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A musical phenomenon born back in the early 90s, Swedish Melodic death metal has had a huge impact on all kinds of modern heavy music and along with country mates In Flames and At The Gates, Gothenburg's DARK TRANQUILLITY have defined the genre like no one else. With a unique sense for combining catchy, hard hitting metal with daring progressive elements they have developed a trademark sound. "Skydancer" is their seminal debut album (1993). Most songs consist of brutally melodic, crunchy riffs racing along frantic tempos with moody key changes and rhythmic dynamics. Their musical language was always far broader than their contemporaries (even now this remains true). A few of the other songs are different: "Through Ebony Archways" is a Romanian-influenced ballad-like song with a mix of clean male and female vocals and screaming vox over the distorted middle part. Then there is "A Bolt of Blazing Gold", one of Dark Tranquillity's greatest moments. From its lamentful opening to the chorus that toggles between angelic soprano and Friden's anguished rasp with heartrending guitar melodies. The middle section has a lovely acoustic folk melody with which Anna-Kaisa Avehall is backed by a softly singing Mikael Stanne. Brilliant!

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