What are the 15 best Dark Tranquillity songs? The band has been around a long-time – here are my favorites from its vast discography.
Dark Tranquillity is a band that has been with me since the early 2000’s and my love for them has faded and returned at a few points over the years. I first saw them live on the “Damage Done” tour in 2002. I tend to like their varied clean vocal material more than their classic melodic death metal songs. There’s just something amazing about Mikael Stanne’s clean voice, that’s even more special than his screams to me.
About the author
- Stefan Nordström
- Musician, songwriter, content creator, digital freelancer
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Bands: Desolator, Soliloquium, Ending Quest, Ashes of Life, Trees of Daymare, The Ashen Tree
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15 best Dark Tranquillity songs
Enough background and intro, here’s the countdown of my 15 best Dark Tranquillity songs!
15. “Terminus (Where Death is Most Alive)” (Fiction, 2007)
Let’s start the list off with one of the catchiest Dark Tranquillity songs out there: Terminus! Every time I hear this one it gets on my head, especially the simple but very effective guitar hook.
14. “What Only You Know” (Construct, 2013)
I’m a sucker for the clean vocal-driven tracks on “Construct”, and this one really gets me. Just a fantastic performance by Mikael Stanne. Lots of emotion.
13. “Forward Momentum” (Atoma, 2016)
This one and the title track are my favorite songs from 2016’s “Atoma” album, both perfectly combining harsh and clean vocals. “Forward Momentum” is my preferred one, since it hits a bit harder emotionally.
12. “State of Trust” (Construct, 2013)
Another one of those clean vocal-driven Dark Tranquillity songs, and as always there’s a lot of dark emotion and atmosphere present. Mikael’s voice is perfect in this one.
11. “Undo Control” (Projector, 1999)
A very gothic-sounding song with a fitting female vocal performance, culminating in a desperate hook that’s equally catchy and emotional.
10. “Monochromatic Stains” (Damage Done, 2002)
One of the hit songs from “Damage Done”, their strongest album in classic melodic death metal style. It’s got a bit of everything: heavy down-tuned grooves, memorable melodies and strong vocal hooks. In may 2019, I did a vocal cover of “Monochromatic Stains”.
9. “The Sun Fired Blanks” (Projector, 1999)
A classic, punchy melodeath hit sounds so much better when it’s surrounded by different songs. However, it’s not only the experimental “Projector” environment that makes it great. It’s one of the catchiest Dark Tranquillity songs ever written, complete with melodic guitar hooks and Stanne vocal work.
8. “FreeCard” (Projector, 1999)
Gothic pianos and melancholy drives this song more than anything else, making it a great introduction to the “Projector” album. It marks how different from predecessor “The Mind’s I” this album will be, and the instrumental and vocal melodies all shine.
7. “Uniformity” (Construct, 2013)
Some of the tendencies I loved on “Projector” returned on 2013’s “Character”, and “Uniformity” is a prime example. It sounds like a gothic metal version of Depeche Mode more than anything else. The song is mid-paced and atmospheric, and allows Mikael Stanne’s vocals (both harsh and clean) to shine and drive the song. Excellent lyrics as well.
6. “Nether Novas” (Projector, 1999)
The first Dark Tranquillity song I ever heard, and a great example of why their gothic metal style is so appealing. The guitars are drenched in strange reverb effects, only sharpening into distorted metal on the harsh vocal parts. I’m a bit perplexed why this song isn’t one of their more famous tunes, considering the excellent atmosphere.
5. “Lethe” (The Gallery, 1995)
No best Dark Tranquillity songs list is complete without “Lethe”. Mikael Stanne growls about lost love to the point where it feels like his voice would break at any moment, and the melodies and hooks are spot on.
4. “Fabric” (Haven, 2000)
I’m not a huge fan of their “Haven” album, but “Fabric” is an underrated superhit. It’s got some very appealing mid-tempo melodicism going that doesn’t sound like Dark Tranquillity usually does. An off-kilter song that is way more passionate and appealing than anything on the rest of “Haven”.
3. “Hours Passed in Exile” (Damage Done, 2002)
The highlight of the “Damage Done” album is not “The Treason Wall”, “Monochromatic Stains” or “Final Resistance” for me. “Hours Passed in Exile” has an atmospheric edge that the intense “Damage Done” album lacks for the most part. It almost sounds like it carries a bit of the “Projector” sound, minus the clean vocals.
2. “Auctioned” (Projector, 1999)
One of the few Dark Tranquillity songs with only clean vocals. Mikael Stanne absolutely pours his heart out in this one, and the lyrics are crushing. I’d love to hear a full album in this style at some point.
1. “On Your Time” (Projector, 1999)
Number one on my list is another “Projector” song; album closer “On Your Time”. “On Your Time” puts the emotional clean vocal style of “Auctioned” together with some classic melodic death metal intensity, creating a song that represents everything that’s good about Dark Tranquillity.
Do you like the doomier side of melodic death metal?
My band Soliloquium doesn’t exactly sound like Dark Tranquillity, but you might like it anyway. We play a melodic and progressive take on death/doom metal, so if you like music that’s both extreme and melodic it’s for you. Head over to the music platform of your choice by clicking one of the links below. Oh, and remember that buying digital music or merch on Bandcamp is the best way to support my music and content work!