Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

I like the demo and EP... but that's it! - 69%

dismember_marcin, December 10th, 2014

I will be honest with you. For me bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquility may have never existed. I simply do not care about most of their albums, Dark Tranquility especially, whose very softened sound with weak vocals and boring pop metal music makes me sleepy and sick. I don’t give a shit if someone calls it melodic death metal, because for me there’s no death metal in their music at all, I also don’t care if they are popular… Dark Tranquility means zero to me. Recently though I decided to buy this vinyl compilation titled “Yesterworlds”, released by Floga Records, only because it contains very early Dark Tranquility recordings and I remember that years ago I used to like their 7”EP. If it wasn’t for this EP, then I would probably never bother to check “Yesterworlds”. And I must say that I surely do not regret getting this LP. It is quite cool, well done compilation, with some good songs and surely I can say that it is the only release from the vast discography of the band, which for me is worthy to have.

And first I must say that Floga did awesome job, when released this LP. A very nice shiny gatefold cover (I like that it is all white with golden print, it looks awesome). Inside of the gatefold there’s a huge archival photo of the band, while the record is housed in additional inlay. On top of that, the whole comes with eight pages 7”size booklet, with original graphics, photos, liner notes and all lyrics (which are damn long!). Yes, very good job.

“Yesterworlds” contains “Trail of Life Decayed” demo 1991, “A Moonclad Reflection” EP 1992, “Promo 1994” and one song from a rare compilation (1994). Musically most of this stuff is way different to the pop metal, which Dark Tranquility is so famous for. It is way harsher, more aggressive, quite technical death metal, with some melodic accents and dark atmosphere, which will surely remind you early At the Gates first of all. Take “Trail of Life Decayed” first and foremost. It is not my favourite demo, to be honest, but it is all right, I guess. I am quite surprised that a very young band in 1991 managed to get such a good sound quality on their first studio recording (surely they sounded way better than such Crypt of Kerberos or Afflicted). The music is rather weird and not so easy to describe. It has some small melodic stuff like the excellent finishing part of “Void of Tranquility “, but at the same time it is really raw and basic, with some frequent tempo changes, even quite fast playing in places (like the beginning of “Beyond Enlightement” and “Vernal Awakening”). The vocals are screaming maybe not as much as Tompa usually does, but are in similar harsh, screaming style, not growling. It may be a severe recording, but I can assure you I like it more than any full length albums Dark Tranquility ever did.

“A Moonclad Reflection” EP on the other hand already sounds more mature, it is slower, more atmospheric, more melodic. The guitar playing is more harmonious, the band uses some acoustic guitars, etc, so the progression is very obvious. And certainly this is my favourite recording in the entire Dark Tranquility discography. “Yesterworld” is simply amazing song, love how it begins and some parts later are also great. It’s very memorable, great quality melodic dark death metal. For me sometimes it’s almost close to some melodic black metal bands like Naglfar or Dissection, mainly because the vocals of Anders Fridén were again screaming and harsh. So, the end result is quite obscure, for my pleasure! Mind that both songs from “A Moonclad Reflection” are really long (almost eight minutes long each), so maybe this is why the whole material is not so easy to dig and requires some more listens. The remaining songs on the LP are from “Promo 1994” and well… They are good, all appear I think also on “The Gallery” album, but they already are a bit over the edge for me. I can probably listen to them with no problem, but also with no excitement at all. Just typically boring melodic “death” (hmm) metal with bad vocals (sorry but I never liked the vocals of Mikael Stanne!); take the song “The Gallery” – fuck, I am yawning already after a minute and the clean vocals in it are simply shit! So… I rather play the demo and EP again!

So, to conclude… for sure “Yesterworlds” is a great compilation for the fans of Dark Tranquility and Floga did great job, when releasing this vinyl. Musically it is OK, but as mentioned already, I only like the demo and EP, everything after that is boring for me (“Skydancer” still being OK, but from “The Gallery” further on the band can be flushed in the toilet for me!). So… I like half of this LP, so I give a mediocre plus final rate.

Final rate: 69/100

A worthwhile compilation of solid early material - 85%

MetalMissionary144, July 16th, 2013

Dark Tranquillity’s Yesterworlds compilation consists of remasters of their two pre-Skydancer demos as Dark Tranquillity (but not the one as Septic Broiler), along with some unreleased material from between their first and second albums, in chronological order. Consequently, it gives the listener a feel for the early evolution of the band. There is a significant difference in sound quality between the remastered versions and the originals, but this is not just a compilation for hardcore fans who want to own the most complete discographies and listenable versions of rare early demos. The songs themselves are pretty solid, comparable to much of Skydancer, along with having their own charms that could make them preferable to material off many other actual Dark Tranquillity albums for some.

Yesterworld begins with the atmospheric intro “Midwinter” from the 1991 Trail of Life Decayed demo, a track which showcases the prominent folk influence in their early material with the acoustic guitar, yet somehow manages to sound twisted and eerie, perhaps partially due to the production or lack thereof. This eerie feel continues throughout the first few demos. The minute long intro suddenly transitions into the frantic “Beyond Enlightenment”, a track that makes the influence of German thrash on the band’s early sound very obvious. There are moments of this track which remind one of later Dark Tranquillity; Skydancer or perhaps The Gallery, but for the most part it is pure, raw thrash with a hint of dark atmosphere. I must also point out that Anders Friden does a pretty good job with the vocals on these demos; I would honestly say his performance here is better than on Skydancer and a decent amount of In Flames (certainly the later stuff). The vocals are especially effective when he overdubs lower pitched growls. The third track, “Vernal Awakening” continues in the vein of “Beyond Enlightenment” with a brief atmospheric intro into similar raw thrash with just a hint of the sound that would become melodeath. It ends up being some pretty enjoyable stuff. The bizarre rock n’ roll-ish drum intro to "Void of Tranquillity" kills the dark mood for a bit, but the song picks up and ends up being somewhat reminiscent of some other forward thinking Swedish death metal; I am particularly reminded of early Edge of Sanity. Though it begins weak, the song closes strong with a beautiful piano outro.

With “Unfurled By Dawn”, we are now up to material from the 1992 Moonclad Reflection EP, consisting only of two rather long songs. These two have more of a melodic death sound and are less derivative of thrash, yet the raw, frantic quality is still there. “Yesterworld” is a particularly strong track, with many diverse sections that are all pretty solid, from the beautiful guitar harmonies in the intro to the frantic blast beat sections. With the last four tracks we see a lineup change as the familiar voice of Mikael Stanne takes over. While the first “Punish My Heaven” and “Away, Delight Away” could be seen as merely lesser versions of the ones released on The Gallery and Of Chaos and Eternal Night, it is interesting to hear Stanne sing the female part in “The Gallery”. The closing track, another version of “Punish My Heaven”, is a worthwhile more frantic alternative to the version on “The Gallery”, and personally I don’t mind hearing that song twice in 20 minutes because It may be the band’s best.

Overall, I would recommend this compilation to the sort of melodic death metal fan that likes a little more “death” in the sound (or, perhaps more accurately, thrash), as the material is much more raw and frantic sounding than later, more polished DT without being devoid of melody or good song structure. Though more than half of the compilation was already released on “Exposures – In Retrospect and Denial” and the rest consists of demo versions of songs that were released elsewhere, for someone who doesn’t already own that compilation, I would suggest skipping it and getting “Yesterworlds”. Since Dark Tranquillity put out a bunch of reissues in 2009, everything from “Exposures” is now available elsewhere and with additional previously unreleased material (see the “Projector”, “Haven” and “Damage Done” reissues).