Dark Tranquillity

A band deeply associated with the Gothenburg sound, a subset of Swedish death metal, Dark Tranquillity began in the late 1980s when guitarists Mikael Stanne and Niklas Sundin teamed with drummer Anders Jivarp, bassist Martin Kenriksson, and singer Anders Fridén. Though initially calling themselves Septic Broiler, they recorded a handful of demos in the early 90s before finding both their new name and their signature sound on their 1993 debut Skydancer. In he first of many line-up changes, Fridén exited the group at which point Stanne became the lead singer, and Fredrik Johansson joined as the new second guitarist. This was the quintet that recorded 1995’s The Gallery, an LP that fused heavy metal with death metal by serving up a tight rhythm section in support of fast and fiery leads. The album earned them international recognition as leaders in death metal. 1997’s The Mind’s I faithfully followed the template of their breakthrough, but they allowed their sound to evolve with electronic experimentation and varying the sound of the lead vocals, while always wedding a surprising knack for melody with the aggression expected in death-metal bands. 21st century albus like 2005’s Character kept them near the top of their genre. They continued to record and tour regularly, but the schedule led to several personnel changes over the years. In September 2020, thirty years after their formation, Stanne and his current line-up released the single “Phantom Days” ahead of their 12th studio album, Moment, which followed in November.

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