Driving Frustrations and Other Vehicular Grievances as Described by Dark Tranquillity Lyrics


In the 30 years since their formation, Dark Tranquillity have remained true to the melodic death metal sound that they helped create in Gothenburg, Sweden. And with similar consistency, frontman Mikael Stanne’s lyrics have stayed deeply philosophical, touching on themes ranging from the influence of religion to the afflictions of the human psyche to the state of society. But such depth also readily lends itself to other, lighter yet nonetheless apt interpretations. So here’s a look at how some of those same lyrics relate to some of the more mundane and less magical everyday moments that tend to drive us all towards insanity’s crescendo.

On sitting in motionless freeway traffic:

“Have you ever noticed
The spaces in-between
Where life is in recession
And agony begins?”

— “I am the Void”

On being lead astray by GPS:

“To ends unknown
By means unworthy
To answer wishes
Long dead and gone
Old empty promises
A just reward for the blind
Belief makes work for idle minds
We lost our way.”

— “Faithless by Default”

On getting boxed-in by another driver:

“It eats at our logic
Like nothing ever should
It claws at our humanity
So that nothing can remain.”

— “Encircled”

On the Monday morning commute:

“Wishing darkness was sound
Shutting desires out
Wishing darkness was sound
But as moths to the flame…
…we go.”

— “White Noise / Black Silence”

On failing to pass the state inspection:

“This is not a failure
This is not an end
These are just symptoms
Of a trajectory descent
Further down the line you hide
From the memories of unresolve
The struggle is lost.”

— “Force of Hand”

On any experience at the DMV:

“Gentle storm | Thundering silence
Inferior force | Uncontrolled calm
Vital unlife | Logic/Chaos/Logic”

— “ThereIn”

On learning that the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s worth:

“I brought you fires
That you put out
I brought you fires
For I cannot be without
I came with sadness
But this my shattered heart can’t bear.”

— “Hours Passed in Exile”


On texting while driving:

“I think I have lost my language
Whatever I said I deny
I think I have lost my way
Whatever was missing is gone
I let my focus shift.”

— “Focus Shift”

On the proliferation of car graveyards:

“This is the time of no regret
In a forward momentum race
We leave in our wake
What is broken, forgotten and old.”

— “Forward Momentum”

On local-area job loss and economic decline due to globalization and vehicular manufacturing operations having been relocated to lower-wage countries:

“This is a ghost town
Alive with the echoes of failures fled
Lit up by shining faces
That parade these streets
What used to be
Of humility is gone
You walk on mounds
Of skull and bone
Where living is denied
I see more movement in decomposition
Than in those hollow eyes.”

— “Terminus (Where Death is Must Alive)”

On getting screwed by your car insurance company:

“We must come to terms
Admit we are defeated
We must come to terms
With bias and deception.”

— “Uniformity”

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