Featured Events

Coming soon


Album Reviews: 11989
DVD/Blu-ray Reviews: 397
Book Reviews: 401
Interviews: 1740
Concert Reviews: 1435

Share |

Other swag here
metal rules swag

Dark Tranquillity
April 2007
Released: 2007, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Megan Hughes

After 2005’s critically acclaimed CHARACTER, the stakes were high for Dark Tranquillity. Would they follow in the footsteps of fellow Gothenburg pioneers Soilwork and In Flames and release a total flop, to the dismay of melodic death metal fans everywhere? Or would they step it up a notch? In the melo-death rat race, it’s on—and with their new album FICTION, Dark Tranquillity have clearly left their fellow Swedes choking on their own mediocrity. The band may not stray much from their trademark sound, but FICTION seems like a natural enough progression from CHARACTER—and comparing the new album to its predecessor is certainly not a bad thing in this case. The main difference is that the band stepped away from their recording comfort zone Studio Fredman and ventured elsewhere to record their eighth full-length, namely producer Tue Madsen’s Antfarm Studio.

FICTION begins with “Nothing to No One,” a blistering opener with catchy guitar riffs, atmospheric keys and a headbang-worthy chorus. And this sets the tone for the rest of the album. I nominate the third track “Terminus (Where Death is Most Alive)” as the moshpit-inducer, with its upbeat tempo, syncopated rhythms and infectious guitar/key melodies. Mikael Stanne’s clean vocals have resurfaced—and he sounds better than ever. “Misery’s Crown” is the first track to feature them. Mikael’s range is limited, but he shows emotion—a trait not nearly present enough in the melo-death world. The growly chorus ‘Don’t bring it / Don’t bring it / Don’t bring your misery down on me’ will resonate with metalheads everywhere. The album ends on a high note with the unexpected “The Mundane and the Magic.” Everything about this song is memorable, but it’s the call-and-answer chorus with the guest female singer and Stanne that will get stuck in your head. Her vocals soar, but she never overpowers Stanne; she merely complements his own. Overall, there isn’t a bad track on the whole album. The 45 minutes will fly by, and it’s only a matter of time until your number of album plays on will skyrocket.

With the dethroning of Soilwork and In Flames, and a stellar upcoming tour [with The Haunted, Into Eternity and Scar Symmetry], the year looks bright for Dark Tranquillity and their fans. Whether FICTION is the best album of their career or not is a moot point, but it ranks with DAMAGE DONE and CHARACTER. And one thing is for certain: you’d better have some ibuprofen handy.
Track Listing

1. Nothing To No One
2. The Lesser Faith
3. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
4. Blind At Heart
5. Icipher
6. Inside The Particle Storm
7. Empty Me
8. Misery's Crown
9. Focus Shift
10. The Mundane And The Magic
11. A Closer End (Bonus Track)
12. Winter Triangle (Bonus Track)


Mikael Stanne - voice
Niklas Sundin - guitars
Martin Henriksson - guitars
Anders Jivarp - drums
Michael Nicklasson - bass
Martin Brändström - electronics

Next review: » Dark Tranquillity - Fiction
Dark Tranquillity
April 2007
Released: 2007, Century Media
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: El Cid

I must admit that when PROJECTOR came out I was very disappointed. IT wasn’t that it was a weak album (though it is my least favorite Dark Tranquillity album) it was just that Dark Tranquillity being my favorite band I expected so much more. I wasn’t wrong in expecting more, it WAS Dark Tranquillity after all. Of course back then I failed to see PROJECTOR for what it was: a transition album. It was meant to be a leap in a new direction while still moving forward. It was meant to avoid the pitfall of trapping yourself in the same album over and over again, it was meant to be a projection of things to come.

True enough, through the respective comings of HAVEN, DAMAGE DONE and CHARACTER we have seen Dark Tranquillity go through some very interesting changes, evolving in some aspects and sort of devolving in others. The quality of the work however has remained top notch through it all. SO we come to this.

It was with no small amount of pleasure that I came by an advance copy of the band’s newest offering, FICTION and I knew from the first listen hat this was a great album. The band’s sound keeps evolving, moving forward. We can hear more raspy vocals, we can feel less melody and hence and increase in riffs, we can feel the keyboards take a much more discreet place in the sound as if they were being blended with the guitar work, but most important of all, it feels raw. It feels emotion ridden and raw, the musicianship is warm yet precise. It’s very reminiscent of earlier efforts with unmistakable elements of the newer catalog. I think Dark Tranquillity are finding just the right blend of rawness, melody and technical proficiency.

A closer look at the songs in FICTION leaves me with the same impression that there variety and balance. “Terminus (Where Death is most alive)”, “Blind at Heart” or “Empty me” usher the coming of a fast and furious approach while for example “The lesser faith” is more atmospheric, “Icipher” seems emotionally charged to the point it could have fit in THE MIND’S I or “Into the particle Storm”’s evokes a somewhat bleak atmosphere. The album closer “The Mundane and the Magic” brings back something that if I’m not mistaken hadn’t been done since THE MIND’S I, clean female vocals to complement Stanne’s own efforts, a nice touch.

When I see what the other founding bands of the Gothenburg sound have become and how little the bands that should have been the next generation have brought to the table I am thankful for Dark Tranquillity. The band could have jumped the band wagon and made their musical commercially accessible just for the cash, but they’ve stuck to their guns and maintained artistic integrity, a thing more and more rare these days. This is why I am thankful that through all the years, we still have Dark Tranquillity carrying the flag of the Gothenburg sound with pride.

Choice Cuts: “Blind at Heart” ****, “Focus Shift” ****

Moonsorrow V-Hävitetty 4/5

Spike farm 2007


01- Jäästä Syntynyt / Varjojen Virta

02- Tuleen Ajettu Maa

Very short review because there’s too much to discover within and too little to say … Moonsorrow remain consistently a player in the Viking/Pagan metal scene. Their inventive composition, clever use of keyboards and great guitar work have massed them a pretty large following…and with good reason.

The first half of the CD is a mood setting song. A 30 minute mood setting song. Mind you the start of the song is very atmospheric and the use of acoustic melody makes it very enjoyable, then the axes hit. I suppose by now you have become acquainted with Moonsorrow’s style of axe grinding, but just to make it stick, the guitar work is brilliant, very appealing for the genre. The second chapter is pure Moonsorrow, Harsh vocals, Epic choirs, Keyboard Melodies, inventive guitar work in one work: Epic. Ant that’s that. The album is excellent! Moonsorrow at its finest. Go buy it!

Choice Cuts: duh.
Track Listing

01. Nothing To No One
02. The Lesser Faith
03. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
04. Blind At Heart
05. Icipher
06. Inside The Particle Storm
07. Empty Me
08. Misery's Crown
09. Focus Shift
10. The Mundane And The Magic
11. A Closer End (Japan bonus track)
12. Winter Triangle (instrumental) (Australia bonus track)


Mikael Stanne - voice
Niklas Sundin - guitars
Martin Henriksson - guitars
Anders Jivarp - drums
Michael Nicklasson - bass
Martin Brändström - electronics



Home | About | Staff | Advertise With Us | Staff Openings | Donations

Content is © 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved.
Graphics by Hammerblaze studio.