Dark Tranquillity, one of the world’s foremost melodic death metal bands— and one of the only melodic death metal bands to successfully infuse electronic elements without losing the sad, heavy, quality of their sound— are back and better than ever, despite the inevitable pandemic blues.
“We’ve been keeping ourselves very busy, just finishing up the record and making sure everything’s good to go, working on the press and videos,” says Mikael Stanne, the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist. “And trying not to think about what happens when it comes out— we drop it into nothingness, and then nothing happens.”
He’s referring, of course, to the lack of touring that took place after the release of their latest album, Moment, released November 20 via Century Media. The album was delayed from a summer release, and even now, there is no touring in site, a major change for a European band used to the constant touring circuit. But they’re still excited about the new album and some of the deeper concepts they delve into on the record.
“A lot of the lyrics are about how our knowledge and background informs the decisions that we make in the moment, how that leads into the future and the different paths that we could take, and how wildly unexpected things can be,” explains Stanne. “This was a lot of what’s on my mind, because I’ve been very frustrated these last couple of years thinking about where the world is headed, how we got here, and who is responsible for this. I’ve been looking at where we went wrong. And maybe I’ll never find answers, or I won’t provide solutions, but I’m getting some of that frustration out by writing about it, and screaming about it, and maybe somewhere, someone feels the same way.”
They also leaned into some really unique art for this album, a new direction featuring orange and red, warm tones instead of the dark, blue tones on the last record. The new color scheme was inspired in part by the video game Firewatch, an ironically appropriate theme here in the U.S., given the fires that ravaged North America last summer.
In terms of recording, the process was similar to past records, but with a modern twist.
“We’ve done the last four albums in the same studio, but we just switched everything up and made sure all the equipment was kind of updated,” Stanne says. “New gear and new things to play with. I think the analog warmth and smooth feeling we had this time around really benefits the album. It’s not something we were after, but it was really cool.”
To celebrate the new album, Dark Tranquillity recorded a livestream performance of the record. However, they are looking forward to this summer, when, as we all hope, live music may be possible again.
Check out the new Dark Tranquillity record, out now via Century Media, and stay tuned for music and touring plans.
Photo courtesy of Dark Tranquillity
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