This is one of the best albums I've ever owned and a pure, unadulerated metal classic to boot. From the opening acoustic medly intro of Moonshield you know that there is something special about this album. The following song consists of amazing melodic leads and tasteful growling (Anders used to be pretty good at it), as well as a gorgeous calm acoustic section in the middle. The next song, the instrumental The Jester's Dance, has mind-bendingly melodic guitar harmonies and it just beautiful. Artifacts of the Black Rain has amazing leads, as does Graveland, Lord Hypnos, Dead Eternity...there are no weak songs here.
December Flower...WHOA. This song is goddamn amazing. It goes at like 10x speed at the start then settles into an awesome groove with nice growling, then in the middle throws the most AMAZING solo ever recorded at you. This solo alone is worth buying the album before...it is my favourite solo of all time. The song The Jester Race is also a classic. A intensely catchy song, the intro is awesome and it has a nice little solo at the end.
Wayfaerer is the best instrumental that In Flames ever recorded, very heavy and groovy, and once again absolutely fantastic leads and even some mad keyboard action in there. Dead God in Me is also worthy for mention, for its dancing guitars and awesome riffage, as well as a midsection so groovy and awesome you can't help but tap your foot.
This album has it all. Spectacular guitars. Great Lyrics. Awesome songwriting. The Jester's Race is one of the first melodic metal albums I ever acquired and has since become one of those albums that just doesn't get old to me. The Gallery by Dark Tranquillity is one such classic as well, but whereas that album has weird song structures, The Jester's Race is easier to follow, but the riffs are just infectious. There are no things weak with this album.
Its a shame that In Flames started to slowly drift downhill...but I would also recommend the following three albums after this one. Get this album and learn the true beauty of metal.