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The Albums Skydancer & the Gallery by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band Dark Tranquillity Which One Is Better?

Updated on July 19, 2019
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.


This Article Will Basically Focus on the Early Years of Dark Tranquillity Which Are 1989 Through 1995

Back in February 2016, readers got a brief review of the album Skydancer by Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity but now the focus will be on their 1995 mini album called Of Chaos and Eternal Night Well this is the first part of at least three parts as the article takes a look at the early years of Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity. This was re-released along with Skydancer but readers might ask how good this mini album is? Before we address that, I have now decided to take a look at Skydancer as it has been over 25 years since this band’s debut album was released. Note: as this review is expanding we will now shift our focus to whether Skydancer is a better album than The Gallery. Making a straight quick judgement as to which album of Dark Tranquillity’s is better of these first two is tough. Also, since I have the re-mastered version of the album Skydancer which has the mini album Of Chaos and Eternal Night, there will be a review of that four song release as well.

About the Mini Album Of Chaos And Eternal Night

Of Chaos and Eternal Night starts with the title track and this one right away is vintage Dark Tranquillity which features the drumming style, melodic riffs and the usual growling vocals of Mikael Stanne who takes over the vocal duties from Anders Friden. The title track lyrically is about a tale told by someone that likes to explore extremes. The darkness is not a threat to this man’s existence as he admires the crows that take over as night falls upon the Earth. Even though I was going to do a separate review on just this mini-album, it is probably better now to include this along with Skydancer as what readers now see is a good double album by one of Sweden’s finest melodic death metal bands. I did almost a similar review of Metallica’s St. Anger back in 2010 seven years after it was released in 2003 but Dark Tranquillity’s Skydancer released in August 1993 is an album that has stood the test of time as far as melodic death metal albums are concerned.

Skydancer The Review

Nightfall By the Shore of Time starts that Dark Tranquillity journey into musical excellence as the four elements fire, Earth, water, and wind are mentioned but the lyrics are complicated to interpret at times. Even though Of Chaos and Eternal Night was released in 1995, it is not quite 25 years since its release but it is close enough anyway. Away, Delight, Away is a complex lyrical song about infinity being eternal in that it never dies. When our minds are still young, we can absorb all there is to know about this vast and infinite Universe which we are all a part of and the band knew this concept very well. There is so much that can be said about Sweden’s Dark Tranquillity that we could talk about so many aspects of their music and career. They have set a standard of excellence in the melodic death metal genre that is tough to match. Soilwork is not as good either though they deserve credit as well. A Bolt of Blazing Gold starts with beautiful yet intricate acoustic guitars. The album’s cover is appropriate showing the sky opening up into the heavens as the sky is so vast it seems like that can go on forever.

"Shadow Duet"

The Gallery In Depth Review & Analysis

Okay well, I have decided to give another analysis of the band’s 1995 studio album The Gallery simply because it is often times referred to as a masterpiece from that era and that is not too far from the truth. Songs such as Edenspring with its guitar work being soft as the song builds up shows once again that these guys are not just about speed at all. Even though The Gallery was released in November 1995, in 2020 it will be 25 years since its release so we might as well cover its importance a bit ahead of time. Even if the band had said that acoustic guitars with the use of clean vocals were unorthodox for this time period, these two aspects are the foundation of the melodic death metal genre. The one Brooding Warning is one of those songs that we have not really touched upon yet and it could be one of those forgotten songs by some fans. The song is basically trying to tell us that in this world of our things are not always as they appear so be careful of deceptive forces. As I mentioned in my separate review of The Gallery, Lethe may be the finest moment of this album if not the band’s career at that time. The acoustic guitar is so magically composed that it leads into one of the finest songs ever in any genre of music. I hope that even those of you that are not fans of the genre can appreciate the beauty of this song! The song lyrically is a sarcastic way of looking at life as drinking the certain fluid rather than cleansing us can make us feel like we hate others. Who would have known that this person back in 1998 (me) would have even gotten into melodic death metal and I’m glad that I did and in 2019 I see the brilliance of an excellent band of the genre. Bottom line: The Gallery is the better album of these first two as the guitar work, melodies, and vocals all fit in well together and back then, Mikael Stanne was the better vocalist for this band. I am sure most fans of the genre will agree that The Gallery is a melodic death metal masterpiece almost 25 years later and even at that time for those of us that were old enough to know about this genre of metal.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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