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~Written by Thomas, June 2004

Metal Monday August 09: Cans, Dark Tranquillity, Entombed

Summer time in the city of Gothenburg can turn out to be really great. The city of Gothenburg hosts this yearly festivity called Göteborgskalaset, beer and food tents and with a lot of stages around certain areas of the city core. A ten day long festivity and it has something to offer for practically every age, and the atmosphere spread through the city streets is usually very easygoing and it is nice to walk around and just having a good time eating and drinking beer.

Monday was the day when the metal bands was given space, local bands in Cans and Dark Tranquillity plus legendary death 'n' roll band Entombed as headliner at Frihamnspiren (formally known as Bananpiren). Besides the main stage there is also a smaller one where the bands Burst and Nasum was given a slot. And on the smaller stage unsigned bands also gets the chance to showcase them selves before the bigger acts enter the stages at the evenings.

And the best of all with the many concerts at Göteborgskalaset is that they don't cost a thing - all are free.


Setlength: 40 min.

Cans is of course the solo-project from Hammerfall vocalist Joacim Cans if anyone could possibly have missed that. He has a very good voice and used it greatly this evening but even if the band seemed to be having fun on stage the concert never really took off. With Beyond The Gates that is his only solo-album so far the selection of songs is limited and I think that they actually works better on album than what they do live. It was good but not great, even though the songs tended to get heavier and rawer in the versions live it never got to better than just good. It got better and more intensified towards the end of the concert and if it had continued with a longer concert than forty minutes I really believe it would have grown even better along the way.

Among the musicians he had with him on stage was Hammerfall guitarist Stefan Elmgren and on the drums you could spot Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Warlord). No Hammerfall songs this evening but a guest appearance by Oskar Dronjak (the other guitarist in Hammerfall) in the cover of the Warlord track Child of the Damned as featured on the Hammerfall album Glory to the Brave (1997). Good to see that Oskar has recovered from the motorcycle accident last summer, he didn't seem to have any lasting injures since by the looks and sound of it, his playing seemed to be perfectly well. This song turned out to be the best moment of the concert with great intensity from the guys on stage.

It wasn't that much people in the audience at this point of the evening but that didn't stop Joacim from being greatly enthusiastic as always.
But a longer concert and a few Hammerfall songs would probably have made this better. Yes, I know he is solo with this but I think some of those great Hammerfall tracks could have lifted their performance, and after all it is from Hammerfall he has gotten his recognition. To be soaking up the last rays of sunshine and watching Cans was a pleasant way to be spending forty minutes, but it didn't exactly raise any thrills or lasting impressions.

Rank: 5 of 10

(Sorry, no setlist)

Dark Tranquillity

Setlength: 45 min.

Dark Tranquillity is in my opinion one of Gothenburg's finest bands and also along with other bands one of those responsible for the development of the Gothenburg sound. It's been something like two years since they last played their hometown and there was a longing among the crowd as well with the band for another round.

Dark Tranquillity was hitting it off right from the start. It was a band that wanted to play and provided a solid performance straight through and acted with much confidence. It was an energetic and strong performance, although it was vocalist Mikael Stanne and bassist Michael Nicklasson that seemed to be having the most fun on stage while the others felt a little absent in between, although killer performance from all of the guys. Dark Tranquillity has many great songs to choose from and this evening many came from their latest studio album Damage Done (2002). The ones that I found to be the highlights was The Treason Wall and Punish My Heaven with their fast and aggressive edge. They played a lot of good and strong songs and Dark Tranquillity has the ability to make them get better live, not least with their great vocalist in Stanne that acts very convincing and lively on stage.

As the first crowd in Europe we got to pre listen on two songs from their upcoming album. The tracks are called Trough Smudged Lenses and One thought (not a hundred percent sure on the titles). Hard and aggressive songs in perfect Dark Tranquillity style and with the no compromise kind of attitude, these two also turned out to be part of the highlight moments this beautiful summer evening. And it sounds very much promising and if the rest of the material on the upcoming album is as good as these two it is definitely going to be a killer album when it is released in the beginning of 2005.

It was a good turn up with crowd and they seemed to have missed Dark tranquillity just as much as they seemed to have missed playing in their hometown. And hopefully it won't take two years before they play back home again. I missed some of the older tracks like Nightfall and other old classics, but regarding the short time they had I am nonetheless completely satisfied. And with the new songs still in my mind I really look forward to the new album as well as the next time they will play live.

Rank: 7 of 10

(Sorry, no setlist)

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Thomas, August 2004