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Live Reviews : Dark Tranquillity & Orpheus Omega @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 27/03/2014

By on March 28, 2014

Images: Jay Hynes
Words: Johnathon Besanko

Click here to view the full Dark Traquillity and Orpheus Omega photo gallery.

It’s been eight years since Dark Tranquillity last graced Australian shores, but last night marked the triumphant return of the Swedish melodic death metal pioneers to our southern land.

Opening the night was the always humble and remarkable Orpheus Omega who has served as the national support for Dark Tranquillity across the tour. This is the third time I’ve seen these guys now, and I’ve got to say, they kill it every time. Continually engaging with the crowd, Chris Themelco and the boys would coax headbanging, and, doing what they usually do, warn the crowd of impending chaos and ruination as they got to their last few tracks; opening the pit to circle moshing and frantic windmilling.


With Orpheus’ new bass player Daniel Ralph filling in the void left by the unfortunate passing of original bassist Adam “Milky” Adams last May, Dan owned the stage; his dreads taking on a life of their own as they flailed about like the serpentine strands of the gorgons. While filling in the spot of Milky was never going to be an easy task, since officially joining the band last November, Dan has done so with respect and grace, and to use a stronger term, has been simply brutalising the stage across Australia. This guy is good, folks.

Holding the banner high for Aussie melodic death metal, it was great to see such an awesome turnout for these guys, with 170 Russell already quite impressively filled by this point. Orpheus garnered a decent row of headbangers near the front, with a lot of people ensorcelled by their music as I looked around too. The strong response Orpheus Omega received when they left the stage was evidence of that. The guys put on an amazing set and it made me proud to be wearing my Orpheus Omega shirt that night.

Dark Tranquillity emerged on stage at 8pm to a great crowd response, and not surprisingly so. As the Gothenburg denizens walked around the stage, the sheer undeniable presence and aura that frontman Mikael Stanne exudes is sensational. And this same magnetic aura held throughout the whole night.

Dark Tranquillity put on an incredible and memorable performance, constantly singing to people on the sidelines with Mikael also on a number of occasions coming right up to the guys in the front row and growling to his heart’s content. You could tell the whole way through how much Mikael loved it. There would be this huge smile on his face, and he’d get so happy when people would cheer for him and the band; chanting stuff like ‘DT!’ and a rhythm segment of ‘Dark Tranquillity!’ followed by a timed clap. There were also a couple other guys near the end of the show who were amusingly chanting ‘ten more songs!’ to which gave quite a few people a laugh.


The overall feeling and atmosphere of the night was one of anticipation and excitement, and of that Dark Tranquillity delivered in spades. I’ve got to give these guys kudos. They’ve been doing this for many years now, and the age hasn’t wearied them in the slightest. Mikael and the rest of the boys looked like they were having a ball, and the fantastic setup in the background (which would screen at some points music videos in correlation with the songs they were singing, and at others a collection of their different album covers and original graphics to which were beautifully brought to life – to the people who set this up, excellent work on this guys!) only served to heighten what was already a great night.

Playing a wide variety of tracks from across their whole discography, the amazing turnout Dark Tranquillity received was given a great show. As the set came to a close, Mikael promised us they’d soon be back, and that they wouldn’t leave such a massive gap between tours this time, which was warmly received. All in all, I was stoked to finally get a chance to see these guys and I wasn’t in any way let down.


Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.