Dark Tranquillity

support Poisonblack
author PP date 12/11/08 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Dark Tranquillity are one of the carrying forces of the much loved and hugely influential Gothenburg melodic death metal scene together with bands like In Flames and Soilwork, and therefore it's a disappointment to see them play at the 600 capacity Pumpehuset with only 250 or so people attending tonight. And this is a big problem at medium sized metal gigs in Denmark. You can't really hold them at Loppen or at Lille Vega because those aren't really suitable venues for metal bands to play at, at least if you ask me, and although The Rock fits metal bands quite well, its renowned for its shitty sound quality. As such, bands like Dark Tranquillity are more than often sanctioned to play at Pumpehuset, a venue too big compared to their following here, and that always takes a bit away from the overall atmosphere.

Poisonblack

For some reason that I still haven't figured out, opening act Fear My Thoughts wasn't on the bill tonight in Copenhagen, and so we're only in for one support band tonight, the Finnish melodic/gothic rockers Poisonblack. I've heard and read good things about this band who are currently doing pretty well in their home country, but in a live setting, this band is a huge disappointment. There's only so much of monotonously dark male vocals you can stand on a given night, and the band's cause isn't helped by the fact that they are largely standing still. The sound quality is poor to start out with, which is probably a big reason as to why I didn't find myself making friends with the band tonight, despite their songs on Myspace sounding quite alright. On a night when you're expecting something pretty fuckin' metal, or at least phenomenal guitar work, and you end up getting a show with gothic overtones, Poisonblack appears a disappointment at least for the undersigned.

5

Dark Tranquillity

Before long, Dark Tranquillity enter stage to a huge cheer from the loosely packed venue, and jump straight into the "Damage Done" classic "The Treason Wall". Unfortunately, the quality of sound is still shitty as hell, leaving most people struggling to recognize the guitar melodies of the song. Lets remember for a second that Dark Tranquillity's music relies heavily on two things; the fantastic vocal work of Mikael Stanne as well as their incredible guitar melodies that carry the songs to the next level. When you can't hear the guitars properly, and Mikael's voice is kind of blending into a rumbling wall of sound, it is difficult to enjoy the show... but fortunately, the sound problems are fixed (to an extent) by the time the band gets to "Focus Shift". A mosh pit occurs, and in what later in the show becomes a pattern, the songs from "Fiction" and "The Gallery" become the ones that incite the most movement from the crowd.

After a bit of a lull in the show where we're only really watching the band's guitarists for their sheer brilliance, Mikael gets his chance to shine on "Inside The Particle Storm", showcasing why he is one of the best metal vocalists out there. The extended "Inside..... the particle stooooooooorm" growls are guaranteed to give chilly backs live, and that's exactly what they do tonight as well. But it's not before the "The Gallery" classic "Edenspring" that every single hair on each body raises tonight, simply because the guitar melody in the song is so astonishingly great. Meanwhile, the band's logo behind them has been switched with a video loop of the artwork of the album, slowly zooming in and out the beautiful gallery depicted in the picture, fitting well both to this track as well as "Lethe" from the same album, which arrives next. These are both songs where the band's guitarists get close to the audience to demonstrate the retarded speed of their fingers on the fretboard.

"Misery's Crown" is another highlight of the show, with Mikael demonstrating that he can sing just as well as he can growl, and it is followed by my personal Dark Tranquillity favorite "There In", which gets the crowd going as well. Then the band plays "Yesterworld", a rare track that's pretty unusual in a DT live set, followed by some more awe-inspiring guitar work from "The Gallery" in the form of "Punish My Heaven". But at this point in the show, it's become clear that only certain songs are going to work tonight; those with insane guitar parts, and those with a memorable melody that the crowd can move along to. Otherwise, it's business as usual for the band, and although things never get boring at a show like this thanks to the technical guitars, it starts to blend together towards the end with no remarkable highlights to be reported back on. While the set isn't bad by any means, as a whole, it isn't great either, but still something I wouldn't mind watching again.

7

Setlist:

1. The Treason Wall

2. The New Build

3. Focus Shift

4. The Lesser Faith

5. The Wonders at Your Feet

6. Lost to Apathy

7. Inside the Particle Storm

8. Nothing to No One

9. Edenspring

10. Lethe

11. Dreamlore Degenerate

12. Misery’s Crown

13. Therein

14. Yesterworld

15. Punish My Heaven

16. The Mundane and the Magic

17. Final Resistance

18. Terminus

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