Few metal bands has been more under debate than Sweden’s In Flames. In recent years, they have more and more left their melodic death metal and become more of “normal” metal band with clear influences from both rock and pop. Things has even gone as far as old fans calling them a pop band, but that’s just preposterous and taking things way too far. But the fact that they have changed their style a lot through the years is indisputable. I have never been a fan of any kinds of death metal myself and I do have a problem with In Flames’ earliest material. Their four first albums Lunar Strain (1994), The Jester Race (1996), Whoracle (1997) and Colony (1999) are all too much death metal for my taste. Yes, I know that In Flames kind of death metal is the melodic kind, but that kind of music just gets on my tits. Clayman from 2000 was the first In Flames album that I liked and I became a fan with the brilliant Reroute To Remain (2002). That was, of course, because they had become more and more melodic which suits my taste in metal more and even though I have a huge (as in HUGE) problem with growl and guttural screams, I found it bearable and that was only because the melodies were so pronounced and distinct – and catchy. The only other growler I can stand is Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. The original diehards hasn’t been merciful when it comes to the criticism of In Flames more and more melodic style, butI guess it’s understandable if you’re a death metal fantastic, but to me it seems only narrow-minded to not let a band develop musically and progress instead of stagnate and tread water. On the other hand, not many bands has changed their style so much without changing their name, because the In Flames of 2014 aren’t even close to the In Flames of 1994. It’s almost impossible to recognize them as the same band. Still, sometimes I feel the criticism towards them is a bit too ferocious. But the biggest change came when the last original member, guitarist and song writer Jesper Strömblad decided to leave the band to get kick his alcoholism in 2010.