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Dark Tranquillity is a melodic death metal band from Gothenburgmarker, Swedenmarker. They are one of the longest-standing bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene and one of the pioneers of the melodic death metal genre, along with In Flames and At the Gates.


Skydancer (1989–1994)

Dark Tranquillity was formed in 1989 by Mikael Stanne & Niklas Sundin who looked at their influences then decided to form their own Band, under the name Septic Broiler as a thrash metal band. Another reason for their formation was that they were bored so they decided to obtain the other three members Anders Fridén, Anders Jivarp & Martin Henriksson in which they all lived on the same street. Since its formation the band has had a fairly stable line-up. In 1990, the band recorded a demo cassette tape entitled Enfeebled Earth before they would change their name to Dark Tranquillity and change their musical style. It was followed by two more demos: Trail of Life Decayed (1991) and A Moonclad Reflection (1992) -- both of which were later remastered and re-released on Exposures - In Retrospect and Denial in 2004. In 1993, Skydancer was released, and Anders Fridén, Dark Tranquillity's original lead vocalist, left the band and later joined In Flames. Mikael Stanne, who formerly played rhythm guitar and provided backing vocals, then became the lead vocalist, and Fredrik Johansson was recruited to take over rhythm guitar duties.

The Gallery (1995–1996)

In 1995, Dark Tranquillity released The Gallery, considered a landmark in melodic death metal, which saw the band tightening their production details to a great extent, and showed that the new line-up was an essential change that furthered the band as a whole.

The Mind's I (1997–1998)

In 1997, The Mind's I was released, which saw a slight change in sound. Before the release of the band's 1999 album, Projector, Fredrik Johansson was asked to leave Dark Tranquillity due to his lack of devotion to the band. Martin Henriksson then switched from playing bass to guitar to replace Johansson, and the band added Mikael Niklasson on bass and Martin Brändström on keyboards and electronics. At this point the band also signed to Century Media Records. Until 2008, the band had remained stable in its line-up and its musical style; blending layers of rapid guitar lines with harmony-rich electronic keyboard washes and extremely precise rhythms underneath Stanne's abstract growled lyrics.

Projector (1999)

In 1999, Projector (later nominated for a Swedish Grammy Award) became the fourth output from the band, and saw a 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.

Haven (2000–2001)

Year 2000 saw the release of Haven which saw the addition of slight electric keyboard sounds, but also abandoned most all of the clean vocals in favor of a slightly heavier sound.

Damage Done (2002–2004)

Dark Tranquillity released Damage Done, and was intended to be a step in a heavier direction, adding thicker guitar distortion, deep atmospheric keyboards, and abandoning soft vocals altogether.

Character (2005–2006)

Character was the seventh release from Dark Tranquillity, released in 2005, and was held in much critical praise. It featured the first music video released by Dark Tranquillity to feature the band itself, with the single "Lost to Apathy."

Fiction (2007–2009)

In 2007, Fiction was released, which in turn, saw a return of Mikeal Stanne's clean vocals, and the first female guest vocalist since Projector. Dark Tranquillity have recently toured with The Haunted, Into Eternity, and Scar Symmetry for the North America Metal For The Masses Tour. They returned to the U.S. during the Spring of 2008 with Arch Enemy. They have also toured the UK in early 2008 along with Omnium Gatherum. They are preparing for a live DVD to be released sometime in 2009. On the band's official website they announced that bass guitarist Mikael Niklasson left the band in August 2008 due to personal reasons with no hard feelings between him and the band. On September 19, the band found a new bassist in Dimension Zero guitarist Daniel Antonsson, who also was a guitarist for Soilwork. May 25, 2009, saw reissues of Projector, Haven & Damage Done.

We Are the Void (since 2009)

In October 2009, Dark Tranquillity finished work on their 9th studio album, We Are the Void, scheduled for release on 1 March 2010.


Throughout their 20 years active Dark Tranquillity have had only three line-up changes and 4 of the original members are still in the band today, although only Niklas Sundin and Anders Jivarp have maintained their original roles as lead guitarist and drummer respectively.

Current members

Name Instrument Membership Additional Information
Mikael Stanne vocals since 1989 Also played rhythm guitar 1989–1994
Niklas Sundin guitar since 1989
Martin Henriksson guitar since 1989 Originally played bass guitar until 1998.
Daniel Antonsson bass guitar since 2008 Former Soilwork guitarist
Anders Jivarp drums since 1989
Martin Brändström electronics, piano since 1998

Former members

Name Instrument Membership Reason for Departure and Current Project(s)
Anders Fridén vocals 1989–1994 Now lead vocalist for In Flames
Fredrik Johansson guitar 1994–1998 Asked to leave due to lack of devotion to the band.
Mikael Niklasson bass guitar 1998−2008 Quit due to personal reasons, with no hard feelings between him and the band

Session members

Guest musicians

  • Anna-Kajsa Avehall (Skydancer)
  • Eva-Marie Larsson (The Gallery)
  • Sara Svensson (The Mind's I)
  • Johanna Andersson (Projector)
  • Nell Sigland (Fiction)


Studio albums

Title Release date Notes Label
Skydancer August 30, 1993 Debut studio album which featured former member Anders Fridén of In Flames on vocals.
The Gallery November 27, 1995 Second studio album, first to feature Mikael Stanne on vocals and their first album produced by Fredrik Nordström, containing many melodic guitar passages, and female vocals in various places.
  • Osmose
  • Century Media (re-release)
The Mind's I April 21, 1997 Third studio album, featuring a heavier sound and fewer melodic parts.
  • Osmose
  • Century Media (re-release)
Projector November 25, 1998 Fourth studio album; an experimental release, featuring pianos in many places, and clean, baritone vocals in some parts. This was the last album before the line-up change. Century Media
Haven July 25, 2000 Fifth studio album, which abandoned almost all clean vocals, and added many keyboard sounds. Century Media
Damage Done August 20, 2002 Sixth studio album and their last to be produced by Fredrik Nordström. It incorporated many electronic keyboard sounds and atmospheres and started a new, 'heavier' sound reflected in the guitars, brought by Martin Henriksson. Century Media
Character January 24, 2005 Seventh studio album, produced by the band itself. Credited to have showcased a new style of death metal, which contained guitars using thick, fast, and heavy style, futuristic and highly technical keyboard atmospheres, and Mikael Stanne's classic abstract growling. Century Media
Fiction April 17, 2007 Eighth studio album, co-produced with Tue Madsen. Considered an album that blended all of their previous styles together. Century Media
We Are the Void February, 2010 Ninth studio album Century Media

EPs, MCDs and singles

Other albums

DVDs and videos

  • Zodijackyl Light (VHS, 1996, Osmose Productions)
  • World Domination (VHS, 1998, Osmose Productions)
  • Live Damage (DVD, 2003, Century Media)
  • Where Death Is Most Alive (DVD, 2009, Century Media)


  • Enfeebled Earth (1989, released under the name Septic Broiler)
  • Trail of Life Decayed (1991), (1992, re-release, Guttural Records)
  • A Moonclad Reflection (1992, Slaughter/Exhumed Records)
  • Tranquillity (1993, cassette compilation containing Trail of Life Decayed and A Moonclad Reflection, Carnage Records)


  1. "Dark Tranquility", Encyclopaedia Metallum. Accessed on July 21, 2009
  2. Century Media Records
  3. Dark Tranquillity: new album title revealed

External links

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