Dark Tranquillity


Written by: AP on 15/03/2007 17:48:30

There was a time when Gothenburg's underground scene was young and ardent. Its residents found it a fertile ground for musing and erected an entire genre to honor it: Gothenburg metal, or more commonly, melodic death metal. Today this genre lies at the source of almost any core-band's inspiration and not surprisingly; groove and old-school death metal form an irresistible mix. Dark Tranquillity, as one of the genre's progenitors, saw tremendous success even before In Flames popularized it and have since produced an impressive discography, never once forgetting where they came from.

But even a genre-defining band needs to mature, and "Fiction" does just that to Dark Tranquillity. Make no mistake, Dark Tranquillity has conformed to this doctrine throughout its existence, and "Fiction" merely continues the formula for success. Every year Dark Tranquillity writes an album that neither compromises its core values, nor bores by repeating itself, and every year this album is received with justified enthusiasm by critics and fans alike. Dark Tranquillity succeeds in what most bands don’t; writing material that is never deviant from their style but always has nuances of new and experimental. "Fiction" is no exception.

If emo-bands tell of agony and pain, then "Fiction" is synonymous with despair. If misery had a sound, Dark Tranquillity would be its instrument. As cheesy as this may sound, I know of no other band that can so accurately depict the darkness of the soul. This is made possible by poesy in lyrics, classical piano, electronically washed rapid guitar lines and extremely precise rhythms – the hallmark of Dark Tranquillity – and is a theme that "Fiction", too, explores.

The lyrics of "Fiction" and their delivery deserve a special notion. After all, Sundin and Stanne write some of the most phenomenal lyrics in the genre, so much that Sundin has even written the lyrics for some of In Flames' best albums, "The Jester Race", "Colony" and "Whoracle". While most of the album's vocals are delivered with Stanne’s trademark brutality, he also experiments with clean singing in songs like "Misery's Crown" – one of the best songs on the album by the way – and "The Mundane And The Magic". The latter features female vocals, too.

While "Character" was produced by Dark Tranquillity, "Fiction" is a joint effort with Tue Madsen. His touch undoubtedly added what "Character" lacked to make Dark Tranquillity’s best record since "Damage Done", and what should be reserved a spot in this year’s top-ten.


Download: Nothing To No One, Misery’s Crown, The Mundane And The Magic
For the fans of: At The Gates, In Flames, Opeth
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.04.2007
Century Media

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