Review: Dark Tranquility

Dark Tranquility
“Damage Done”
(Century Media)

Too much ludefisk and lefse in the diet of these Gothenberg metallers is just what the doctor ordered for a recipe of pure creative brutal mayhem.  Mixing dark gothic keyboard passages and mid-tempo death metal, Dark Tranquility is one of the few bands this side of Moonspell’s “Sin” that manage to crank out invigorating, driven music that isn’t afraid to drag its metal knuckles through the gravel and likewise knows just when to stand upright and pick out the embedded bits of rock.

The arrangements are inspired; the riffs ripe with head banging provocation; and their concern and care for their songs is evident down to the last. These keyboards aren’t your average run-of-the-mill darkish to black metal keyboards either.  They are very much equals in the mix and take on, at varying times, the sound of traditional keys, the piano, the tin whistle and I might have heard an oboe effect but it could have been some other wood wind.  I don’t know.  I didn’t take band in junior high.  I took choir.  Keeping that in mind, my junior high choir teacher would surely flunk Dark Tranquility’s vocalist, but then again he never managed to teach me how to hum an A on pitch.