Dark Tranquillity

House Of Metal - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Dark Tranquillity was, without comparison, the biggest band of the second and last day of the 2017 House Of Metal festival, so it was no surprise to see them headlining and closing Idun, the main stage.
Dark Tranquillity was also the band we’d been looking forward to the most on this day. It was the band we knew the best, and we’ve had several good times in their company in the past. So we were ready, House Of Metal was ready, and not surprisingly, the band was ready as well.

“It’s fucking fabulous to be back in Umeå! From up here you look great!”
- Michael Stanne (vocals)

Dark Tranquillity presented themselves very well visually, with a large videoscreen backdrop and several smaller printed cloths hanging around the stage. The videoscreen mostly displayed different images most likely credited to the in-band graphic designer and guitarist Niklas Sundin (not present at the show), but also showed music videos alongside the music, as in Forward Momentum which displays vocalist Stanne taking a few people for a long drive through a harsh and barren landscape. After this, Stanne humorously remarked that if anyone would need a cab ride up north, they knew who to call.
The band wasn’t just proficient in visuals of course. They had an admirably good sound going, which we found out as soon as the first song of the gig began. The new faces in the band did well as well, both in playing and performing, and even though it wasn’t the familiar state, I sensed it worked well for the band. To put names to them, we had Anders Iwers (Tiamat, Ceremonial Oath) on bass, an always welcome sight, and on shared guitar duty we saw Sebastian Myrèn (ex-Deals Death) and Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda, Nonexist, Skyfire), both of which I did not know at the time. Iwers is, I gather, a full-time member, whereas Myrèn and Reinholdz were hired guns, filling in for Sundin.
The rest of the gang is well-known by now, since Dark Tranquillity as a band, has had remarkably few line-up changes through the years.

They have made a lot of music however, and we were treated to a lot of it here. The setlist was long, and from what I could hear, it put a strong emphasis on material from the latest album, Atoma.
This meant that I didn’t know most of the material, and that was one of the few drawbacks of the show – even in not knowing the songs, I enjoyed what I heard, but of course the experience would have been even better if I could have sung along to the songs. It wasn’t until we reached the live darling ThereIn, that I felt truly at home.

On the other side of the fence from the band, I could see that the entire seating area had once again, for the first time this day, been opened up. Dark Tranquillity had, without a doubt, gathered the largest crowd of the day. And why not? This was probably the most anticipated show of the day, judging by the looks of it.
It wasn’t just the amount of people though, it was also the response given. Sure, the seated part of the crowd took it easy, but the people on the floor were altogether a different kind. We were headbanging, showing off our devil horns and fists, and applauded along to the rhythm of the music, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Admittedly, general fatigue snuck up on yours truly, and in the end we too took a seat, but even from there, it was easy to enjoy the effort put in by the band and their fans. When the band played Final Resistance, the floor erupted in a jumping orgy which soon gave way for a good-sized moshpit.
From the overview position we now had, I could see that there were actually a few people leaving before time. My best bet was that they were heading downstairs to give Asphyx a listened, as they as the absolutely last band of the festival closed down the Studion stage in another part of the building. This was actually something we had planned to do as well, but now that we were here, we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave before Dark Tranquillity was over.

This was because Dark Tranquillity showed us the best sides of being a band with routine and professionalism. They put on a looker of a show, played tight and well, and Stanne was the perfect frontman. He had a good eye for what was going on in the crowd, spoke well between songs, and as the show reached the climax with Misery’s Crown, he was down on the fence, singing the chorus together with the audience. As a final goodbye, after the rest of the band had left, he downed a beer to the cheers of the still quite large audience.
This was definitely the way to end the festival (we did catch a bit of Asphyx as well, but not enough for a review), and with all their qualities, it was not hard to understand why the management of the festival gave Dark Tranquillity this position.


Force Of Hand
The Treason Wall
The Science Of Noise
Forward Momentum
Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
The Silence In Between
The Pitiless
What Only You Know
Monochromatic Stains
The Wonders At Your Feet
White Noise/Black Silence
Final Resistance
State Of Trust
Misery’s Crown

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