at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, October 13, 2007

Dark Tranquillity logo

Fiction, Dark Tranquillity’s latest effort, is an album that really grows with each listen, and with such a classy addition to an already impressive discography, the band’s musical arsenal seems stronger and more potent than ever. In a live setting, Dark Tranquillity also has a certain “something” about them; maybe it’s the fact that the largely commercialized In Flames played a sold-out Oslo Spektrum just a few months earlier, and maybe it’s the feeling of true, heartfelt dedication from a band who, after 18 years and 8 albums, still seems to get a kick out of playing crowds of 150-200 people. Maybe it’s even frontman Mikael Stanne’s enthralling and eye-catching stage presence. It’s tempting to say that Dark Tranquillity live basically equals Mikael Stanne; his bandmates do not do much to entertain the crowd at all, basically standing there playing their stuff, and, well, being more than satisfied in doing so.

In this case, that’s not at all a bad thing, though, as that leaves more room for the man – the magician – that is Mikael Stanne. Very few frontmen have anywhere near this man’s charisma. Of course, it helps selecting a good setlist too, and with ”Nothing To No One,” ”Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive,” ”Focus Shift,” and ”Misery’s Crown” being played, showcasing how good an album Fiction really is, the crowd was more than satisfied. “Punish My Heaven” also came out beautifully, as did “Hedon” from the classic album The Mind’s I.

Soundwise, things were good -– for the most part. The sound was far better in the front than in the back, where the brilliant synth lines often got lost in the mix. Still, this was a night where fighting in the front rows was more than justifiable –- Dark Tranquillity are as vital as ever.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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