Listening to Dark Tranquillity and watching them live are two different experiences, their music translates exactly the same, as they are one of those bands that are able to sound good live as they sound on the record. But the live dynamic of a Dark Tranquillity show goes beyond the general screaming, headbanging or moshing, is almost a spiritual experience.
It has been a while since the last time I saw this band, and I must confess that for the kind of show that we experienced a couple of nights ago at Club Red in Tempe, AZ was fantastic, and this tour had a lot to offer to the audience. I got into the venue around 7:30 and the schedule was running a little behind, but nothing too bad. Exmortus, a thrash metal band from California opened the show with a solid set, that showcased a bit of their new album Slave To The Sword, and some of their old material. A really promising band in the vein of Warbringer and Municipal Waste, that will give a lot to talk about in the near future.
The next band to take the stage was Finnish melo-death metal outfit, Omnium Gatherum, which are touring North America for the first time. Their set was a well-balanced mix of older and new songs, especially from their latest album, Beyond. Dark Tranquillity couldn’t pick a better opening act for this North American trek, their execution was beyond impressive, a brand of new and fresh melodic death metal, with just the right amount of Gothenburg influence, but with a sense of freshness and originality that made their music so unique and enjoyable.
For a band that travels around the world several times a year, Dark Tranquillity was really conscious of where they were, as they announced it with big letters in the screen behind their drum kit. It’s always good when a band knows where they are at, and they take the time to make the crowd aware of that fact, so that was a nice gesture.
The set list of Dark Tranquillity was full of surprises from, a trip to the Damage Done (2002) album with Final Resistance, White Noise/Black Silence & Monochromatic Stains, a short visit to the We Are The Void (2010) album with The Fatalist, Iridium & Zero Distance, to a flashback to The Gallery with Punish My Heaven and Lethe. Even songs from Haven & Fiction made an appearance in their set list, and of course not forget that they played a good portion of songs from Construct.
Indeed, it was a treat for the fans, as the songs received an immediate approval from them every time Mikael introduced each one of them. It was, without doubt one of the best Dark Tranquillity shows I have ever seen. A real balance between old and new material, and even without a bass player, they sound was fantastic. Before their show we had the chance to chat with Mikael Stanne about this tour, their secret to keep it together, and their views on current music, and their experience across the globe.
NORTH AMERICAN CONSTRUCT TOUR 2014
DARK TRANQUILLITY / OMNIUM GATHERUM / EXMORTUS
25-Feb Dallas, TX – Trees
26-Feb Houston, TX – Scout Bar
28-Feb Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub and Billiards
1-Mar Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
2-Mar Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero