Colony SwedenCountry Of Origin: Sweden
In Flames - Colony

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Embody The Invisible
Ordinary Story
Colony Video
Zombie Inc.
Pallar Anders Visa
Coerced Coexistence
Behind Space '99
Insipid 2000
The New Word

Type: Full-Length
Release Date: May 31st, 1999
Label: Nuclear Blast
Categories: Melodic, Death

MetalBite Review by Luka on 5/9/2001
Every good band must evolve and change its sound to avoid becoming stale and predictable, and on "Colony", the path In Flames would eventually take becomes clear. A lighter, more melodic type of death-black metal sound that is being hailed by some as the "greatest thing to happen to metal since Maiden" is what they deliver with "Colony". While I donít share such an appreciation, I still canít resist the simple charms of this album.

At first they seemed like a second rate Children Of Bodom, but I eventually realized that these guys have a unique sound of their own. Anders Stromblad and Blorn Gelotte shower us with neat melodies and skillful fretwork behind Anders Fridenís vicious vocal assault. I have to admit that of all the death metal singers, this guy probably has the most likeable vocals; he just seems to put more feeling into his singing and doesnít stick with one sound.

The guys usually use the same method to write their songs. "Resin" is the perfect example and shows the typical "Colony" song buildup. Starts off with some really good melody, goes for the verse, chorus, verse and a few more attachments before it explodes right back into the melody again. From that point progressing to the solo or further melodies. And the simple formula works very nicely for all songs, although there are one too many filler songs on here like "Scorn" and "Zombie Inc." that bring "Colony" down as a whole.

Painted by the renowned artist for metal albums, Andreas Marshall, the cover for "Colony" is remarkable, although, like the lyrics, I still donít understand what the hell itís about. Most of the lyric lines on the album deal with some kind of science fiction storylines, near as I can figure, which just further separates these Swedes from their black metal counterparts who constantly seem obsessed with the "medieval" theme.

Bottom Line: Perhaps the best of the new melodic death genre, In Flames seem to be the leaders of this Swedish movement, which seems to have gained followers like Amon Amarth and many others. "Colony" is good, but there is too much filler material here to make it great.

Rating: 8 out of 10

MetalBite Review by Tobias on 11/24/2001
The high-energy metal propulsion engine that In Flames has become is cranking out one phenomenal work after another. With countless outstanding qualities shining through, it becomes far too difficult to get to them all without drowning the reader in words.

Album after album, you can hear the production getting more and more intense (and perhaps better funded) with these melodic-death deities. Another thing you will notice is how incredibly tight this band is getting. The weaving guitar-work of Jesper StrŲmblad and BjŲrn Gelotte is just getting slicker with each passing moment. This band is tight!

The arrangements are fantastic and are writing the blueprints for copycat bands that are sure to come in the wake of this bloody outstanding sound. Coerced Coexistence may be a prime example of this archetype.

But itís not just the wickedly tight drumming and magnificent guitars that are bringing this band to sit at the roundtable of such fantastic acts as Iron Maiden, frontman Anders Fridťn delivers with deft control a monster performance that is hard to match.

The amazing thing about In Flames that is so well exhibited in this album is how they can display absolute viciousness with such wildly moving and downright victorious melodies.

Bottom Line: This band is injecting an unparalleled solution of blistering metal and melody, this album will set you full speed ahead.

Categorical Rating BreakdownÖ
Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 10
Production: 8
Originality: 9
Overall: 10

Rating: 9.2 of 10

MetalBite Review by Death8699 on 3/15/2019 11:33:03 AM

Follow-up from the classic Whoracle release back in 1997, Colony has a little bit of a better recording quality than its previous output, but the guitar riffs aren't as memorable. The throat is still high-end screaming by Anders which definitely fits the music, both clean tone rhythm guitar and heavier crunch tone distortion. A lot of the songs feature a combination of the 2 types of guitar work with a different tuning than Whoracle. Instead of being in C, they are in A#.

There is less lead guitar work and more of a focus on milder tempos including acoustic medleys with a lot of aura behind them. I'd say that after their next album entitled Clayman, I lost interest in the band because they changed their style of music too much to the point to where I'd just want to say that they (like many other bands) sold out. I don't feel that way about Colony because it's still within the melodic death metal category. Even though there are some songs with clean throat also, they still maintained themselves into being true to their roots.

The guitar riffs are at a milder tempo, but they still have some aggression behind the music whereas on Clayman, it's a little "happier" sounding. Noteworthy guitars, same lyrical concepts i.e. astronomy and fantasy, plus music that only features solid melodic death metal. This album is slower than Whoracle in terms of the tempos, but like I previously said a solid release within the metal genre. A lot of chord progressions, some tremolo picked riffing (but not as much as Whoracle), and a milder vibe to the music. Whoracle was way more noteworthy than this one and I was surprised that it got a lower overall rating than Colony. It was probably due to the recording quality and a more solid drum work than its predecessor. It's definitely vintage In Flames, just milder and still featuring some form of aggression to the music.

In summation, Colony is definitely an album get if you're a melodic death metal freak like me. As I previously stated, it's not as noteworthy as Whoracle, but it's still good musical outputs and overall musicianship by the band. Strange tuning on the guitars though, but they still kick butt with the rhythms. I think that a combination of clean/distorted guitar riffing was well put out here, but not as good as Whoracle or even before that The Jester Race.

Rating: 7 out of 10