8) “Suburban Me”
As I’ve already mentioned, Clayman brought me into the In Flames fold, and it was a damn good time to get in the mix. To this day, I can still listen to the whole record all the way through with minimal low points. The first three tracks clearly left the deepest impression on the band’s fans and the metal community at large, and unfortunately that means some of Clayman’s other top-notch material doesn’t always get its moment in the sun. “Suburban Me” follows the same melodic formula as the rest of the album, but it takes the guitar harmonies and vocal hooks even further… the thing turns out positively cheesey. And it’s awesome.
9) “The New Word”
Colony is an excellent record. The band’s songwriting/playing was really starting to solidify at this point, and while you could say Whoracle is the album that brought them out of true melodic death metal, I’d say the Colony sound marks the true beginning of the In Flames we know today. “The New Word” closes the album, and it’s also a great sampler for most everything else you’ll hear here. Next to “Ordinary Story,” I think it probably boasts the record’s most memorable chorus. It’s also at once energetic and melancholy, a combination that’d really become the hallmark of how this band delivers its music.
10) “Goliaths Disarm Their Davids”
This track popped up on the Black Ash Inheritance EP, a stop-gap release the band delivered between The Jester Race and Whoracle. With “Gyroscope” later featured on Whoracle, “Goliaths Disarm Their Davids” remains the EP’s sole contribution of substance. And, it contributes like a motherfucker. This is one of the best songs from this period in the band’s evolution; it plays like a fully-developed version of one of the better Jester songs like “Dead Eternity” or “Artifacts of The Black Rain.” In addition to the Jester Head-shaped Black Ash Inheritance CD, which I think is kinda hard to find these days, “Goliaths Disarm Their Davids” is also available tacked on to the end of Japanese versions of Whoracle, as well as pretty much any reissue of The Jester Race.
I didn’t really go back to Subterranean or Lunar Strain for this one. If you’ve read this far and were expecting something from either of these releases to be included, that tells me two things: 1) you already know how kick-ass both of those records are, and 2) there’s nothing I’m gonna tell you about that you don’t already know. One thing worth checking out, for those who haven’t revisited In Flames’ spate of recent reissues, is the version of Lunar Strain that features promo EP versions of several of the album’s tracks. If you’re a completist, as I understand it, that’s all that remains for you to hunt down from this particular era of the band’s history.