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Dark Tranquillity - Skydancer

1993 Spinefarm Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

One of the major players in the "Gothenburg Sound" Dark Tranquillity consistently release intelligent, finely crafted musical artistry. On their first full length release, Dark Tranquillity incorporate melody, operatic themes and huge waves of emotion to form an ocean of sound which swallows the listener whole. While this album may not be as tight as The Gallery, or as focused as The Mind's I, there are moments of unparalled brilliance here. Interestingly, Anders Frieden vocal style on Skydancer is incredibly similar to Mikael Stanne, and his performance on In Flames' Lunar Strain, the subsequent band for Anders. The entire album flows together, almost thematic at times. An excellent first release. A re-issue has the Chaos and Eternal Night E.P. included.

Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I

1997 Osmose Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

My initial reaction is that DT have tightened things up considerably. Songs are shorter, and more identifiable. As usual, excellent guitar work and lyrics. The only flaw that I could make with Dark Tranquillity is that, although consistently great, each album does not contain any distinguishing characteristics. You know what to expect from them, and they deliver top rate material, but it is very similar to their past releases. Now, this may not exactly be a flaw, as I stated, each record is an excellent display of artistry, both musically and lyrically. In some respects, The Mind's I is incredibly poetic. Unlike Skydancer, however, there really isn't anything that stays with me from this album. This may indeed be due to the fact that I have not heard this as much as the others. All things considered, this is another strong release from a masterful band, and fans of their previous releases will be pleased. For first time listeners though, I would suggest starting with either Skydancer or the Gallery before this one.

Dark Tranquillity - Projector

1999 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-09-04

The mighty Dark Tranquillity make their move to superlabel Century Media and produce one incredibly mundane album. Now, I'm not the only one to notice the alarming style change that many bands undergo after signing up with CM, but I'm not going to stick the label with the blame here. For instance, check out Cryptopsy's latest release and tell me they went soft, and Arch Enemy had recorded Stigmata before laying their signatures down. This leads me to believe that bands decide to "mature", and then pick CM as an appropriate label to shift to. A shame really, as older DT material contains some truly classic moments in the realm of melodic metal. I have to admit that my patience for the band has waned over the years, as Skydancer is by far my favorite, with The Gallery coming in a close second. I never really got into The Mind's I like I thought I should, and after hearing three seconds of those meloncholy male vocals, I'm ready to give up. When they retain their roots, things come together, but there's too much pomp in this circumstance for me to ignore. Am I disappointed? Not really, as I didn't expect all that much after The Mind's I, but it's hard to see bands do this... I wish I could pick out the 15 awesome minutes of this disc and leave all the crap out, but life's not exactly fair, is it? Actually, I just wish that they'd ditch the new co-vocalist and get back to some serious ass-kicking, but that's just my opinion.