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February 13, 2014

Swedish melodic death metal band frenzies fans

By Joshua Hoover

On February 10, Dark Tranquillity stormed into the Cleveland Agora Ballroom in support of their 2013 album “Construct”.

Opening for Dark Tranquillity was Omnium Gatherum, a melodic death metal band from Finland. Melodic death metal is characterized as a combination of the fast riffing and harmonic guitars found in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the distorted guitars, fast double-bass drums and blast beats from death metal. Though Omnium Gatherum generally fits into this style, they are also obviously influenced by progressive metal as well, as some of their songs are technically complex.

This was Omnium Gatherum’s first tour in North America, and though they only got a brief 40 minute set, they made the most of it. Touring in support of their newest album “Beyond,” released in 2013, Omnium Gatherum played mostly songs from it, but included crowd favorite “New World Shadows,” sending the crowd into a frenzy of moshing and fist-pumping.

Appropriately ending their set with “Leave Cold,” Omnium Gatherum vowed to return to North America for another tour.

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, and founded in 1989, Dark Tranquillity is considered one of the pioneering bands in melodic death metal. As the equipment began to be switched between sets, a palpable buzz began to fill the air as the crowd began to move around in anticipation. When the lights finally dimmed and the backing screen turned on, the crowd erupted, roaring as the band took the stage.

Opening with “The Science of Noise” off of “Construct,” Dark Tranquillity quickly had the crowd worked into a frenzy, the people in the front raising their arms while those in the back formed a circle pit, aggressively slamming into each other.

Though the night outside was a mere 10 degrees, the temperature inside the Agora quickly rose, causing many in the crowd to begin taking off coats and sweatshirts, a few brave souls even removing their t-shirts as well.

Following “The Science of Noise,” Dark Tranquillity ripped into two songs from their 2002 album “Damage Done,” including crowd-pleaser “Monochromatic Stains.” By halfway through their 75 minute set, the crowd was drenched in sweat, and several people had left to nurse bloody noses and black eyes.

Though they were touring in promotion of a new album, Dark Tranquility mostly stuck to their older material, showing respect towards the fans that had been following them for years. Ending the show with “Misery’s Crown,” the band’s first single from their 2007 album “Fiction,” the crowd formed one last pit, by far the largest and most violent of the night. After finishing the song, the band took the time to shake the hands of those in the front row before leaving the stage with smiles on their face and sweat dripping down their bodies.

Dark Tranquility will continue their North American tour through March 2, wrapping it up in Philadelphia before heading to China after a brief break.