Sound — 9
This was In Flames first album and in my opinion one of their best. This album has Mikael Stanne on vocals instead of Anders Friden, so vocal wise it's different to their later albums. This is probably their most diverse and experimental album, and for the most part it pays off. 01. Behind Space - this is easily my favorite song on the album. This starts off with a fast and catchy riff which is joined by pounding drums and a loud scream from Stanne. This song has a interesting structure and a lot of tempo changes which keep it interesting. The solo is very melodic and tops the song off nicely. There's also a beautiful acoustic outro on this song which goes for over a minute or so, which completes the song. 02. Lunar Strain - this is the title track of the album and is very worthy of the title. Starts off with a chord ringing out then other notes slowly building it up to the next part of the intro. The verse has great vocals and nice harmonized guitars and ends with an awesome "Lunar strain" scream. The song speeds up a bit in the chorus, at about 2.10 the song gets a bit faster and has some demonic vocals to it which then follow with another melodic riff. This is probably my 2nd favorite song on the album. 03. Starforsaken - this starts off with a string intro, violin I think which is a bit unexpected but it's good. Then the main riff hammers in leaving you wondering if it's still the same song. This is one of the faster songs on the album. It has a fast solo, but it's nothing special. 04. Dreamscape - this is the first Instrumental on the album. It's very melodic throughout and pretty heavy aswell. This isn't as memorable as the instrumentals on say. The Jester Race, but this it is defiantly a good listen. 05. Everlost Pt 1 - this would be the slowest song on the album, and so far the worst song (not saying that it's bad, just isnt as good as the previous). It has very slow guitars, with harmonies which are good, and very slow drums. The vocals from Stanne are good on this track as he sings a lot slower. there's a short melodic (solo? ) in here, would have been good if it were longer. This song probably doesn't give the best first impression but it's fairly good after a while. 06. Everlost Pt 2 - this track was defiantly unexpected the first time I heard it. But I actually really like this track. It starts off with a very melodic and soothing acoustic guitar, and joined by clean female vocals (unexpected? ) it's hard to understand what she's saying, and her voice can get annoying. The song ends with a faded out clean guitar solo which is one of the most complicated solos on the song and very unlike their other solos (Jesper probably didn't write it, like with the December Flower solo on jester race). 07. Haralaten - again this starts off with strings. I think this is an actual Swedish song that In Flames did a version of. This song doesn't do much for me and I often skip it. This is the 2nd instrumental on the album. 08. In Flames - a song named after the band. You would expect high things from this, and this song does deliver. The opening riff is rather heavy and is joined with a short melodic solo which fits in nicely. The verse is slower with a good melody to it and good vocals. The guitars standout a lot in this track. In the middle of the song enters an acoustic bridge which is joined by 'Choir Aahs' (Ahhh sound) then comes the solo which fits in perfectly and is a very noteable solo on the album. The song ends with some crazy vocals a shred type of solo which can be hard to hear over the vocals. This is easily one of the best songs on the album. 09. Upon An Oaken Throne - this is a very fast song and has a lot of fast small shred solos. There's some very dominating screams in this song which fit in well with the tempo of the song. 10. Clad In Shadows - this song has some very good riffs in it and solos aswell. I think this song has some of the best sounding vocals in the album, this song is short but very memorable and finish's the album off nicely.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on this album are very outstanding in my opinion. The theme used in many of the songs seems to be about outer space hence the album name. Stanne wrote most of the lryics for the songs but I think Jesper also helped out aswell.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a very impressive debut album by In Flames which only gets followed by even more or equally as great releases (Apart from the new albums. They don't even compare to the old stuff) This album is probably better suited for lovers of In Flames older albums. As fans of the newer albums wouldn't appreciate it uniqueness. My personal favourites on this album would be: Behind Space, Lunar Strain, Dreamscape, Everlost Pt 2 and In Flames.