DARK TRANQUILLITY holds the esteemed distinction as being one of the bands responsible for founding an entirely new genre of death metal music in the early '90s, which came to be known as "The Gothenburg Sound." Throughout each release, the band would explore the creative dimensions of expression, drawing upon science and mythology in their songwriting while focusing on such topics as chaos theory, psychology, art, varying states of consciousness and self-destruction. It was these lyrical aspects coupled with their stunning musical contradictions between captivating melodies and sheer brutality that helped them pioneer the famed melodic death sound.
The group kick-started the Scandinavian metal movement in 1993 with their legendary debut album, Skydancer , which also featured Anders Friden (pre-In Flames) on vocals. New vocalist Mikael Stanne was soon recruited for 1995's genre-defying The Gallery , which is also highly regarded in the scene as a legendary masterpiece. The Mind's I followed shortly thereafter as the group quickly built up a dedicated underground fanbase.
After signing to Century Media in 1999, the group issued the Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Dimmu Borgir) produced Projector , their first official domestic U.S. release. This effort saw the band take a different direction musically, incorporating more clean vocals and melodic aspects. The highly acclaimed release earned the group a Swedish Grammy nomination. A subsequent European tour with Children of Bodom, In Flames and labelmates Arch Enemy helped them gain massive exposure, and was soon followed by two successful shows in Japan with Soilwork, as they opened up the eastern crowd to their explosive, energetic and challenging music. This set the scene for the 2000 release, Haven , showing their more expressive and contemporary side and boldly declaring their prowess to embark on uncharted musical territories.
After a two-year hiatus DARK TRANQUILLITY returned in 2002 with Damage Done , heralded as a return to their roots and an album that set the stage for the group's first U.S. visits. This offering was a strong reassessment of the band's collective strengths and was filled with a mixture of sheer aggression, beauty, melody and soul-searching. Their first U.S. tour was ironically with In Flames, Killswitch Engage and Sentenced, which was the perfect medium to reach their target audience. The group's dynamic and energetic live shows quickly captured people's attention and their buzz started to build outside of the underground metal community. The demand for DARK TRANQUILLITY was so intense that the group was forced to return to the U.S. in early 2003 with Nile and labelmates Strapping Young Lad for a Guitar World sponsored trek. With an apparent stronghold on the burgeoning U.S. metal scene, the group would then begin the songwriting process for their most anticipated effort of their illustrious career.
Now, DARK TRANQUILLITY brings you Character, a scorching new effort that blends the perfect amount of unrelenting aggression and melody. Recorded once again at Studio Fredman with artwork by Niklas Sundin (guitars), the album retains all of the band's classic elements and thought-provoking lyrical content. It also portrays the image of a chaotic and tormented inner landscape based upon every person (character) being a combination of many different urges and attitudes.
DARK TRANQUILLITY was hailed by Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles as "the best Swedish band on the planet," and this 11-track epic is sure to help solidify this esteemed notion. The group plans to aggressively develop a strong U.S. presence through relentless touring and an undying work ethic. As a precursor to the band's new album, a low-priced, four-song EP titled Lost To Apathy has been released . The title track serves as Character 's first single; the EP will also include the song's music video, directed by Roger Johansson (The Haunted, In Flames).
This is easily the group's most savage and dynamic offering yet, so be prepared, for the foundation of Swedish metal is at your fingertips.