Sound — 10
I left a comment on this review but there were only three on here so, here goes. This is definitley my favorite In Flames album. This album doesn't have a bad song on here. Each song has a good rythmn with heavy riffs, good melodies, and nice solos/leads. The actual quality of the recordings is a little lacking due to the lack of funds that the band had to make the album. They used their abilities as musicians to make up for the lack in good equipment. The overall sound of this album is awesome, heavy and melodic.
Lyrics — 9
This is the debut for Anders, and he definitely comes through. His vocals are a cross between growls and screams. His vocals are a little rough, but the lyrics definitley make up for it. The lyrics are mostly about mankind and human nature. The recouring theme for this album is Jesters, refering to humans and humanity.
Overall Impression — 10
In Flames, among At The Gates And others, were the fathers and kings of melodic death metal. They blend mesmerizing melodies, with skull cracking rythmns. Each song is it's own conversation. 01. Moonshield - starts out with a fast acoustic riff that turns into an awesome main riff. This song also features a long, melodic acoustic interlude. 02. Jester Race - this song is one of my favorite instrumentals ever. This song sticks in your head and the harmonized guitar parts will enter your soul. 03. Artifacts Of The Black Rain - this is my second favorite song on the album. The guitar leads in this song are amazing. 04. Graveland - this song talks about losing the war with human nature, "for each day of war is a failure of man, enslaved to her mordial genes, illusions bleed from the fetid cores, bent to their rotten extremes." 05. Lord Hypnos - this is a very catchy riff and surprisingly enough a catchy vocal as well. 06. Dead Eternity - this song starts out with a nice fast guitar lead and breaks down into a heavy harmonized riff. nice. 07. The Jester Race - title track that delivers. They use delay nicely in this song. The lyrics are also nice in this song. 08. December Flower - I can't say enough about this song. This is my favorite song of all time. A fast heavy riff to start out, then a nice lead followed by a blisering solo that surrenders to no one. Awesome. 09. Wayfaerer - nice instrumental with a guest keyboard solo. 10. Dead God In Me - this song is very heavy and uses harmonies nicely. 11. Goliaths Disarm Their Davids - awesome lyrics complemented with good riffs and melodies. 12. Gyroscope - a release from Whoracle which is awesome. 13. Acoustic Medley - one of my favorite acoustic songs of all time. It is a mesh of all of In Flames popular meledies including Artifacts of the Black Rain, Jotun, and others. 14. Behind Space Live - one of In Flames original songs which exemplifies their sound, kind of rough vocals though. Overall every song on this album has an original riff, melody, harmonization, solo etc. In Flames is an awesome band filled with musicianship. Jester Race! Buy it! I would kill someone if I lost this album or if it got stolen.