1994, Regain Records
In Flames, "Subterranean"
Offering up a minutely remastered sound, Candlelight Records has reissued In Flames' 1995 album Subterranean, a record almost wholly responsible for the buzz and success of In Flames just one year later with The Jester Race. Candlelight throws on four bonus tracks for this stateside release of the now famous In Flames mini-CD for those who have already got the import version available years ago. Adding a few demos and two covers (Iron Maiden's "Murders In The Rue Morgue" and Metallica's "Eye of the Beholder"), Candlelight may be trying to jazz up the otherwise short 5-song CD, but In Flames' songwriting might not even need that much help.
With "Biosphere" incorporating the folk themes In Flames explored the year prior with Lunar Strain, and "Stand Ablaze," "Subterranean," and "Dead Eternity" further honing In Flames' melodic take on death metal, Subterranean is a near-flawless mini-CD. After Mikael Stanne left In Flames for the Dark Tranquillity camp, Henke Forss came into the fold for just one album, Subterranean (current In Flames vocalist Anders Friden, coincidentally enough, started out in Dark Tranquillity and came aboard In Flames on The Jester Race).
The bottom line, if you love and respect melodic death metal, you've already got Subterranean. If you have yet to pick this one up, but swear by The Jester Race and Whoracle, then you'll dig Subterranean. This little nugget is what made In Flames the band they were for the next few years, leading the charge for creativity, originality, and melody in the Swedish metal scene. Benefiting from better songwriting and a much improved recording quality, Subterranean surpasses its predecessor, Lunar Strain, and serves as an excellent bridge between the latter and The Jester Race.