at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, March 12, 2006

In Flames is a prime example of the saying that hard work pays of in the end. The successful Swedes have been frequent guests of the Norwegian capital during the last years, and it’s not too many years since they played for a half-empty Rock In; a club holding approximately 100-150 people, and now they are playing for a stuffed Rockefeller, with the grind legends Sepultura as the support act. They did a pretty great job too, but first to the brutal Brazilians.


Sepultura is on the rise again after some troublesome years in the wake of the departure of frontman Max Cavalera, and their new release – the ambitious Dante XXI – is their best effort in several years. Three numbers from this record were chosen to open the show this Sunday night, namely “Dark Wood of Error,” “Convicted In Life,” and “False,” and the crowd warmly received the new material, as they did with the upcoming classics – “Arise,” “Territory,” and “Biotech is Godzilla,” Mighty renditions of “Come Back Alive” and especially “Roots Bloody Roots” gave the fans exactly what they’d come for, and showed that Sepultura can deliver powerful performances with both Cavalera brothers out of action.

Igor Cavalera was namely at home with his newborn child, leaving the drum stool open for former Soulfly drummer Roy Mayorga – who did a good job indeed. Andreas Kisser’s creatively painted Strat screamed and howled like it should, and Derrick Green did a more than acceptable job in the front. A very satisfying performance, then, which left a considerable amount of pressure on the quickly broadening shoulders of In Flames.

Sepultura Setlist:

Dark Wood of Error
Convicted in Life
Troops of Doom
Buried Words
Apes of God
Breed Apart
Biotech is Godzilla
Come Back Alive
Roots Bloody Roots


Luckily for the 1250 fans or so, the Swedes were in absolute top shape, and when the tunes from the slightly disappointing Come Clarity (most reviewers have praised this album to hell and back again, but is there really magic in that record?) sounded far better live than on record, and then were mixed with classics such as “Moonshield,” “Beyond Space,” and the mighty “Episode 666,” things couldn’t go very wrong. The band had also thrown in the big bucks when shopping pyro effects this time, and there were some very neat effect works going on.

The awesome “Pinball Map” opened the show, and has become the standard for latter years In Flames shows, and as usual this great track came across very good from the stage. The crowd singalong standards were set very high from the beginning, and when “Leeches” was played as the next song, it was clear that Come Clarity had found its way into quite a few Norwegian homes too. The following quartet of “Trigger,” “Insipid 2000,” “Behind Space,” and “Colony” was a flat-out demonstration of musical power, and those in the crowd still able to breathe gladly kept the noise level high during “Crawl Through Knives,” “Black And White,” “Take This Life,” and “Scream”.

Anders Fridén, who has molded into a very confident – at times almost arrogant – frontman, was dressed in a very Peter Tägtgren-influenced shirt and tie-outfit, spent a great deal of time slamming the few people who remained seated after several prayers about joining in the moshpit, and the guy with the dark hat on the second floor will probably remember this night for a long time. Still he (Fridén, not the guy with the hat) expressed his appreciation and gratefulness to the very lively crowd, which definitely had a part in this night being so entertaining as it indeed was. The very competent pairing of Jesper Strömblad and Björn Gelotte delivered the goods as usual – pulling off the at times very quick riffs from Come Clarity with ease – and the very solid and technically impressive rhythm section of Peter Iwers (bass) and Daniel Bergstrand was almost mechanistic in their precision.

Modern-day classics “Cloud Connected” and “Drifter” were next before a powerful version of “Moonshield” paved the way into thundering renditions of “Episode 666” and “Only for the Weak,” which left the crowd in uttermost awe. Still, this worked as sort of a double-edged sword for the band, at least from an old fan’s point of view … on the one hand, it’s impossible not to enjoy such phenomenal tracks being played like pearls on a string, still it’s sad to consider the fact (judging from the two last releases) that the band will probably never write such tunes again. In Flames is, though still an entertaining band on record, no longer the Death Metal authority they once were. The Death Metal elements are all gone, and it’s tempting to say that the band will never be as good as it indeed may have been before the Mallcore-Thrash sound of latter-day albums is gone.

This was very clear as “Vaccuum,” “The Quiet Place,” “Touch of Red,” and “My Sweet Shadow” ended the show. None of the four are bad tracks, and especially the closing pair are very strong tracks, but none bears the magic of In Flames 10 years back.

Still, this could not destroy the impression of a very entertaining evening – which probably stands as In Flames’ best performance ever in Oslo. This band is bound for glory, and the professionalism displayed this night clearly showed why.

Quote of the day: “Only suckers do encores. In Flames don’t.”

In Flames Setlist:

Pinball Map
Insipid 2000
Behind Space
Crawl Through Knives
Black and White
Take This Life
Cloud Connected
Episode 666
Only for the Weak
The Quiet Place
Touch of Red
My Sweet Shadow


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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