DARK TRANQUILLITY + KAMELOT + EVERGREY + NORTHGARD
Hard to believe, Dark Tranquillity, one of the originators of the ‘Gothenburg Sound’ (aka The New Wave of Swedish Death Metal), are 27 years old this year. Over the course of 11 full-lengths, two of which, 1999’s grand vision Projector and 2007’s furious fan-favorite Fiction, were nominated for Swedish Grammy Awards and countless worldwide tours, the Swedes have persevered through thick and thin. This endurance is powered by Dark Tranquillity’s insatiable hunger to constantly and consistently reinvent, to confront stagnation, even when all signs point to staying put and relying on a successful formula. From the day lauded debut, Skydancer, hit store shelves in summer 1993 to the shock and awe of Projector’s unorthodoxy to 2002’s stupendous Damage Done to the urban noir of 2013’s killer Construct effort, the Swedes, now men, whose perspective is now of wisdom and contemplation, continue to unflinchingly challenge the unknown. That new album, Atoma, marks the group’s silver anniversary couldn’t be more perfect.
Kamelot have long been among the most prestigious and innovative acts in the history of the rock and metal genre. Their blend of melodic metal, progressive influences and doom/gothic metal references has ensured that albums such as The Fourth Legacy (1999), Karma (2001) and The Black Halo (2005) turned into absolute masterpieces. Their 2015 release Haven not only established a new generation of fans for the band, but also took the group to more countries and cities than ever. Thanks to lots of sold-out shows, most successful tour of their career to date.
In a music scene that has threatened to become increasingly trivial and contourless for a number of years, Evergrey are the (exceedingly ambitioned) silver lining on the horizon. Since 1993, the Swedish group surrounding frontman/songwriter Tom S.Englund has been synonymous with technically and compositionally outstanding standards, combined with lyrics and messages which go way beyond pure rock’n’roll prose. Their latest album release The Atlantic sees the five band members Englund, Henrik Danhage (guitar), Johan Niemann (bass), Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Rikard Zander (keyboards) manifest their excellent reputation as one of the most unusual and innovative progressive metal acts worldwide, presenting the third part of their Hymns For The Broken trilogy about the adventure of life, part one having been launched in 2014. “As on Hymns For The Broken and its 2016 successor The Storm Within, the new album is about events and experiences in our lives,” Englund explains. “It’s about relationships, beauty and darkness, about fortune and grief, about love, hate, despair, joy and everything connected with it. Life is like a journey across the ocean, on the way to distant shores.” So what could be more apt than calling their latest recording The Atlantic!?
Epic arrangements, fascinating hooks and a tech-nical standard looking for its peers. NOTHGARD, the band founded by singer and lead-guitarist Dom R. Crey in 2008, is acting on this maxim. Their debut ‘Warhorns Of Midgard’ (2011) already lays a remarkable foundation. Their melodic death metal with its sophisticated combination of the technical qualities within the guitar work and the epic orchestration fascinates fans and critics alike. The following albums ‘Age Of Pandora’ (2014) and ‘The Sinner's Sake’ (2016) broadens this basis yet again which makes the last-mentioned enter the official German album-charts.