The Minds I an Excellent Melodic Death Metal Release by Swedish Band Dark Tranquillity - Album Review
An introduction to the great album "The Mind's I"
Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity has a habit of releasing excellent albums throughout their career. Their 3rd studio album The Mind’s I is no exception to this. It was released in 1997 by Osmose Productions. It is the only album in the band’s history in which drummer Anders Jivarp does not receive any credits for the songwriting. The album has several short songs but the quality is still very high. On the vocals is the reliable Mikael Stanne. Joining him are guitarists Niklas Sundin and Fredrik Johansson. Sundin is also a famous graphic artist. I really feel that Dark Tranquillity are an influential band in the genre of melodic death metal because they influenced other bands especially the great band Buried Dreams from Mexico. It would have been very hard for the band to do as great as they did for their 1995 album The Gallery. But with the quality of the music of this album, they come pretty close, so close that The Mind's I may be better than The Gallery. It is a tough choice to make because every single Dark Tranquillity album is solid.
Track listing for The Mind's I
- Dreamlore Degenerate
- Zodijackyl Light
- Scythe, Rage and Roses
- Dissolution Factor Red
- Insanity’s Crescendo
- Still Moving Sinews
- Atom Heart 243.5
- Tidal Tantrum
- The Mind’s I (instrumental)
With a very solid first half, The Mind's I easily beats a lot of melodic death metal albums
Opening the album is the fast and excellent song "Dreamlore Degenerate." This one has always been one of my favorites from the band. Dark Tranquillity are one of the elite melodic death metal bands along with In Flames. These guys are also great for their remarkable consistency in their songwriting, melodies, and furiously heavy guitars. These guys also use lots of speed, particularly in the song "Dissolution Factor Red" as Jivarp’s drumming complements the song very well. The Mind’s I was released in the same year as Children of Bodom’s Something Wild but this album is much better than that. As good as Children of Bodom were early in their career, they cannot even compare to Dark Tranquillity in terms of melodies and songwriting. It would be like trying to compare Slayer to Annihilator. A true metal fan would be aware of which metal bands are the best. I thought of not writing any more album reviews but I have changed my perspective. For the avid writer, any article has the potential to be a good one. That’s one of the reasons that I chose to resume writing album reviews. I hope you enjoy this one as well.
The Mind's I: CD image showing the creativity of the album
The Mind's I Ends With a Solid Second Half Including Insanity's Crescendo
"Insanity’s Crescendo" is a beautiful song that has female vocals by Sara Svensson. This continues the band’s tradition of incorporating female vocals into their songs. They did this in their 1995 album The Gallery and it has worked out very well for them in their career. The band continues their impressive use of rhythm guitar in songs such as "Still Moving Sinews" and "Atom Heart 243.5." After this album, the band would start to change their style a bit. They would incorporate more cleanly vocal parts in their songs and even add piano!
Let us take a moment to even appreciate one song that I did not even mention and that is the very melodic one called "Tongues." Let us say this together: we are thankful for the brilliance that is seen in the song called Tongues and let us bless the members of Dark Tranquillity for their excellent contributions to the genre of melodic death metal!
The Mind's I ends with a NICE instrumental song
This great album ends with the NICE instrumental song "The Mind's I." The song has acoustic guitar and a nice keyboard accompanying it. What can Dark Tranquillity do better with this album? The answer is not much as there is not even one song that could be bad. Even the weakest song "Dissolution Factor Red" is a good song.
Final grade: 98 out of 100 points!
The Gallery Vs. The Mind's I
Which of these two Dark Tranquillity Albums is best?
Vote for Your Favorite Song on The Mind's I
What is your favorite song on The Mind's I?
Making the Case That The Mind's I May Be Better Than The Gallery
Is the album The Mind’s I actually better than The Gallery? I have pondered this question because of the possible difficulty of the band matching the greatness of that album. The first two songs of this album although very strong do not match the brilliance of the song Punish My Heaven. However songs such as Insanity’s Crescendo, Still Moving Sinews, Atom Heart 243.5, and Tidal Tantrum strengthen the case that this album could be just as good as The Gallery.
The Mind's I Sees Dark Tranquillity Perhaps At Their Peak Musically
The first three songs of The Mind’s I certainly strengthen the argument even though they are not better songs than Punish My Heaven on the previous album. By this point in their career, Dark Tranquillity was at their peak and these guys were around 22 and 23 years old! If you are at your peak at that young of an age, you can only get better as time goes by and that’s what has happened to these guys even though their 2000 studio album Haven is their weakest release.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian