Dark Tranquillity

Dark Tranquillity is a Swedish melodic death metal[1] band from Gothenburg. They are considered one of the pioneering acts of the Gothenburg metal scene, which also includes bands such as In Flames and At the Gates. Dark Tranquillity is regarded as the Gothenburg fathers in the film entitled Out of Nothing: A DT Documentary released by Century Media, which was filmed in Gothenburg, Sweden in April 2009.[2]

Dark Tranquillity
Dark Tranquillity playing live at Summer Breeze Open Air 2007, with former bassist Michael Niklasson on the left and the vocalist Mikael Stanne on the right.
Background information
OriginBilldal, Sweden
GenresMelodic death metal
Years active1989present
  • Slaughter Records (1992–1993)
  • Carnage Records (1993–1994)
  • Spinefarm (1993–1994)
  • Osmose (1994–1998)
  • Metal Invader (1998)
  • Century Media (1998–)
Associated actsIn Flames, HammerFall, All Ends, Soilwork, Dimension Zero, Theatre of Tragedy, Solution .45, Lucyfire
Past members


Early years and Skydancer (1989–1993)

Dark Tranquillity was formed in 1989 by the current vocalist and then rhythm guitarist Mikael Stanne, and lead guitarist Niklas Sundin, under the name Septic Broiler. Three additional members, Anders Fridén, Anders Jivarp and Martin Henriksson, later joined the line-up.

In 1990, the band recorded a demo entitled Enfeebled Earth before changing their name to Dark Tranquillity, which featured a largely thrash metal-influenced style of death metal, comparable to early Death.[3] It was followed by multiple demos, including Trail of Life Decayed in 1991 and A Moonclad Reflection in 1992, which both showed a progression into the more melodic nuances of death metal that the band would explore on their later studio releases.[4]

In August 1993, the band released their debut album Skydancer. Soon after, vocalist Anders Fridén left the band and joined fellow Gothenburg band, In Flames. Rhythm guitarist Mikael Stanne then assumed the position of lead vocalist, and Fredrik Johansson was recruited to take over rhythm guitar duties.

In 1994, Dark Tranquillity covered the song My Friend of Misery for the Metallica tribute album, Metal Militia - A Tribute to Metallica.

In 1995, the band released an EP, Of Chaos and Eternal Night, which was later followed by the release of their second studio album, The Gallery. The Gallery is often referred to as a masterpiece from the era.

The Mind's I (1996–1998)

Dark Tranquillity released their second EP, Enter Suicidal Angels, in November 1996. Their third album, The Mind's I, was released in April 1997, with the band continuing further with the sound conveyed on The Gallery.

Projector (1999)

In January 1999, with the band's album Projector recorded months prior and its release months ahead, Fredrik Johansson was fired by the rest of Dark Tranquillity, due to Johansson wanting to focus more on being a father, meaning also he could not tour with the band and leave his family anymore, and wanted to keep a day job, as opposed to the difficulties of being in the music industry. There were mutually no hard feelings between both parties, but with all of Johansson's reasons, the band still saw it as a lack of commitment to Dark Tranquillity as well. The album marks the last new release with Johansson. With difficulties always finding a new guitar player, a switch then occurred in the band when Johansson's empty guitarist position was then taken by the band's bassist Martin Henriksson, who was a little bit reluctant at the time to do the switch as he believed he was an average guitar player, but still went on to do so. To take Henriksson's bassist position the band hired Michael Nicklasson. Since the album included a lot of piano, keyboards, and electronics the band also hired an additional full-time member, Martin Brändström as their first keyboardist to complete their lineup and to tour for the album, additionally the band wanted these elements to become an integral part of the band's sound. With the new lineup, they played live bonus tracks of the reissue of this album and filmed a music video for "ThereIn".

Projector was released in June 1999. It was the fourth album from the band, and was later nominated for a Swedish Grammy Award. The album saw a major change in songwriting: while retaining growled vocals and their signature death metal sound, pianos, baritone soft vocals, and verse-chorus fashion song structures were now integral parts of Dark Tranquillity's sound, reflecting the band's goal to strive for different musical expressions. Also during this time, Skydancer and Of Chaos and Eternal Night were reissued together as Skydancer/Of Chaos and Eternal Night.

Haven (2000)

A year later saw the release of Haven, which featured prominent electronics in comparison to previous releases. Like its predecessor, Haven was also received in a generally mixed manner by fans and critics alike.

As the band toured in 2001, the band hired Robin Engström to play live, due to Jivarp's commitments as a new father.

Damage Done (2001–2002)

Dark Tranquillity released Damage Done in 2002, and was intended to be a step in a much heavier direction, adding thicker guitar distortion, deep atmospheric keyboards, and abandoning soft vocals altogether. They released the music video for the single "Monochromatic Stains", followed by their release of Live Damage, their first live DVD. In 2004, Exposures - In Retrospect and Denial was released.

Character (2003–2005)

Character was the seventh release from Dark Tranquillity, released in 2005, and was held in much critical praise. It featured the third music video released by Dark Tranquillity, with the successful single "Lost to Apathy". After releasing the album, the band played live in Canada for the first time.

Fiction (2006–2009)

In 2007, Fiction was released, which in turn, saw a return of Stanne's clean vocals, and the first female guest vocalist since Projector. The album also saw writing style that combined the stylings of Projector and Haven, with the more aggressive traits of Character and Damage Done. At this time, Dark Tranquillity toured with The Haunted, Into Eternity, and Scar Symmetry for the North America Metal for the Masses Tour.[5] They also toured the UK in early 2008 along with Omnium Gatherum. They returned to the US during spring 2008 with Arch Enemy. On the band's official website they announced that bass guitarist Niklasson left the band in August 2008 due to personal reasons with no hard feelings between him and the band. On September 19, 2008, the band found a new bassist in Dimension Zero guitarist Daniel Antonsson, who also was a guitarist for Soilwork.

On May 25, 2009, reissues of Projector, Haven, and Damage Done were released.

We Are the Void (2010–2011)

On October 14, 2009, Dark Tranquillity finished work on their ninth studio album. On October 26, 2009 they released a DVD titled Where Death Is Most Alive. On October 30, 2009 at the release party of the DVD 333 copies were given away for free of the rare live album The Dying Fragments. On December 21, 2009, Dark Tranquillity released the song "Dream Oblivion", and on January 14, 2010, they released the song "At the Point of Ignition", from their ninth album, exclusively on their MySpace page. Their ninth album, titled We Are the Void, was released on March 1, 2010 in Europe, and March 2, 2010 in the US.[6] They were also the opening act for a US winter tour that was headlined by Killswitch Engage and joined by The Devil Wears Prada.

Dark Tranquillity headlined a North American tour in May–June 2010 with Threat Signal, Mutiny Within and The Absence.[7] In February 2011, the band performed live at BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus in Hyderabad, India.[8]

Construct (2012–2013)

On April 27, 2012, Dark Tranquillity re-signed with Century Media. On October 18, 2012, the band began writing for the album.[9] On January 10, 2013, the band announced the title of their tenth album would be Construct, and it was released in Europe on May 27, 2013 and in North America on May 28, 2013. The album was mixed by Jens Bogren at his Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden.[10]

On February 18, 2013, Antonsson amicably left Dark Tranquillity, citing a desire to focus on playing guitar and being a recording engineer and producer.[11] On February 27, 2013, the band announced that they completed recording the album.[12] Although Antonsson remained during the recording of "Construct", he did not perform the bass.[13] According to Niklas Sundin's Twitter, he hasn't been excited for a Dark Tranquillity release since Skydancer, due to the fact that the recording sessions for all their other releases were "way too long" compared to Construct.[14]

On March 27, 2013, a teaser campaign and track list for Construct were revealed. The band also commented on the style of the album, saying, "While still bearing the unmistakable mark of the Dark Tranquillity, the record is probably our most different and diverse offering since 1999's Projector".[15]

To promote the album, the band toured the world with dates in Finland and North America alongside Omnium Gatherum, Europe with Tristania, and Sweden with Darkane.[16]

On July 10, 2013, a b-side from Construct, titled "Sorrow's Architect", was released on a limited flexi 7" released with an issue of Decibel. On January 14, 2014, the band announced that the song would be released with another b-side, titled "A Memory Construct", on a limited tour 7" and digitally which also includes the "Sorrow's Architect". The 7" became available on February 1, 2014, and digitally in March 2014.[17]

Atoma (2014–2018)

In March 2016, rhythm guitarist Martin Henriksson announced his departure from the band, admitting he had "lost the passion for playing music" after playing in the band for 26 years.[18]

On May 22, 2016, Dark Tranquillity began recording their eleventh full-length album Atoma,[19] but didn't officially announce it until July 6.[20] The album was finally released on November 4, 2016, via Century Media. In March 2017, the band released the song The Absolute, which was recorded during the Atoma sessions, as a digital single. On January 28, 2018 Dark Tranquillity embarked on a European tour with main support band Equilibrium. [21]

New studio album (2019–present)

On June 29, 2019, Mikael Stanne said in the interview that the band is "gathering material and starting the pre-production process" for the twelfth studio album.[22]

Band members




  1. Serba, John. "The Gallery - Dark Tranquillity". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  2. Century Media Records (2016-11-21), DARK TRANQUILLITY - Out Of Nothing - The DT Documentary, retrieved 2018-01-30
  3. https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Septic_Broiler/Enfeebled_Earth/26665
  4. https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Dark_Tranquillity/A_Moonclad_Reflection/4020/hells_unicorn/29518
  5. Century Media Records Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Dark Tranquillity: new album title revealed". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  7. "Dark Tranquillity Announce Headlining Dates". ListenOut. Archived from the original on 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  8. "Dark Tranquillity @ BITS Pilani-Hyderabad". Unseenunderground.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-30. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  9. "Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth.net.
  10. "DARK TRANQUILLITY: New Album Title, Release Date Announced". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  11. "DARK TRANQUILLITY Parts Ways With Bassist DANIEL ANTONSSON". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  12. "DARK TRANQUILLITY Completes Recording New Album". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  13. "DARK TRANQUILLITY Frontman Talks New Album, Bassist Split". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  14. "niklas sundin (cabinfevermedia) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  15. "DARK TRANQUILLITY: 'Construct' Album Details Revealed". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  16. dtofficial (23 September 2013). "DARK TRANQUILLITY tour trailer 2013" via YouTube.
  17. "DARK TRANQUILLITY To Release 'A Memory Construct' Single". 15 January 2014.
  18. "DARK TRANQUILLITY Guitarist MARTIN HENRIKSSON Quits: 'I Have Lost The Passion For Playing Music'". Blabbermouth.net. March 31, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  19. "Dark Tranquillity - Facebook".
  20. "New DARK TRANQUILLITY Album Is 'Shaping Up To Be Fantastic,' Says MIKAEL STANNE". Blabbermouth.net. July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  21. "Dark Tranquillity". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  22. "DARK TRANQUILLITY Singer Says Band Is Currently 'Gathering Material' For A New Album". Blabbermouth. June 29, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
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