In Flames Biography
In Flames is a Swedish heavy metal band, which was formed by guitarist Jesper Strömblad in 1990 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Along with the bands At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity, In Flames was originally a metal band responsible for developing the genre now known as melodic death metal.
During the band’s early years, the band had a varying group of musicians recording with the band, including many session musicians. By the release of Colony (1999) the group had established a stable lineup. Their sixth studio album Reroute To Remain (2002) showed the band moving toward a newer style of music that moved further away from melodic death metal and closer to alternative metal. This decision was criticized by fans of the group’s heavier metal sound; however, it increased the band’s mainstream audience and bolstered their album sales. As of 2008, In Flames had sold over 2 million records worldwide.
Since the band’s inception, In Flames have released twelve studio albums, three EPs, and two live DVDs, their latest release being their twelfth studio album Battles in 2016. In Flames has been nominated for three Grammis Awards. They won two of these nominations; one for Soundtrack to Your Escape (2004) in the “Hard Rock/Metal of the Year” category, and one nomination for their following album Come Clarity (2006) in the same category.
In Flames, along with Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates, pioneered what is now known as melodic death metal. The founding members of all three bands all lived in Gothenburg, Sweden and they were all friends who shared the same musical interests. Eventually, that group of friends branched off into three bands with the same musical direction.
Jesper Strömblad formed In Flames to write music that combined the melodic guitar style of Iron Maiden with the brutality of death metal, something which Jesper stated he had never heard any band do. In writing songs, Jesper also decided to make use of keyboards, something which was (at the time) uncommon in death metal. Ever since In Flames’ debut studio album, Lunar Strain, the band has made use of keyboards. Despite their sometimes heavy use of keyboards in their music, they still refuse to recruit a full-time keyboardist.