The Album Called the Gallery by Swedish Band Dark Tranquillity: Is It Their Best One?
The Gallery: front album cover
A few basic details about the album
Genre: Melodic death metal
Record Label: Osmose Productions
Date Released: November 27, 1995
Track Listing for The Gallery
- Punish My Heaven
- Silence and the Firmament Withdrew
- The Dividing Line
- The Gallery
- The One Brooding Warning
- Midway Through Infinity
- The Emptiness From Which I Fed
- Mine is the Grandeur
- Of Melancholy Burning
The Gallery: an outstanding album featuring the Gothenburg style of heavy metal
In the history of heavy metal, particularly melodic death metal, there are albums that stand out as albums to remember. They are so memorable that some would say that they are the best in a band’s career. One example of this is Dark Tranqullity’s second album The Gallery. The album is considered to be a classic album of the Gothenburg style of metal.
Why is The Gallery considered such an outstanding album?
The reasons are dual lead guitar work, growling vocals, and acoustic sections that are typical of this style. This is the band’s first album to feature Mikael Stanne as a full-time member. He had played the rhythm guitar for the previous work Skydancer and had done the vocals for the Of Chaos and Eternal Night EP.
A Photo of Vocalist Mikael Stanne Seen Here in 2007
The song Punish My Heaven is one of the most outstanding opening songs in any album
Opening the album is the excellent song Punish My Heaven. The punishing, aggressive guitar work along with Anders Jivarp’s fast drumming make this one a classic song. I remember listening to this one a lot when I was in my 20’s. Another interesting feature is the use of female vocals. This appears in songs such as The Gallery, Lethe, and of Melancholy Burning. But let’s shift our focus back to the song Punish My Heaven. The 3.5 minute mark has some of the best guitar work that Dark Tranquillity has ever created due to the sound and intricate melody because it is like a work of art that never loses its appreciation through time. It is now 2018 and The Gallery still sounds creative, exciting, and fresh as it did back in 1998 or 1999 when I first heard it. The best moment of this album may be the song Lethe.
The song called Punish My Heaven
Reasons why Dark Tranquillity is such an outstanding band
The band knows how to write effective rhythm parts, compose great lead guitars and write melodies which would make guitar players around the world proud. The Gallery may be Dark Tranquillity’s finest work for these reasons. If Ensiferum’s Markus Toivonen is one of the most overlooked guitar players, Niklas Sundin definitely is not. He knows how to play effectively without being the fastest guitarist. Skill and technique is sometimes better than speed. If Annihilator is Canada’s best thrash metal band, then Dark Tranquililty is perhaps Sweden’s best melodic death metal band. The strongest song on the album other than Punish My Heaven is Lethe. The song starts out with an acoustic part that I still remember to this day. The awesomeness of it cannot be described in words. The song then transitions into a great mid-tempo song. Mine is the Grandeur starts the tradition of Dark Tranquillity instrumentals. On their 1997 album The Mind’s I they would write another one called The Mind’s Eye. These guys are versatile, using the elements that make a quality melodic death metal album.
Favorite Song on The Gallery
What is your favorite song on The Gallery?
Final thoughts about the greatness of the album
Is The Gallery the band’s finest work? True fans of melodic death metal and those familiar with the Gothenburg Style of metal will say that it is their finest work. If you give this one a good enough listen you will see the greatness of the album and this is still true even 20 years after the album’s initial release. Every single song is at least good. This writer gives The Gallery a 98 out of 100 points.
Note: in 2018 it is a tough call as to whether The Gallery is Dark Tranquillity’s best album because the case could be made that The Mind’s I and Fiction is their best album because those two are awesome as well.