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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless masterpiece, 2 May 2006
By 
A. Hughes "Osarkon" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
This album, to me, signifies one of In Flames' best. I've got every album so far including Come Clarity, and whilst I can see some of the fan's arguments stating In Flames have 'sold out' etc, it just doesn't ring true. Every album has it's strengths, it all depends on what your taste in music is really. Biased reviews annoy me, so i'll say that this album is among In Flames' best, showing a wider variety of musical talent than some of their albums. A must-have for any In Flames fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jester Race, 1 Oct 2005
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
Like most of In Flames' earlier work this is a fantastic album. The songs generally aren't as heavy as the stuff on Whoracle, Colony or Clayman. But they aren't supposed to be. This is In Flames displaying their roots with the heavy influence of bands like Iron Maiden shining through, on songs like Lord Hypnos and Dead Eternity in particular (this influence is only as clear as it is here on Resin from Colony).
Best tracks are probably:
the instrumental masterpiece Wayfarer;
Moonshield with its experimentation into acoustic passages;
Graveland with its brutal riffing.
An excellent album by an awesome band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second only to Whoracle, 24 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
This is In Flames' debut album and possibly their best. There is a strong hint of folk music in it but it still rocks. There are some excellent songs on here, the most well-known being Moonshield, Artefacts of the Black Rain and the title track. But the lesser-known songs stand up well, such as Wayfarer, Graveland or Lord Hypnos, even though this debut is almost ten years old.
In Flames' sound here is a sort of stripped-down guitar and drums, although the drums add more atmosphere on this record than it does on their dull-sounding live record. The production is surprisingly good; the guitars are typical IF but the quiet echo of the drums is a sound that IF should have stuck to as it does not intrude on the music or make it sound dated (eg in Colony or Clayman).
Also included is the EP "Black Ash Inheritance", which is a nice extra but hardly essential, as most people will have at least two of those four tracks already.
All IF albums have a certain standard of quality but I like the "slow-burn" appeal of this album, and the next one, Whoracle. TJR and Whoracle are good albums to buy only when you've heard the later albums, probably because they're less immediate and less "power-metal" sounding (but usually that means more listens = better album). Excellent. 9 out of 10.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Melodic Death Metal album around..., 16 Dec 2003
By 
R. Harrison (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
The Jester Race is a fantastic piece of of work from a truly impressive band. This combination of albums breaks away from the amature recording of "Lunar Strain" and sees the band taking a more professional approach to their music. Every track on this album is a killer, with glorius melodies, passionate harmonies and the ever pleasing vocal growl this is guaranteed to please.
The only fault I could pick out is certain elements in the production. The vocals are far too low in the mix as are the drums at times. Aside from that it's a must have album, In Flames' greatest work to date.
If you enjoyed this album, make your next purchases "Whoracle" and "Lunar Strain/Subterranean".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING, 23 Jun 2003
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
This, In Flames' first album on Nuclear blast, is by far and away their finest record to date. Be it the folk-tinged introduction of 'Moonshield', to the languid 'Jester's Dance', to the all out speed-assault of 'Artifacts of the black rain'. this album has everything. Stunning guitar harmonies (particularly on songs such as december flower, the jester race, and goliaths disarm their david's) are again laid-down by Jesper Stromblad and Glenn Ljungstrom and it is this plus fantastic vocals, bass and drumming (i.e. everything) that makes this record so special.
This is In Flames' masterpiece. Miss out, to your peril.
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5.0 out of 5 stars December Flower!?, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
I listened to the whole album for the first time in ages today, and I'd totally forgotten just how awesome it is. I've still got a 1 Gig MP3 player (I guess I'm as good as living in the dark ages!) so I just have a few of my favourite In Flames songs on that. I've always loved Moonshield, Artifacts of the Black Rain, The Jester Race and December Flower, but literally every song on this is incredible. On listening to it again I really realised this - time for a clearout on my MP3 perhaps!

I won't go into too much depth, this is a genre classic that far exceeds The Lunar Strain, their previous LP (though I still like that album). The Jester Race is probably their best album. I'm a big fan of Whoracle and Come Clarity too though. This album retains the folk elements that really started to get lost from Whoracle onwards, and the acoustic passages and tracks are just as cool as the heads down riffing.

One final thing that astonishes me is that none of the reviews on here mention December Flower - it's probably my favourite track... a tough call to be sure, but the guitar solo is out of this world! Check it out, right now! There are some good covers of it on youtube too - mad respect to anyone that can play it. You definitely want to get hold of this if you're a melo-death fan, or even just a metal fan in general. The musicianship is excellent without ever being contrived, and it rocks hard.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, 30 May 2008
By 
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
I'm always cautious when approaching hyped albums, albums which are labelled the best a band has ever put out and especially albums labelled as 'genre-classics'. Such albums tend fall flat on their faces in dissapointment or, as is more often the case, fall victim to their own hype in that, while not being bad, they cannot live up to their reputation. The Jester Race, however, lives up to it's reputation as In Flames best and a genre classic.

The beauty of the Jester Race comes from its simplicty;a heads down, riff heavy metal album of the finest calibar, which has, to my ears, an almost working-class work ethic in that it delivers solid, top notch metal tunes without being overly flashy or needlessly technical. Take, for example, the legendary opener 'Moonshield'. It begins with a beautiful yet straightforward acoustic section, building up to a nice into the hypnotic groove of its verse, a great bridge, and another clean break before ending. Nothing fancy, the band arn't trying to show off or impress anyone but themselves. And it shows, as the band blasts along like a freight train, sturdy, strong, and not about to move outa the way for anyone. All throughout the album, the Jester Race is characterised by this wonderful approach of thrash riffs, simple yet interesting chord progressions, stratospherically uplifting major-scale leads (sounds like someone was a Joe Satriani fan...) and some brilliant solos. The rhythm section, especially the drumming, is likewise nothing spectacular but solid, reliable and planting a firm base for the guitars and vocals. the song writing has something to be said for it as well, combining thrash, death and power metal with sublte touches of folk here and there. Other stand out songs would be the killer 'Atrifacts of the Black Rain, with some of the best leads on the album or 'Dead Eternity' with its neo classical intro and gloriously bouncy verse ("THIS PART I CONTROL") or the closing 'Dead God in Me', the most technical, dark and brutal track of the album.

This 'simple yet effective' approach is mirrored in the production, which is fairly gritty but not so rough it makes them sound crap. The guitars have a great dirty crunch to them, the bass is surprisingly audiable, the drums tight and Ander's vocals, although sounding a bit all over the place at times, have a wonderful gargled rasp to them that puts a smile on my face any time of the day.

Also, i get the feeling that In Flames were taking a few risks here. For example, they start of with a mid-paced track (while most metal bands open with a fast number) and follow up with a chilled instrumental. The same with the other instrumental 'Wayfaerer' which sees In Flames realising their guitar hero dreams to their maximum extent. Not very deathy. but then again In Flames never were.

This is simply a solid album of great songs, great riffs, great songwriting and some of the most excellent leads on the planet. Nothing more, nothing less. You may find heavier, faster and more complex albums then this, but i doubt you will find many with such a wonderful sense of melody or such an unashamedly workman-like charm.

Essential
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second only to Whoracle, 24 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
This is In Flames' debut album and possibly their best. There is a strong hint of folk music in it but it still rocks. There are some excellent songs on here, the most well-known being Moonshield, Artefacts of the Black Rain and the title track. But the lesser-known songs stand up well, such as Wayfarer, Graveland or Lord Hypnos, even though this debut is almost ten years old.
In Flames' sound here is a sort of stripped-down guitar and drums, although the drums add more atmosphere on this record than it does on their dull-sounding live record. The production is surprisingly good; the guitars are typical IF but the quiet echo of the drums is a sound that IF should have stuck to as it does not intrude on the music or make it sound dated (eg in Colony or Clayman).
Also included is the EP "Black Ash Inheritance", which is a nice extra but hardly essential, as most people will have at least two of those four tracks already.
All IF albums have a certain standard of quality but I like the "slow-burn" appeal of this album, and the next one, Whoracle. TJR and Whoracle are good albums to buy only when you've heard the later albums, probably because they're less immediate and less "power-metal" sounding (but usually that means more listens = better album). Excellent. 9 out of 10.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Flames Jester Race/Black Ash Inheritance, 22 Aug 2006
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
In my eyes, this is probably the best In Flames album out. If you enjoyed Clayman, Whoracle or the new album (Come Clarity), then you will enjoy this. Although it is somewhat different to they're most recent offerings, Jester Race is a brilliantly produced album and more importantly beautifully performed by Swedish Melodic Death Metal's finest. A MUST buy for any metal fan.
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3 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding piece of workmanship, 31 July 2002
This review is from: Jester Race, the/Black Ash Inheritance (Audio CD)
When I first heard this beautiful album, I couldn't get over how amazingly superb the quality of it was.
Starting off, this mellow folk album shines through as being one of the most influential blues albums of our time.
Anyone into Marvin Gaye, or anything similar, I full-heartedly recommend this record.
Big up the Nat King Cole!
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