Micke Därth's notes on: The making of 'Dark Voices' and forming Nocturnal Alliance:
Well, since I left Twilight back in '98 I was both sad and reliefed at the same time. I didn't play much at all for about four years time after that. Even though I felt I had just made my best efforts in the studio with the band, working on what later became the promo-cd "Lurking fantasia", the tracks Finn made more and more drifted towards technical advanced guitarplaying, something that is not within my range nor style of playing the guitar. I'm a crunchy player and mosh is my speciality, and findning less of this in Finn's writing, both he and I felt that I was not the right backup guitarist for the band come the future.
Being in Twilight taught me many good lessons though and when playing with Finn I really felt that I always had to perform my best and he also enlightened me in different ways to approach songwriting in general and arranging in particular. We hit it off really well first time we jamed and made our first song together, "Far beyond the edge of sanity", in less than an hour (I think, we had so much fun… who cared about time, anyway?), better yet, recorded it in FF-studios that same afternoon. "Far beyond…" is still one of my favourite tracks coming out of my seven years playing with Twilight/Beyond Twilight. However, my style of playing and my taste for music is best portrayed in tracks like "The meeting", "Eye for an eye" and "The River Styx". Though I have always enjoyed making riffs to Finn's dark, moaning keyboards on his numerous great tracks over the years.
Even though I miss being a member of Beyond Twilight sometimes I've come to the conclusion that splitting with my good friends musically was the right thing to do. I wouldn't have been able to keep up with the band anyway, I would probably have been kicked out sooner or later… Errhh… Enough said, I love the guys and the albums they're doing now--but it is not the way I like to play. I therefore feel lucky to be a part of Nocturnal Alliance now. You can draw preferences between NA and early Twilight, of course, since I in NA has become a songwriter again--something I had almost given up on after making "The Meeting" and then suffer the pain in trying to make a better "The meeting" - which of course did not occur, simply trying too hard. "The meeting" was based on one of those riffs that just comes to you and you can't really say how or when. A feeling. I struggeled a lot making new songs between 1994-1998 and just wasn't able to finish anything off that got past the demo stage.
Then, my old friend Henrik Johansson, the drummer in my first band Hellrats (later we changed the name to Coma), gave me a call back in '02 said he would really like me to put some guitars on some tracks he had made. My Ibanez had collected a bit of dust and starting to play again I didn't clean it. I thought to myself: "If I come to like to play again, getting a kick out of it again, I'm gonna play that f*****g dust off of the guitar…". The four tracks we made was pretty good, the guitarplaying felt good despite being a bit rusty, but most of all I had a great time playing with Henrik again. After a couple of years though we decided that the tracks we had recorded wasn't by our standards at all. We really enjoyed parts of them, but couldn't cope with the arrangements on neither of them. We decided to strip down four tracks to two, and really make them kick. We found out how to, and started to rerecord the two songs. After being very, very caring with the tracks and really pushing ourselves to perform our best we both came up with some new ideas for new tracks. In the beginning of '04 we started to make new songs and in april we decided to make a whole album. Just for the hell of it!
For Dark Voices we also decided to make a storyline for all songs, which meant we had to rewrite some of the lyrical work Henrik had made for the first two tracks Tranquility Lost and Dark Voices--which became the beginning and the end of the album asiding the intro and outro--and actually on some of the tracks the lyrics came first and we made music around it. That was pretty much a new way of working for both of us but it made us make music for different moods which was really exciting. After completing the writing for the album, which we similarily recorded, we got in touch with Andreas Lagerin who had been both guitarist and vocalist in Twilight in the mid 90's to do the vocals on the tracks. After recording the vocals for Tranquility Lost we knew this was the right guy for our music and with his sharp, edgy voice he definately put our tracks into the progressive world of metal--still being full of different influences from dark harmonics to classical piano.