Whoracle growl... have you heard more recent albums? I enjoy both the voice of Stanne and Fridn. The weakest of the three is Henke Fross - he's not bad absolutely, but he could not live up to the other two. (Not to mention that both Fross and Stanne knew that they will only do one album with In Flames - Stanne did it as a favor, Fross was a session member.) You wrote "the worst recording possible" - I somewhat agree on that the production quality wasn't very good on Lunar Strain, but it got much better on Subterranean. And what is that? "The recording really screwed it up, but it is by far the best." How can you say that? Comparing Lunar Strain to Jester Race in production quality is like racing with a Ford Escort against a Dodge Viper! Sorry to say that, but Jester Race simply wins. And if the production has been so bad on LS/Subterranean, why did you give 10 for sound...? "These are slightly dark lyrics." Do you know the lyrics of Lunar Strain, Clad in Shadows, Dead Eternity? I think they aren't just slightly dark... I found some strange things. "singing is much more metal" "the most creative, and the most metal" What on Earth do you mean by more/most metal? I never heard that before. "the riffs sound very european" First of all, European is written with capital E. And how the hell does European riffs sound? At some points, your text - I daren't call it a review - makes no sense. One last thing: does 'Cali' means California? If so, it's quite strange that I have a better spelling than you... Best wishes.
    Lloyd2
    Umm.. you said: "American uses lower tuning and more strings, generally" that's not correct. In Flames uses a C Tuning and that is a very low tuning (sometimes they use Drop A# and some different) American uses more strings?? I can list more american (USA if anybody wants so) bands with 6 strings on the guitar than 7 >.> Soryy for my bad English BTT: I like the Album too, it has something that the other's don't possess, but my Favourites are definatly TJR and Clayman
    castoo
    The JesterHead wrote: Timeless wrote: castoo doesn't know what real metal is. his review bullshit. LS to Clayman are the best. CC is a return to glory. Reroute and Soundtrack are ok but no where near the as good as the rest. Production on this album is weak but the music makes up for it. If you can find it buy it. Amen to that!
    SMFD
    The JesterHead
    Timeless wrote: castoo doesn't know what real metal is. his review bullshit. LS to Clayman are the best. CC is a return to glory. Reroute and Soundtrack are ok but no where near the as good as the rest. Production on this album is weak but the music makes up for it. If you can find it buy it.
    Amen to that!
    salsawords
    IfDaysEnd wrote: I don't know why people think that Clayman is the best album of In Flames to date...for me it was just an attempt to become mainstream, reminds me of Soilwork...from LS to Colony things are fine by me, and I don't think Anders influenced death metal growling, he doesn't even know how to scream, he's always forcing his throat instead of using his stomach.
    I don't think they were trying to become mainstream, especially not as much as Come Clarity (total crap) with its sissy girly singing. Anders knows how to scream, if he has been doing it wrong for so long, his voice would be ruined, but he can sing. There are different ways to scream.
    IfDaysEnd
    I don't know why people think that Clayman is the best album of In Flames to date...for me it was just an attempt to become mainstream, reminds me of Soilwork...from LS to Colony things are fine by me, and I don't think Anders influenced death metal growling, he doesn't even know how to scream, he's always forcing his throat instead of using his stomach.
    Timeless
    castoo doesn't know what real metal is. his review bullshit. LS to Clayman are the best. CC is a return to glory. Reroute and Soundtrack are ok but no where near the as good as the rest. Production on this album is weak but the music makes up for it. If you can find it buy it.
    castoo
    The Jesterhead FUCK YOU, because while you do have your own opinion, there's a reason why later in flames albums sold 10x as many copies and r2r had a better recording quality, the only song that sounds anything worse is system, and that's due to tuning/heavy cymbals/dirty vocals clayman was a shit album, i bought it because of pinball map and i only end up listening the bonus cover songs lol The JesterHead, I also don't lie about what I do in real life, and you totally contridict yourself anyway (you say recording quality a million times then change your mind, you say it's never an issue, but then say clayman had better recording than r2r) And recording quality is perfectly acceptable thank you. The quality is bad, end of story
    Divinephyton
    I can say that this is th best album by In Flames for me, I love the mix of melody, attitude and agression. I think that Anders is a good vocalist in that he can produce different sounds and stuff...but I can say honestly that I would have really liked for Mikael to have done vocals on subsequent albums instead. I just love his vocals compared to Anders'. And I really liked their lyrics on this one too. I wish they'd opt for a less mainstream direction and re-invent their entire sound again to something more appealing like they did on this album compared to some 'standard' sounding DM bands at that time. But that won't happen. Sadly enough...
    The JesterHead
    Oh, and by the way - Castoo: Fuck you AND your recording quality speech, the recording quality is never the issue, it's the music... And I think In Flames have always had an excillent recording quality, that comes from a man who lives for creating music and recording it (which means I know stuff about it)... Get educated, bozo... And by the way - it's "production quality" not "recording quality"...
    The JesterHead
    My friend, I think you are the first person to ever say Clayman is the worst by In Flames... To tell you the truth, I think Clayman is one of the best albums they ever made, IMO it tops Whoracle, Colony, R2R, STYE and CC... and I don't get this vocals bullshit, how in the name of God can you prefer the newer vocals by Anders? Ok, sorry, I'm aware that everybody has their own opinion, but Anders used to have the so-called "death metal growl", and on R2R it turned to a sort of an "unpleasant metalcore scream"... IMO (and in the opinion of 95% of the fans who accually know the old stuff), the old Anders' voice was much better and easier to listen to... Today it's more like hearing a tortured cat scream (I'll say that honestly, even though I'm a huge fan of In Flames, and always will be)... And about the recording quality? Well, TBO - I think Clayman has much better recording quality than R2R... R2R is a bit too... How should I put it... Dirty? The guitars are heavily downtuned, and on R2R they started to express that... A bit too much I'm afraid... In Flames' best era in sound was definetly 1990-2001, and again 2006-... I hope at least a few of you agree...
    Lloyd2
    yes you're right but the recording sound is getting better since THJ
    castoo
    you have to admit the recording sound is better since r2r
    castoo
    a re-recording would be nice- and tedelu, many american bands do instrumentals, however, they're very different and imo, anders wasn't really good until r2r, the only songs on clayman that are decent are pinball map+the two bonus covers... which is kinda sad, i really think clayman was the worst album by in flames
    Lensver
    Re-recording is a good idea, but I have doubts whether Anders could live up to the challenge with his ever clearing vocals... Lately he tends to miss even his Clayman type scream.
    theberzerker!!!
    Ok everyone, European metal tends to use chords with single sting notes in corespondance with these chords. Metal from the USA tends to have open string plucking then a chord and usually keeps the same chord shape for that riff. Anyway, why is everyone debating this when you should be talking about what you think of this album. I do have to agree that the recording on this album wasn't as good as their more recent albums. They should probably re-record it as this is one of their better albums
    tudelu
    [quote]castoo wrote: (acoustic medley is obviously NOT american, as is paller anders visa) those are instrumentals that arent heavy, so what youre implying is that in "american metal" there are no bands that do instrumentals?.. and ya lloyd2 was right how the hell can you even come up with the american metal uses lower tuning crap and in my opinion anders was one of the best death metal vocalists (from TJR till Clayman).
    Lensver
    Well why didn't you just say chords then? Come on man, make some sense without needing to explain your words...
    castoo
    strings used- as in chords (a lot of american metal is chords, and nothing more- which isn't the greatest thing
    castoo
    when i meant more strings i wasn't refering to the number of strings on the guitar tjr is good, but tbh, i think clayman has got to be the worst
    Lensver
    All right, I accept that you didn't write the introduction sentence, and I'm sorry for that. But. "european needs to be capitalized? lol- it's europe, no one cares" Then let me don't care about america... How funny it is, I have a feeling that you use america as equal to the USA. No real problem, that's a typical ignorant "american" misinterpretation. Now it seems that I can't persuade you that Anders is a great vocalist, so I accept your opinion (but I insist he's good). I have a faint idea now about what you mean by "metal", but why didn't you write something more simple, understandable for the first time (not just to those who speak Californian English...), like "death metal growling"? And about american and European metal: I see what you say, but you could have explained it in the article, since not all readers are from the USA. (I'm still somewhat dubious about whether there is a sub-genre american metal...) Yes, you're correct, I'm not american! Well it looks like you didn't like my 'daren't' quite a bit. I know its archaic, but that doesn't make it "not english" - just because you don't use it, it exists. But if you still have problems with it, imagine 'wouldn't' in its place. Now any other grammar things? You honestly say literacy is around 70% in your region? Maaaan, that's SOME cultural black hole. Btw, just a friendship question really: have you read any Shakespeare?
    castoo
    posted 3 times due to a lage in which I could not see any previous post LOL
    castoo
    I only posted the review- not the album description at the top of the page, i would have never put In Flames under prog/black. Anders voice isn't great-especially before R2R, try screaming and compare, its pretty much the same. Also, mumbling/being intiligible is a sign of crappy singing (look at demos of most heavy bands- the lead singer mumbles)- again, i don't think the jester race is as good as lunar strain, jester race is a bit more thrash than i prefer. And slightly is used as sarcasm- its not literal (and usually isn't- especially if its already being used informally) Singing more metal means that its vocals that would only be provided for a metal band- you would not find stanne singing in that manner for a pop band, it just won't happen. If you were American (which i don't belive you are), you would know the difference, American metal usually has lower tuning, odd time signatures, much more distortion- American groups being drowning pool, mudvayne, etc). Daren't isn't English- just to let you know, well it does sound like it would work (dare not), it's not used, and I probably would not find it in a dictionary (it's archaic, as well as slang due to the contraction). And Cali does mean California, and I'm not trying to spell things correctly- and that's with the ignorant assumption that Californians speak English and are literate (of which I'm both, but where I am the literacy hovers around 70%)
    castoo
    and my review makes perfect sense to people who actually KNOW english
    castoo
    no- i never wrote that first sentence, in flames is not black metal where the hell are you getting that sentence from? i know the difference between black and death metal, and i don't like black, i don't listen to it, at all... death isn't that bad. oooh, i see where you're getting that sentence from- but tbh, i didn't put that up there, i don't know where it came from - its not mine. only the review part is mine- i didn't provide the name number of tracks etc, tbh i don't even know those in flames/sub hasn't been in ANY cd stores around mine, my gf had to dl it (all my other cds are paid for, with the exception of jester race/black ash, for the same reason) I do like anders, just not his old sining as much, and i didn't like the stye wannabe davis crap, every cd its been getting better (stye wasn't really a regression, just something new, and not my thing) imo stanne and fross are both better than anders at that time (and its hard to tell due to the recording) and i don't really like the jester race that much- seems a bit thrash really (especially compared to lunar strain). Subs recording isn't much better, and tbh i only listen to biosphere and yes i do know the lyrics, the term slightly (here) is used sarcastically. by singing much more metal- the singing on lunar strain could not be found on a pop/rock/rap album, it could ONLY BE FOUND ON A METAL ALBUM. european needs to be capitalized? lol- it's europe, no one cares. and compare American metal to european, there's a difference (American uses lower tuning and more strings, generally) and daren't is archaic- no one uses it, it's not english and yes cali is california
    castoo
    wow- posting when i'm high is funny, sorry if i don't make sense lol
    castoo
    America is the USA- United States of AMERICA- i'm not saying there is a sub genre, but it's pretty easy to distinguish between the two (acoustic medley is obviously NOT american, as is paller anders visa) I like anders new stuff, but tbh- before r2r i thought it sucked. Daren't is a contraction of dare not, which is a word sequence not used, and contractions are informal and i don't know if daren't was ever a used even when the word sequence once. and when i said literacy, i was referring to being literate in english- and yes shakespeare is required reading for jr high highschool and college english
    castoo
    Timeless wrote: castoo doesn't know what real metal is. his review bullshit. LS to Clayman are the best. CC is a return to glory. Reroute and Soundtrack are ok but no where near the as good as the rest. Production on this album is weak but the music makes up for it. If you can find it buy it.
    Go write your own review if you don't like mine