Sweden's DARK TRANQUILLITY may not get the same level of attention as peers AT THE GATES and IN FLAMES, but the sextet is just as important to what has become known as the Gothenburg sound. In fact, while AT THE GATES disbanded and IN FLAMES went in different, more commercially accessible directions, post-Anders Fridén DARK TRANQUILLITY has mostly stayed true to its unique, keyboard-peppered sound, while further developing the melodic end of it, the experimental phases notwithstanding. Later efforts like "Character", "Damage Done", and "Fiction" saw the band really come into its own, resulting in an ever-expanding fan base. With "Where Death is Most Alive", fans get a professionally packaged DVD with an outstanding live performance and a historical documentary of the band, while the newbies get a nice cross section of the material with an emphasis on the latter years.The twenty-song (plus one "Intro") set in Milan, Italy on Disc 1 is a career spanning — albeit, geared toward the last few albums — one that highlights the band's knack for impacting songwriting. The adoring Italian audience devours the longer than normal set, the rabid devotees eating out of frenetic front man Mikael Stanne's hands and singing along to not only every lyric, but also most of the instrumental parts. The performance is tight as hell and the band plays each song as if it were a career closing set. Newer songs like "Focus Shift", "Nothing to No One", "Misery's Crown", and set closer "Terminus (Where Death is most Alive)" go over especially well due to the band's ever-developing mastery of melody. As if that weren't enough, the band offers the audience a special treat when THEATRE OF TRAGEDY siren Nell Sigland is brought out to sing on "The Mundane and the Magic" and "Insanity's Crescendo". The yellowish, purposeful semi-grainy visuals are marginally distracting, but that's about my only complaint, and a minor one at that. Disc 2 features "Out of Nothing - the DT Documentary" and is a 47-minute tour of the band's history with an emphasis on the early years and includes insightful commentary from the likes of producer Fredrik Nordström (DREAM EVIL) and Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES, et al). The guided tour of the band's humble beginnings in small town Sweden, which includes a return to the garage that started it all — from the days when Anders Fridén (IN FLAMES) served as lead vocalist — is particularly noteworthy, as is the footage documenting those years. The obligatory collection of music videos and a 21-song live archive, featuring those early Fridén performances round out the second disc. If you are a fan or simply an interested party, the tour is well worth taking.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appears next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).