Unlike the vast majority of bands these day, Dark Tranquility don't need to fret about their relevance to the metal scene at large. As originators of the melodic death metal movement in Gothenburg, Sweden, the sextet's influence is far reaching. It behooves this writer to point out that between these guys, Soilwork, and In Flames, the Gothenburg 'wave' succored groups as diverse as Bullet For My Valentine and Sonic Syndicate. Yet despite having cast a long shadow across Europe, Dark Tranquility aren't exempt from the occasional blunder every now and then. Such Is the case with this brand new We Are The Void.
Almost three years since the equally celebrated Fiction, reviews of We Are The Void have been positive so far, but closer scrutiny by this scribe's ears have discovered a mixed bag of delights ranging from epic tunes of almost symphonic proportions to staid melo-death filler. Thankfully the blemishes don't show at the opening track Shadow In Our Blood that gets started with a huge hook and proceeds to churn into a delightful exercise of the band's thrash muscle. It's at Dream Oblivion where Dark Tranquility are first caught with their pants down rehashing an old formula; a moment's embarrassment quickly overcome by The Fatalist, which combines aggression and lyrical drama with effortless grace.
A succession of corny tracks batters the listener's resolve until the massive, spine tingling Arkhangelsk rolls in to inspire goose bumps. It's an epic track that sees the band flirting with black metal without slipping into the abyss; it's definitely the album's high water mark. As further excellence reigns on I Am The Void and By Iridium, Dark Tranquility have managed to salvage an album that could've been a waste of time for discriminating metalheads. Assessing the product as a whole, the music here is equal parts predictable and entertaining, with quite original lyrics. As a total package, We Are The Void gets passing marks. Long time admirers of the band will have a lot more to love here than casual fans.
As a total package, Dark Tranquility's We Are The Void gets passing marks. Long time admirers of the band will have a lot more to love here than casual fans.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]