Album that changed my life:
"Come Clarity" by In Flames
In the wake of my success with Shadows Fall, I felt ready to explore the metal word further. To get some band ideas, I picked up a compilation disc I found in Wal-Mart that looked like it probably had some heavy bands on it. Most of that collection was terrible, but it had a track I almost instantly fell in love with called "Discover Me Like Emptiness". One day in the music section again, I found myself trying to remember the name of the band that played that song. "Oh right," I said to myself after a moment, "they were called 'In Flames' I think." With that I turned toward the rack and literally the first album I saw on the shelf was Come Clarity. It felt like an omen, so I went with it and made the purchase. Nothing was ever the same again. I have stated previously that In Flames played a major role in getting me into metal, and it would be fair to say that they had the single biggest impact of any band on shaping my musical tastes. My benchmark for music over the next two years or so would remain "How much like In Flames does it sound?" Not only did I love Come Clarity, but it was also the first metal album I bought that my brothers liked too, which made it all the more appealing since I could play it around them without hearing complaints. It was because of this album that I dug into the band's back-catalog, which led me on my next steps in music. This was also my primary introduction to music from outside the US and UK, since up until then it had never really occurred to me that countries like Sweden even had a music scene. This led to an obsession with bands from that region which to this day has not really died. It was also around this time that my music tastes became sufficiently metal-oriented for me to find Metallica appealing, though they did not have a big enough impact on my tastes to warrant an entry of their own. Finally, it was because of this album and the digging it prompted into Swedish metal that I had the single biggest day in the evolution of my musical world, which is coming up next.