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Dark Tranquillity’s “Character” Strong With Integrity @ 10 Years (2005-2015)

Artist: Dark Tranquillity
Title: “Character”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 1/24/2005
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Logo - Dark Tranquillity

I want to start this Music Milestone reflection by saying that 2015 is a big year for me personally because my PiercingMetal.com site will reach its tenth year online just before tax time in April and with that being the case I am paying a close level of scrutiny on many of the Metal albums that are reaching their own tenth year over these next few months. Now let’s get this underway and raise a couple of pairs of horns for the great Gothenburg Metal band Dark Tranquillity and their album “Character” which reaches its tenth year on this very day. The album was the bands seventh release and came to the fans care of Century Media Records (where they are still dishing out new and exciting material). When I first heard this I didn’t have too much of a background in this type of Metal because I was sheltering myself in the safety of bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden along with copious amounts of KISS. Fortunately getting some suggestions to focus on this kind of band and others of their type allowed for a greater personal musical growth and this is a practice I recommend to any fan that finds themselves content with three or four bands and nothing more. With “Character”, Dark Tranquillity reminded fans why they are such a legendary provider of the Gothenburg Metal sound and through it all, Mikael Stanne growls his points home. There are no clean vocals to be found on “Character” but with the intensity of the melodies behind Stanne’s rage I don’t think anyone will mind. This is as satisfying a listen at ten years that it was at one year. Before I reflect upon my favorite tunes from the album I wanted to stress how almost all of the members on this release (Stanne, Sundlin, Jivarp, Henriksson and Brandstrom) are still a part of the lineup in today’s music world with the exception of bassist Niklasson. I should also mention that when DT recently blew through town on tour only a few weeks ago there was NO bassist in the lineup and parts were done via keyboards. Perhaps they are not looking to replace him but if they are I suggest any readers with sufficient skill get their chops up and their resumes ready.
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“Character” by Dark Tranquillity

Artist: Dark Tranquillity
Title: “Character”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 1/25/2005
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 8/10

Considered one of the pioneers in the Gothenburg sound Progressive Death Metal icons Dark Tranquility have given you the perfect CD to get into their sound if you have not already done so. Front to back this CD is an in-your-face experience that is not soon to be recovered from. The growling of Mikael Stanne raging like a madman through the widely technical and heavy riffing only strengthens the piece as each track blasts from the stereo. Having only tested their work in other listens I have to say that this one appealed to me instantly for it raised the bar on what the group helped to create so long ago. If you are a fan of groups like Opeth and Darkane you will enjoy the level of technical expertise that is demonstrated on each and every track. The drive is solid in most cases with riveting patterns coming from all the players in the group. The guitar work of Sundin and Henriksson is to be commended in high fashion while the drumming Anders Jivarp throws you into all different directions with every second. There is a great use of keyboard in this release and it adds for some great mood changes and that had a two-fold benefit for me. Music like this breaks the mold of what you expect in a certain genre and it proves that most Death Metal bands that go the Progressive route are indeed talented and not one-trick ponies.
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