Dark Tranquillity have been considered one of the founders of the Gothenburg metal scene, along with greats like In Flames and At the Gates. Coincidentally, all three of those bands released an album in 1995, IF released The Jester Race, which is often considered their magnum opus. ATG released Slaughter of the Soul, often considered their magnum opus by many.
What about Dark Tranquility’s “The Gallery” however? It s often the most overlooked of the three albums. For one, the production isn’t quite as well done as the other two albums. To add onto that, most feel that DT’s newer work is their best, Character
and Damage Done
are both extremely popular releases, and deserve their popularity as well. Unlike most bands, DT seemed to have consistently pumped out amazing album after amazing albums, whilst other bands seem to hold up as their careers continue.
So this brings me to this, is The Gallery
a worthy purchase? And does it stand up to other releases of similar genres? Hell yes. As a matter of fact, I actually think it’s the best of the three 1995 releases. The guitar work is the strongest of three, and the vocals are very good, a definite improvement for when Mikael recorded Lunar Strain with In Flames. The drumming is also amazing. Mst of the songs are a good length as well, nothing too long, but nothing too short that isn’t necessary. There’s honestly nothing too bad about this album except that some of the songs near the middle start to get a little bland. Im gonna go over each of the contributing members to the band now.
Mikael Stanne performs the vocal work here, as should be know by now. Stanne started off with In Flames (and coincidentally, Anders Friden was the front man of Dark Tranquillity) and recorded Lunar Strain
with them. LS wasn’t too bad of an album, but Stanne’s vocals were pretty weak overall, most likely due to age and lack of experience. However, we can find an immense improvement here. The screams are much more controlled, and much stronger as well. Think Alexi Laiho’s screaming voice on Follow the Reaper but a little deeper, and you get Stanne’s vocals here. The deeper growls featured on the more recent albums are absent here, but it doesn’t bring down the magnificence of this record at all.
Fredrik Johansson and Niklas Sundin play guitar here, and damn do they deliver with some mind-bendingly awesome riffs. Just listen to the punishingly (pardon the pun) melodic licks featured in the opening track Punish My Heaven,
or the incredibly epic riffing in the amazing closer ...of melancholy burning
The guitars are what brings the whole cd together, as each of the songs contain an incredibly melodic lead that will give the listener goose bumps. Even the mellow instrumental mine is the grandeur...
features beautiful clean and acoustic licks, before fading seamlessly into part two of the song, Of Melancholy Burning
The opening riff in The Dividing Line
is also amazingly executed, and is probably the catchiest riff on this album.
Anders Jivarp holds the band together with some amazing drumming. From the drum fill opening of Punish My Heaven
to the last cymbal strike on ...of Melancholy Burning
he manages to provide some great beats and fills throughout. The double bass is used quite well, and quite often, like in The One Brooding Warning
but slower pummeling is featured as well, like in the short (yet somehow quite epic) Silence, and he Firmament Withdrew
Jivarp proves to be a solid overall drummer.
Martin Henriksson plays bass on the album. Like most albums of the genre, the bass is barely audible, but many amazing licks can be noticed if paid close attention. Edenspring
for example features some infectious bass as well as The Emptiness From Which I fed
So for the final word, this album is an amazing releases, one of, if not Dark Tranquillity’s best.
+ guitar work is amazing
+ strong vocals
+ amazing drumming
+ Rarely gets boring or repetitive
+ Kickass artwork :thumb: haha
- Bass could be a little more audible
- Though strong, Stanne’s vocals may not be liked as much as his deeper ones on more recent albums
- The song Lethe
is pretty boring, the only song i don’t particularly enjoy on the album. Could’ve been better
-Production could’ve been a little better
Top five tracks
Punish My Heaven
The Dividing Line
...Of Melancholy Burning
The Emptiness From Which I Fed
The One Brooding Warning