Decibrity Playlist: Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1)

If you’ve followed our print mag over the years, you’ll know that we have quite an affinity for Dark Tranquillity, a love affair that extends from old (The Gallery was inducted into our HOF in 2010) and new (Chris Dick gave newest album, Construct, a glowing review…not to mention you may want to check out this month’s flexi disc). So it was an obvious choice to ask co-founder Mikael Stanne to a pick a non-DT record that related in some way (where his head was at musically, something that he remembers being really into at the time or that just represents any given period to him) to each of his band’s ten full-lengths (plus one hand-picked EP), a time period that spans over two decades. Part 1 covers 1992’s A Moonclad Reflection EP up through 1999’s Projector (which, if you read last month’s feature, was an interesting point in the band’s career). Feel free to listen along here, enjoy the absence of any further parentheticals and stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

A Moonclad Reflection EP (1992) :: Sabbat’s History Of A Time To Come
Sabbat spoke to us on an intellectual level and offered something so different from all of the other thrash bands that we listened to at the time. I was transfixed by the intense vocals and loved the crushing guitars, but more than anything, it was the feeling that these guys had a bigger plan. The conceptual lyrics were so dense and fascinating, and this album really sparked Niklas and me to form a band in which we could tell these kinds of stories and evoke such emotion. Hence the lofty, pretentious nature of our first vinyl release.


Skydancer (1993) :: Kreator’s Extreme Aggression
Kreator was one of the first bands in the extreme genre that I heard, and they immediately caught my attention. Their simple, yet effective song structures and incredibly aggressive delivery was paramount to our young impressionable minds. It was when I saw them in ‘88 here in Gothenburg that I realized I wanted to play rhythm guitar and scream.


The Gallery (1995) :: Dream Theater’s Images And Words
I got into progressive rock from the ’70s in the early ’90s, but it was not until I heard Images and Words that I realized that this kind of “out there” stuff could work in a metal setting. All of the sudden, all of the things that I loved about King Crimson, Rush, Genesis and Yes sounded contemporary and cool. So this album made us realize that we too could expand our music and incorporate whatever interesting stuff we could dream up.


The Mind’s I (1997) :: Atheist’s Unquestionable Presence
This, together with Death’s Individual Though Patterns, served as the soundtrack to our moving out of our parents’ homes and into the city. All of us left home leading up to this album, and the technicality of Atheist and the precision of Death inspired us to turn up our amps and practice harder than ever before.


Projector (1999) :: Anekdoten’s Vemod
Being somewhat tired of the whole Gothenburg sound thing at the time, we looked for new inspiration and new ideas, and we found it in our Swedish progressive scene. These guys, together with Änglagård, Kebnekajse and Landberk, inspired us to venture outside the norm of our genre and experiment more with moods, sounds and emotions.


*Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

**Order a copy of Construct here.

***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:

Mouth Of The Architect
Kings Destroy
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Shadows Fall
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)