Review: The Album "Whoracle" by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band in Flames
"Whoracle" Songs List
- Food for the Gods
- Dialogue With the Stars
- The Hive
- Jester Script Transfigured
- Morphing Into Primal
- Worlds Within the Margin
- Episode 666
- Everything Counts (original song written by Depeche Mode)
- Clad in Shadows
Anders Friden the Vocalist & Front-Man for In Flames
The Album Whoracle Has Now Turned 20 As of October 27, 2017
There is one studio album that is coming up on a special anniversary in the history of the band In Flames. That album is 1997’s Whoracle. It is now 20 years since the album came out and how has it stood the test of time? You are about to find out very soon. The lineup is unchanged from 1996’s The Jester Race. Consider this your first exposure musically to Whoracle and you will really enjoy this album if you are a fan of the band’s older material.
Whoracle is one of those albums that in the beginning of it you sometimes miss the band's older material and it provides a sort of nostalgia.
Consider This Your First Look at the Album Whoracle
For those of you that are interested in getting a more in depth look at the album released just after The Jester Race, you don’t need to look very far because I later reviewed Whoracle again after I wrote an article analyzing why In Flames has been such a great band for the metal genre in general since they formed back in 1990. However, that other article has now been modified to include just a review of this band's mini album called Black Ash Inheritance. This article is a review of just the album Whoracle. This album title may be deceptive to the eyes of some metal fans because it may bring a reference to whores or women that are low quality people but do not miss this album if you are a fan of In Flames because these guys clearly know how to play highly skilled and creative melodic death metal!!
A few interesting musical qualities about the Album Whoracle
For this album, guitarist Jesper Stromblad also plays the keyboards and drums. This shows the versatility of Swedish musicians. I also notice that Anders sounds somewhat like former Arch Enemy vocalist Johan Liiva when he uses his death metal growls.
Note: However, Whoracle would be the last album to have Glenn Ljungstrom and Johan Larsson as members of this band.
Jotun is one of the best songs that In Flames has ever written
The most memorable song in this album is the song called Jotun. It is the song that I remember the most for sure. There are some narration style vocals by Anders Friden, something that the band had not used prior to this 3rd studio release. Food for the Gods starts with the type of guitar riffing that we would normally see Dark Tranquillity try to use. I notice a certain complexity to the lyrics of the first two songs so it is rather difficult to know what these songs are truly about.
Some interesting perspective about the song Gyroscope
The song Gyroscope begins with a beautiful acoustic part. Those of you that remember the band’s previous album The Jester Race will know that this is how their famous song Moonshield begins. In Flames has been able to create beautiful songs and they make those songs work and stand out. This is true regardless of whether those songs start out soft or if they start out heavy. The song makes a sort of reference to Lupus (Latin for wolf) which is a kind of autoimmune disorder. In this world of ours throughout time, there has been much disease and suffering.
How Is the Rest of the Album Whoracle?
The song Jester Script Transfigured switches back and forth between acoustic and heavy electric guitars. I see some of the type of guitar work that music fans heard on the Lunar Strain and Subterranean releases. Episode 666 is the other really memorable song on this album and it would be a song that the band would play LIVE in Tokyo. The song is a sort of humorous attempt to show that in order to get passage to that 2nd plane (heaven) you have to be a success on that first plane which is Earth. However what happens is that sometimes chaotic situations occur on earth. The album ends with another instrumental song called Whoracle and this one reminds me of an Opeth influence because of the guitar play because of how the song feels like it is going to build up into something else.
Favorite In Flames album released in the 1990's
What is your favorite In Flames album released in the 1990's?
How Has the Album Whoracle Been Over Time?
More than 20 years later, the album Whoracle while not as good as The Jester Race shows that the band really has not declined between 1990 and 1997. The band would only get better with albums such as Colony and Clayman. Whoracle may be a cheesy album title but that’s where it ends because the music on the album is high quality and continues in the style of The Jester Race which will obviously impress many of the band’s longtime fans. This album would also be the last album that would see the contributions of members Johan Larsson and Glenn Ljungstrom. I have discussed this album in greater detail in another article that describes why this band In Flames is so great. But for now if this is your first time listening to this Swedish band, this is a good album to listen to first.
Jacqui Bim of Sputnik Music offers a very deep, detailed analysis of Whoracle when she says “The opening riff of “Jotun” is an excellent display of flashy and melodic riffing, arguably the best introduction to any In Flames record.”1
Those of us that are musicians will agree with this assessment and even those of us that are not professional musicians but listeners of the melodic death metal genre will be in total agreement with this as well.
She is right about another thing as well and this is the fact that Whoracle isn't flawless. It is not the album that got me into these guys but this is an album that only adds to the melodic death metal excellence of this band. At this point, there are no words, paragraphs, or essays that could say just how impeccably awesome these guys really are! If you want to hear the coming influence of the soft vocals which would come in 1999 and only get more prominent, it is present in songs such as Jotun or Worlds Within the Margin. The vocals which are the rough style that this band began with can still be heard on this album for those of you that miss it. Songs such as Episode 666 have a touch of Iron Maiden influence mixed in. It is very difficult to find anything too wrong with this album! This is the third episode in the history of the band In Flames and it is a resounding success!
Strongest songs on "Whoracle"
Food for the Gods
Dialogue With the Stars
Morphing Into Primal
Worlds Within the Margin
Footnote and Reference
1. Jacqui Bim. “In Flames Whoracle.” Sputnik Music. February 1, 2013. Accessed on May 18, 2020. https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/54748/In-Flames-Whoracle/
Bim, Jacqui. “In Flames Whoracle.” Sputnik Music. Written on February 1, 2013. Accessed on May 18, 2020. https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/54748/In-Flames-Whoracle/
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"Food for the Gods"
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© 2017 Ara Vahanian