Dark Tranquility

Crank It Loud Presents

Dark Tranquility

Warbringer, Striker, Datura, Kairos, The Day Of Night

Mon Sep 11

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:25 pm

$20 advance / $23 day of / $65 VIP

This event is all ages

Dark Tranquility
Dark Tranquility
Twenty years since Dark Tranquillity burst onto the metal scene with ”Skydancer”, the Gothenburg quintet prepares to release studio album number ten. ”Construct” is the sound of perseverance. It’s also proof of the band’s ability to reinvent itself and stay relevant. This record is quintessential Dark Tranquillity while giving a fresh spin to the trademark sound.

After four albums – ”Damage done” (2002), ”Character” (2005), ”Fiction” (2007) and ”We are the void” (2010) – that have walked a similar path, ”Construct” marks the beginning of a new era for the band. It was recorded at Rogue Music, owned by keyboardist Martin Brändström, and was given more time to take shape than previous Dark Tranquillity records. Extra fat was trimmed – songs were sharpened. The ten compositions that make up ”Construct” are the the most well-crafted and striking collection of songs the band has ever produced.

The writing process has changed, as has the musical approach. These tunes offer an urgency that comes from melody and emotional depth rather than intricate riffing – while still conjuring up killer guitar work.Then there’s the addition of acclaimed producer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Kreator etc), whose mixing skills bring out the very best in the material. Bass duties were handled by guitarist Martin Henriksson following the departure of Daniel Antonsson.

Dark Tranquillity have been around for more than two decades. The new album shows that the death metal pioneers are more vital than ever and continues to push the boundaries of the genre. Vocalist/lyricist Mikael Stanne and guitar player/songwriter Niklas Sundin sits down to discuss the vital aspects of ”Construct”.

For this record, Dark Tranquillity chose a new way of composing.
Niklas: Typically, our albums have been written in the rehearsal room. Everyone would chip in ideas, we’d try them out and turn them into songs. It’s a very democratic way of working but also very time consuming. When we started writing this record, things just didn’t seem to happen. We had some false starts and realized that a new approach was needed. ”Construct” was basically written in studio. Anders Jivarp, Martin Brändström and I went there every day for a few weeks. We brought some old ideas – the Dark Tranquillity ”riff archive” is pretty extensive – but most of the songs were written from scratch ”Construct” is more straightforward than what we’ve come to expect. Niklas: It’s not as riffy as previous records. We wanted to really focus on the songs. The most important thing was not to repeat ourselves.

Mikael: I love ”headphones” albums, but this one’s more direct. Anders put it in a good way: we want all the songs to work well live. To me, they are very open and melody driven. Very honest. I felt that the vocals and the lyrics had to go hand in hand with that, so I made a point of keeping things simple. Vocally, I tried to build on the melodies and the chords and really emphasize them. The lyrics are less metaphorical than before. I wanted them to put the message across.

The album title is a noun – and the lyrics don’t paint a flattering picture of the human race. Mikael: A construct is something that exists in your own mind. A kind of fantasy. I’m intrigued by the
human need to make stuff up. That we create something to believe in to feel more at ease. I’m primarily thinking of religion, of course. In the context of the album, a construct is a negative thing. Half of the songs deal with every-day things while the other half have a more philosophical angle. I’m trying to work out why things end up a certain way. The bottom line is that you can’t trust the human brain, that everything’s subjective and that you’re always wrong. You don’t know everything. You can’t even trust your own memory.

Niklas: I like the fact that both the music and the lyrics have a common thread. A record doesn’t have to contain every aspect of a band. It’s more interesting when every album has a character of its own.

Mikael: Yeah. And in an era of streamed music and disconnected songs, I think there’s still room for actual albums. These songs are tied together and form a whole. Dark Tranquillity is now a five piece – and bass duties on ”Construct” are handled by Martin Henriksson. Niklas: When Daniel Antonsson left the band we initially thought of having a session guy playing bass.Then someone said ”why not Martin?”.

Mikael: At first, he was a bit hesitant – but once he bought into the idea, he really went for it. Martin hadn’t played bass since ”Projector” (1999), so this was very cool and exciting.

Niklas: His playing on the record is really creative. As far as touring goes, we have several options that are being looked into. Martin is still a guitar player and Dark Tranquillity is a quintet.
After two records with Tue Madsen, the band decided to let Jens Bogren handle the mixing.

Niklas: It was time for something new. We changed the writing process, so it made sense to work with someone else. Since the new music is a bit more simple, it felt important to have a lot of depth to the sound. Jens has a great ear for detail.

Mikael: He was always my first choice. When it comes to ”metal for audiophiles”, he’s up there with the best. When we’ve talked in the past, he’s actually said ”so when will I get to mix one of your records?”. It feels great that it finally happened. Everything’s so audible in this mix and I particularly like how Jens treated the keyboards. Martin’s always been much more than just a lead player, and now you can hear all the other cool sounds he makes.
Niklas Sundin swore he wouldn’t get involved in the cover art – well, he changed his mind.

Niklas: I wanted to concentrate on the music, but then I got this idea for a cover. I was up half the night making it happen and when I presented the result, the guys went ”yes!”. The idea was to design something graphic and stylized, based on the fact that the title’s ambiguous. ”Construct” is a noun but of course also a verb. I aimed for a mechanical feel in the same vein as Fritz Lang’s ”Metropolis”. And there’s an ”X” in there, since it’s our tenth album.

Mikael: The cover is simple and striking. Again, it ties in perfectly with the general vibe of the record.

Niklas: I also drew a cover for the vinyl edition. It’s monochromatic, but with lots of things going on. A bunch of different drawings – both buildings and carnal elements – have been pieced together. There’s interesting stuff to build on when I’ll create projections for the upcoming tours. We’re really looking forward to taking this whole thing on the road.
WARBRINGER has continued to evolve throughout its four albums into the one of the most aurally devastating bands in the scene today. On March 31st they deliver their monumental 5th record entitled Woe to the Vanquished and make a triumphant step forward on this record--it's an absolute must for ANYONE who’s into metal today.

WARBRINGER singer John Kevill describes the new album musically:
“For the music on this record we re-focused ourselves after a lot of the experiments on Empires Collapse, and decided we wanted to make a record that is start-to-finish more merciless, ruthless, and cruel, but also maintains some of the more melodic and progressive sense. What we ended up with is a record that has a lot of traits of classic thrash but also a lot of extreme metal, and a rather unique version of that blend. It's overall faster and meaner than anything else we've put out, but also has our biggest and most ambitious song, the 11-minute "When the Guns Fell Silent" to close the record.”

Woe to the Vanquished has been carefully crafted over period of time, and the album was produced and mixed by Mike Plottnikoff (Fear Factory, In Flames), mastered by Howie Weinberg (Slayer, Pantera) with cover art by the esteemed Andreas Marschall (Sodom, Blind Guardian, Obituary).
Kevill explains the stunning album artwork, “It is directly based on a photograph from the end of the First World War--a grim monument, a pyramid of 12,000 German spiked helmets, right in the middle of New York City. What struck me about the image is firstly how morbid it seems to be celebrating 12,000 dead men and calling it victory."
Striker is an Edmonton-based recording and performing heavy metal band that has grown immensely through their years in the industry. A classic mix of heavy metal, hard rock, and 80’s hair metal, their music features powerful, clean vocals, catchy choruses, vocal harmonies, and impressive guitar leads.

Audiences are often floored by the energy of their live show, and their recorded material has been met with fantastic response by both fans and industry across the world. Striker has toured across dozens of countries as headliners as well as support for major metal acts. Gearing up for the release of their latest album the sky's the limit for these Canadians!!
Featuring members of various heavy hitting NC metal acts, these 5 guys have already been establishing themselves in the NC metal scene for many years...formerly all spread across the state, the members found themselves all based in Raleigh and leaped at the opportunity to get a project going...Datura likes to be a composite of everything that is cool about metal and it's subgenres, from thrash, to doom, from black metal to djent, death metal to hardcore, their influences are vast thus giving Datura an interesting and we like to think original sound...but we suppose you will have to experience it for yourself....