Dark Tranquillity


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The shifting tempos, rhythms, and time signatures of Dark Tranquility's 1993 debut, Skydancer, limit the record's appeal, just as the inspired performances of challenging material offer promise for the Swedish death metal band's future. The only recording to feature vocalist Anders Fridén's throaty vocals, Skydancer also includes performances from original bandmembers Niklas Sundin and Mikael Stanne on guitar, Anders Jivarp on drums, and Martin Henriksson on bass. Jivarp has the most difficult task of setting the percussive tone for music that stutters and shakes constantly. Each player handles his assigned role with precision and the production is competent enough. The material is the only thing that holds this disc down. Aside from some nice power metal moments on "Crimson Words," the arrangements are generally fractured and unfocused. Despite these shortcomings, there is evidence of Dark Tranquility's vision and talent on Skydancer. While this offering is hardly to be avoided, fans should seek out later efforts first in order to enjoy the group's full artistic capacity.

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