DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 3
by Martin Popoff

As usual, the band have turned in a rock solid playing and production job, all frequencies captured to perfection, the end result being a hard album housed within the extreme, but clean and discernible as well.

"I would say that the whole process was quite similar to what we had done on the past few albums," notes Niklas. "We did use one studio for almost all of the recording, which led to a very relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Because we can work whenever we wanted, and whenever we had inspiration and time. So as usual, we recorded the drums in the old Studio Fredman facilities, which is now under a different name. But it's such a fantastic drum room, good acoustics. And then we took the drum recordings to Martin's studio, and did the guitars, bass and keyboards, pretty much using the same set-up as usual, the same amplifiers, a combination of Engel and Peavey, in Q-Base this time. I guess the main difference was that we chose to have an external guy mixing it, without us being there - Tue Madsen from Denmark. So he took all the complete recordings and just mixed it in his studio in Denmark, without anybody from the band present. Which was really good, I must say. There's always a tendency if you have the whole band around for the mix, that everyone wants to hear his particular instrument more, and it's nonproductive. So we thought we would just let Tue do his magic, do his best. And then he would upload a sampler to us that we could listen to, and get our feedback. But he kind of hit the mark right from the start, I think. It sounds more dynamic and powerful than ever."

Unarguably, one of Dark Tranquillity's prime weapons is vocalist, lyricist and front man Mikael Stanne. But with so many deathy growlers out there to compare to, one wonders what it is about Mikael that stands out. Nikals, surveying the question from the inside, figures that, "First off, he has a good, quite phenomenal voice in the sense that he's very articulate. He can scream and growl, but you can pick up the words quite easily, compared to a lot of vocalists. Which is good. And of course he has his clean vocal range, which is kind of a, I guess, love it or hate it style, or an acquired taste. He has a really personal singing voice, which - and I completely understand this - is not everyone's cup of tea. But it's the kind of the vocal where it's not always perfect, but it conveys a lot of emotion."

DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 4