Decibrity Playlist: Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 2)

To continue our celebration of the recent release of Construct, we asked Dark Tranquillity vocalist Mikael Stanne–that’s him in front–to a pick a non-DT record that related in some way to each of his band’s ten full-length records (plus one hand-picked EP). Last week, Mikael’s entries took us from 1992′s A Moonclad Reflection EP up through and including 1999′s Projector, showing where his head was at musically, something that he was really into at the time or that represents the period for him. Now, starting with 2000′s Haven, we present the second half of his picks, which we’ve compiled into one comprehensive Spotify playlist.

Haven (2000) :: Depeche Mode’s Violator
With a new lineup and a permanent keyboardist, we were ready to embrace our love for electronic music and focus on songwriting in a different way. In the ’80s, when in our city there was a constant battle between the kids into metal and the kids into synth, I always found myself somewhere in between. I could go out and buy a Depeche Mode album at the same time that I picked up Bathory or the latest Helloween. For me, as long as it was not on the radio, it was all good.


Damage Done (2002) :: Slipknot’s Iowa
I caught up rather late with this band, but once this album came out, my love for extreme music was somewhat reinvigorated. This was a fresh take on what I grew up listening to, and I felt there was great love for the death metal genre within this “new” metal record. This inspired me to increase the intensity, vocally, on Damage Done. I wanted to capture what it felt like standing on stage close to the audience, screaming right at them.


Character (2005) :: Rush’s Counterparts
Rush is my favorite band, and Neil Peart’s lyrics are the first thing that come to mind when I talk about inspiration for our songs. This album came out of nowhere for me, and it showed off a new heavy side of the band that they have maintained up until now. Truly amazing songwriting, effortless musicianship and straightforward quirky, intellectual and thought-provoking lyrics. THE go to band for inspiration.


Fiction (2007) :: Vader’s Black To The Blind
Vader has been with us since day one. I remember hearing their second demo Morbid Reich in late 1990, and I was blown away. This was all that was great about bands like Kreator and Sodom, in an even more extreme form. There was something so primal and infectious about their songs that caught me completely off-guard. And their music still inspires us. Not because they are a band who reinvents themselves, but rather distills and perfects their sound with each release. Black to the Blind is an instant party hit with us too. An album that makes beer evaporate!


We Are The Void (2010) :: Enslaved’s Vertebrae
When we look for extreme bands among our favorites, Enslaved comes up a lot. The intense feeling of the black metal roots in their sound, and their favor for progressive sounds and melancholy melodies have inspired us in many ways. I can hear so many of my all time favorite bands within their songs.


Construct (2013) :: Opeth’s Deliverance
Opeth go way back with us as well. Saw them the first time in the early ’90s when they were something of a black metal band. But I always got this willingness to be different from them, even in the early years. I love the unpredictable nature of their sound, and their total disregard for what is considered popular or “in” at the moment. And more than their music, I think that attitude has reinforced our belief that we can do anything, as long as it’s heartfelt and true.


*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)