Tag Archives: sweden

festival review: Dark Tranquillity live at Bangalore Open Air, 2013

martin henriksson dark tranquillity live bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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Swedish melodic powerhouse Dark Tranquillity were also amongst one of the most anticipated bands to play at the 2013 edition of Bangalore Open Air. With their immense love for themes like memories, death and despair, for those of us who are actually into it couldn’t have come any closer in terms of matching our emotional frequencies with a metal artist. DT, as they are fondly known to their fans, amaze the listeners each time with their tracks, that enhance the blurry corridors of our mind thereby cleansing the world that’s present inside each person. And hence there is a massive connect.

mikael stanne dark tranquillity live bangalore open air 2013 absurd history 01

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Having missed their Hyderabad performance in 2011, being there in front of Jeff Hanneman stage was mandatory for me. And boy did they splash the crowd with showers of dark melody! Everyone woke up from their drunken slumber and paid attention to Dark Tranquillity‘s roulette. We chose our ball, placed it on whichever compartment of our emotional wheel and there they had a song ready for you. Razor sharp death metal was acuminated even more by their earsplitting presence on stage. Everything remained benign during their performance, be it the weather, sound or vocalist Mikael Stanne‘s smile.

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Having successfully released their new record Construct earlier this year, India was a perfect stop for their album tour and the band made sure they did not leave anyone dissatisfied. dark tranquillity live bangalore open air 2013 absurd history 01 Heads were banged and fists were raised to their tracks that were chosen more from their new record, but old crowd favorites were also played. The lethal combination of Martin Henriksson (guitars), Anders Jivarp (drums), Niklas Sundin (guitars), Martin Brändström (synth) and our beloved Mikael Stanne (vocals) sent chills down the spine of everyone who was present during their set. Not that they were spooky or anything, but they achieved it through a barrage of intimidating cimmerian riffs and beats.

Huge grins on the faces of the members throughout the set placed us in their hearts, and I have no doubts about them returning again in the future. Tenth DT album is now out and they are still going strong. For never disappointing their fans, be it with their studio albums or a live performance, may the force always be with Dark Tranquillity.

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[ Pictures – courtesy of Khushboo Sinha. Everybody head over to the link to check out more of her work here: Khushboo Sinha’s tumblr page ]

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album review : Orkan (2012) – Vintersorg

album : Orkan

artist : Vintersorg

genre : Viking/Folk Metal, Progressive Metal

year : 2012

Jamming even more seriously to their own proggy folk tunes, the Swedish-duo reproduce their jolly good music, and while you’re playing the album you’ll even forget to wipe your nasal mucus. Effective, eh?

Start a topic on folk metal and a detailed discussion would lead to the conclusion that Vintersorg are second to hardly any bands. These sons of Sweden could never make an intelligent critic frown at their tracks, simply because the mesmerizing output of their hard work is beyond the realms of musical pleasure. Managing to weave together viking topics with heaps of progression has made them a bullet proof metal act. With seven full-length albums that speak on behalf of this band’s talent, the journey that Vintersorg has had, looks straight out of a successful band’s biography that has multiple merits to it’s credit. Correction – A successful folk metal band’s biography. Folk is a step ahead, it is an elaboration of metal, and makes the genre proud.

Never simplistic in their approach, Vintersorg‘s eight full-length Orkan takes its time to unravel some of the untouched mysteries of a lovable metal category. Within an year of Jordpuls, the duo consisting of Vintersorg and Mattias Marklund have dropped an unsurprising package of eight tracks. Take for instance the speed-driven riffing on Istid, with a lot of clean vocals accompanied by many parts of chorus. The drumming pattern on the album is circuitous, and dials a different progressive number each time. Ur Stjärnstoft Är Vi Komna sets the surrounding on fire, helps vocalist Vintersorg growl his own words, and is mostly symphonic. Growls take the pole position on Havets Nåd, and Norrskenssyner.

The beauty of Vintersorg lies in the fact that even though they might be working too hard, their songs come across as seamless. Like how some things are meant to be, their songs too meant to be logical and musically meaningful. Third track Polarnatten has it all packed into one, be it the vocals, the keyboards, the boundless guitar playing. It is one song that has folk written all over it, along with Orkan and Havets Nåd. Vintersorg has been a town of melodies with every alley filled with melody in some or the other form. Even Orkan would receive all of my votes for carrying rhythmic tunes. Specially on Norrskenssyner and Urvädersfången, as they raise the groove bars too.

Nature, philosophy, culture can have bright as well as dark aspects to them, and when an epic band like this one decides to devote their songwriting to such subjects then the music branches out into several directions. Myren has a surprise in store with a very bluesy and pleasant guitaring. Orkan is entirely in Swedish, which won’t hit you in the first instance. The production is neither excellent, nor a let down. A fine balance is maintained, and is even raw at places.

The ever-lighting lamp post that goes by the name of Vintersorg has once again produced songs that pierce deeper into your skin, and make a visible place for themselves, even if it means to find the whole space already clogged with some good folk releases this year, which includes my favorite album Helvetios. Orkan will usher you into the strong viking kingdom, where the floating bubbles of progressive material will burst softly and you’ll cling on to the record for a long time to come.

Rating : 4.5/5


music review : A Vow of Vengeance (2011) – Cult of the Fox

album : A Vow of Vengeance

artist : Cult of the Fox

genre : Heavy Metal

year : 2011

Oh, look what we have here! The purest form of metal being offered sans any kind of filth. Avoiding complications in their music, Swedish group Cult of the Fox have released the first chapter of their musical career after being around for almost eleven years. It goes by the name A Vow of Vengeance – a very promising mixture of nine of the finest songs they might have written.

While the band is trying to get hold of an assortment of heavy metal ideas together, they drop less along the way and they are also not forcing anything. Neither on the listener nor on themselves. The female guitarist Erika Wallberg squeezes out as much as she can from her instrument, and Magnus Hultman sings on the microphone like he was born with one. Thunderous bass lines by Peter Svensson force drummer Daniel Fritze to live up to the expectations. Second guitarist Per Persson adds the much needed flavor thereby completing the metal organization named Cult of the Fox.

All the tracks on A Vow of Vengeance are my favorites, but Spirit of the Hunter confirms the bond we listeners are building with the band. It could be partially because of the term ‘spirit’ being a part of the song’s name, but seriously, after you are done jerking off over this review go hear the song. A huge portion of my job will be complete after you’ve played Spirit of the Hunter.

The album A Vow of Vengeance might not take you by storm but if you hear it closely without anyone trying to chew your brain you’ll realize the polished heaviness in their music. You might want to play the record at least a few times before passing any comment. For me they appear learned and they are here to brighten our lives. I just hope they return with a follow-up release pretty soon.

Rating : 3.5/5


album review : Opus Mortis VIII (2011) – Vomitory

album : Opus Mortis VIII

artist : Vomitory

genre : Death Metal

year : 2011

Members of Swedish death metal outfit Vomitory must surely be enjoying all the high ratings they are receiving for their new album Opus Mortis VIII, but let me be the first one to announce the averageness of this record. When I get ready to play a band like Vomitory I expect it to blow me away, nothing less. But there is nothing new that the scientists at Vomitory have done to death metal on Opus Mortis VIII.

There are riffs that pump your blood, but there are even some that sound like I’ve heard them before. The genre is presented absolutely how it has to be, and who else could have presented their trade better than Vomitory themselves. The production is mad, so the band is seen abiding by all the rules of this extreme genre. And that is it.

Does it make it necessary for us to like an album by one of our favorite death metal band? The answer is NO. Opus Mortis VIII does not spank me enough with death metal, and hence I ain’t driven to vomit. Good luck with the next album, Vomitory.

Rating : 3/5


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