Dark Tranquillity



by Shattered_Future USER (50 Reviews)
December 10th, 2005 | 15 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Most people know what Gothenburg metal is. Therefore, most people know who Dark Tranquillity is. One of the first (and still one of the best) bands to come out of Gothenburg, Sweden, and pioneer the Gothenburg sound, Dark Tranquillity is (or is it are?) a force to be reckoned with. All of the elements of their sound are done to absolute perfection, creating quite possibly one of the best bands of modern metal today.

Dark Tranquillity - Projector

Released: August 10, 1999, on Century Media records

Mikael Stanne - Vocals
Niklas Sundin - Guitars
Michael Nicklasson - Guitars
Martin Brandstrom - Keyboards
Martin Henriksson - Bass
Anders Jivarp - Drums
Johanna Andersson - Guest Female Vocals (this album only)

Yes, Dark Tranquillity has a great singer, great band, great music, yada yada yada. Most of you know that already if you read my Character review (if not, read that first for a bio of sorts). With Projector, the band actually went in quite a different direction than the path down where they were headed. Yes, the album still has the catchy melodic guitar hooks, harsh vocals, and whatnot that are standards of melodic death metal, but they are delivered in a MUCH more atmospheric value.

Projector was an experimental album of sorts for DT. It sounds nothing like they�ve ever done before (well, maybe except for Haven, but even that is different), and it�s quite an original album. No other band that I know of has attempted something like this.

In many of the songs, the distortion is turned off completely, an almost unseen trait in melodic death metal. The focus of the whole album is atmosphere, as evidenced by the heavy use of keys and the overall sublety of the album. Other bands who may have attempted this would have fallen flat on their faces. Not Dark Tranquillity. They make it work, and make a terrific album out of it as well.

One of the main draws of the album, though, is Stanne. Sure, he�s got his trademark growl: better than his earlier album work (I think), but still not up to the phenomonal level he shows on Character. No, on this album, one of the clinching factors for listening is his actual SINGING. Not many vocalists can do what he does (scream, growl, and sing), but he is absolutely stunning. His singing voice is deep, melancholic, and haunting; it will make you just sit and listen in wonder. It really grabs you in, and doesn�t let go. Emotional? Yes. Powerful? Yes. Excellent? Absolutely.

Couple his voice with some truly depressing (yet still uplifting) music, and you get an experiment never attempted before. Experiments can fail; they can also work. This falls into the latter category by at least 110%. While the album does need a little bit of grow time, once it does, you will be shocked. This is one of Dark Tranquillity�s finest, and truly worthy of anyone to own.

Another interesting fact: even though the album only has 10 tracks, most of them are 4+ minutes, with about half of them almost 6 minutes long and beyond.

Some recommended tracks: you should really buy the album (or get it through alternative means). There aren�t many standout tracks, simply because they�re all so good.

But, if you must:

FreeCard - When it opens, many of you will be taken aback for a while. The grand tradition of Dark Tranquillity opening with a very heavy number is gone, replaced by a lone piano. However, the distortion switches back on, and you hear the full extent of Stanne�s vocals in this song. Standard screaming verse, but the chorus is brilliant; some of the best vocals on the album.

UnDo Control - Features the female vocalist, and has the lightest and heaviest moments on the album. The chorus is ungodly heavy, but the rest of the song is very quiet and depressing. It instills sadness in the listener, yet makes you keep listening. A beautiful song.

Auctioned - No screams or growls in this one. Stanne completely sings this one, and does a superb job with it. A very haunting track, and one of the longest on the album.

The Sun Fired Blanks - Remains heavy throughout, and will please fans of the extra heavy Dark Tranquillity. Has your MDM standard altpicked intro riff.

Day To End - This IS a Dark Tranquillity album, right? Judging solely from this song, you wouldn�t think so. It�s almost a techno song for the first half, and a ballad for the second. Another very sad song.

Overall: Experiments work, as evidenced by this album. Buy it; all I have to say.

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Some extra notes: on the DVD Live Damage, Stanne sings all of UnDo Control himself, to great effect. That�s also worth checking out. The song was also released with Exposures: In Retrospect And Denial.

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user ratings (17)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

great review, i really like this album - it's just fantastic

December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Sweetness. This album is pretty cool. I like what Stanne tried to do with his voice here, and most of the music sounds a bit more experimental then usual.

December 10th 2005


The album needs time to grow on you, but its a brilliant listen once its done.

Yea, this is probably their most experimental as well. Very spacey in places.

December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Shweet! I may be doing a featured genre on Gothenburg. :eek:

December 10th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Mike, you silly bastard!!!

December 10th 2005


Quite different than Character...Stanne's voice is a lot different, and I think worse. Still has a terrific voice though.

December 10th 2005


ill have to buy this soon

December 10th 2005


Character was better I think

December 11th 2005


Excellent album. As you said it was quite a shock after listening to their older albums, like Gallery, and initially I wasn't impressed. Yet it did grow on me, and now it is a constant presence in my weekly rotation of CD's. 'Nether Novas' would have to be my favorite, mostly for how it flows between clean and distorted portions. It doesn't stop and start like some bands tend to when switching between clean and distorted sections. Nice review as well. BTW its Dark Tranquility is, as you first said, bands are singular entities.

December 11th 2005


XDark Tranquillity are a great band. Good to see a review that does them justice, but I think you overrated this one a bit. I'd give it a 3.5-4.

December 12th 2005


I dunno, this gets points for originality as well, not just for being excellent.

Nobody has done an album like this before...it's completely original. Plus, it's still a brilliant album.

However, no, it doesn't beat Character...nothing does. That may be one of the best releases in all of MDM, on par with Stigmata by Arch Enemy.

April 17th 2006


I enjoy damage done more than i do character.

April 17th 2006


My least favorite DT album, but its still pretty good.
And just in case, O&A PARTY ROCK!

April 17th 2006


Probably their weakest album, but I still dig it.
Day To End has Stanne's funniest vocal performance ever though.

August 3rd 2007


Finally got another DT album after only owning TG, DD, Character and Ficition for like four months.

I really like it, it's def not as good as the other four i own but still really good. My favorites in order for this album are:

Nether Novas (am i the only one who loves this song?)
The Sun Fired Blanks
Free Card
On Your Time
To a Bitter Halt
Undo Control
Day to End

This Message Edited On 08.03.07

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