Under The Influence #33: Second Brain on “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity!

For those who are unfamiliar, Dark Tranquillity are a six piece Swedish Melodic Death Metal act originally formed as Septic Broiler in 1989 in the city of Gothenburg and widely considered one of the creators of the  Gothenburg scene sound along with In Flames and At The Gates. They made their major label debut “Skydancer” in 1993 via Spinefarm Records and returned in 1995 for their sophomore album “The Gallery“. The record was produced by the legendary Fredrik Nordström (Architects, Opeth, Soilwork) and saw guitarist Mikael Stanne switch to vocals. The band have managed 11 studio albums to date although this one arguably remains their finest accomplishment.

Vocalist and guitarist Agravain from Second Brain comments: “I remember I was in high school when I came across a 5-star review of this album on an Italian metal magazine. I was so impressed by the reviewer’s description of the music, that I decided to buy the album straight away. When I first listened to it, I was blown away. I had never heard anything that intense, elegant and majestic. The reviewers’ words were spot on! I admired the band’s flawless delivery and excellent taste for melody, harmony and counterpoint. I was very young so I didn’t understand all of it, which made it even more interesting. To me, those guitarists (Niklas Sundin and Fredrik Johanssen) were absolute geniuses. Their approach to riffing was very influential when it came to developing my style as a guitarist and, as a result, Second Brain’s music. I also loved Mikael Stanne’s vocals – so expressive and emphatic yet still inaccessible and brooding. Almost all the tracks are perfect, but I have a soft spot for “Punish My Heaven”. It has one of the best dual guitar attacks I’ve ever heard in metal and it develops seamlessly from one brilliant moment to the next. What’s even more impressive is that the album has stood the test of time. It still sounds as vibrant as it did 25 years ago. Even though they lost brilliance and vision after “The Mind’s I”, I will always be thankful to Dark Tranquillity for giving us this absolute masterpiece.”

The Mind Awakes” by Second Brain is out now and available over at bandcamp

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