Dark Tranquillity
Projector


3.0
good

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
November 8th, 2007 | 71 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A decent album which plants the seeds for Fiction and Character

Dark Tranquillity is certainly a force in the Gothenburg scene. They were around when it began and out shone everyone with The Gallery. They were around in 2005 when their contemporaries (In Flames, Soilwork this means you) were recording…well, the same lame album they recorded ten years earlier, and they kicked everyone's ass again with Character. Undoubtedly, they'll be around when the scene fizzles out, and will in all likelihood be going just as strong. After listening to Fiction (which is thus far one of my favourite metal albums of 2007) and the aforementioned Character and The Gallery some time ago, my expectations for some of Dark Tranquillity's other works were fairly high. But after listening to the band's fourth full length release, Projector, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed.

Don't get me wrong though. This is definitely a good album, it's just missing something. Projector marks a bit of a change in Dark Tranquillity's direction, though it isn't exactly a major departure from the band's older songs. No longer aiming for the aggressive riff-fest which acts such as Arsis or The Absence draw inspiration from today, Dark Tranquillity instead opts for a deeper, more complete offering. Essentially a precursor to the sound heard on Character and Fiction, the album introduces a variety of new elements into Dark Tranquillity's sound, most notably keyboard effects, clean singing, and some piano. Basically, this is a mellower offering on Dark Tranquillity's part, as songs like Auctioned, Day to End and On Your Time can attest to. While some (read: death metal elitists) may cry sell-out, Projector effectively combines the melodic nature of their Gothenburg metal with a more sombre atmospheres.

What the Projector seems to be lacking, is the fine-tuning which made Fiction and Character so enjoyable. The song writing as a whole is fairly decent, but when listening to Projector it feels as though the band was either not always inspired by the music they created or just couldn't express themselves in the early stages of this sound as well as they could have. Songs like ThereIn and To a Bitter Heart are both dull and tasteless on all fronts and seem to have a problem conveying the downbeat sound which is thematic throughout Projector. Another aspect which hurts the album is the clean vocals of Mikael Stanne. Now, Stanne isn't necessarily a poor vocalist like Anders Friden or Bjorn Stride, as his voice doesn't embody the sound of dying animals, but his singing style is a little underwhelming. Stanne has a very deep, Matt Barlow reminiscent singing style. Unfortunately, like Barlow, his singing is only really all that interesting when you're in some sort of sullen mood. Otherwise they sound quite irritating and, well, uninteresting.

Even with its flaws, however, Projector is still a very worthwhile album. Showing a more expressive, experimental side of Dark Tranquillity, the record isn't quite as straight forward as some of the band's more recent efforts and as such might be a little more difficult to get into. Displaying some of the earliest stages of Dark Tranquillity's interesting keyboard oriented formula; Projector lags a little in some areas but is generally a fun album to listen to. Yeah, it isn't really the best album to look into if you're new to either Dark Tranquillity or melodic death metal, but definitely worth checking out if you've got the time. And for what it's worth, Projector is definitely better than anything In Flames, Soilwork, or Hypocrisy have done lately.

Standout Tracks:
The Sun Fires Blanks
On Your Time
UnDo Control



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user ratings (435)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
November 8th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

So I tried to go with a shorter format this time. Good? Bad?

Also I just finished a couple projects so I'll have a few days for writing before I get busy again.This Message Edited On 11.08.07

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
November 8th 2007


3781 Comments


Split the second paragraph and you'll be right. This is the only DT album i havn't yet heard, and it might stay that way for a while after this one... nice review.

BallsToTheWall
November 8th 2007


44805 Comments


Good review, font is fine with me. I thinkDoberman is the only song I heard here. I need this and Skydancer.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2007


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. This album is really good, I'm going to give this another spin tonight to refresh my memory of it. One of DT's most underrated albums, it is a very strong album which shows that DT is able and willing to do something different.

ColdDamnation
November 8th 2007


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

mmm There In and Dobermann...talk about classic songs

Yazz_Flute
November 8th 2007


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this album is stronger than Haven, but that still makes it their second weakest. Solid album though, most songs are really good actually. (though imo Undo Control is one of the worst)

My favorites are Dobermann, The Sun Fired Blanks, On your Time, Auctioned, and Nether Novas, There In and Free Card are close behind.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 8th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Dobermann is pretty good ya.

Still haven't heard Haven, but I just got Damage Done.

Yazz_Flute
November 8th 2007


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dame Done is fantastic, but I still consider The Minds I, The Gallery, Fiction, and Charatcer better than it, but really not by that much. Those 5 DT albums are all about equal.

DD just has filler, which the other albums dont really have, and is so solid other than that, that it doesnt have as obvious a highligh for me (other than White Noise/Black Silence i guess)

Willie
Moderator
November 8th 2007


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

This is one of my favorite albums by them. I think the reason that some think they sound uninspired is because this was such a drastic change compared to the releases before that. So, I think that it wasn't that they were uninspired, it was more that they were treading new ground and unsure of themselves... something they fixed in later albums... and I really like his clean vocals and wish they were used more often.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Altmer
November 9th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's an okay album and I like the atmospheres and the experiments but it's not what I want to hear from these guys. Props for the willingness to try something different though. It's indeed a whole lot better than most contemporaries.

I agree with the reviewer's sentiments on this.

Who negged?

Remembrance
November 9th 2007


45 Comments


I have the 2 last albums of these guys and especially liked character. So this worth checking out then, or have they changed for the better as of late ?

Since you are speaking about "his is definitely a good album, it's just missing something" and their change in direction.

Willie
Moderator
November 9th 2007


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

This album would most closely be represented by the song "Misery's Crown" off of their "Fiction" album. That would be musically, as well as with Michael's use of clean and growled vocals. There are no high speed songs on that album, they're all about the speed of "Misery's Crown" or slower with maybe a little more speed in a few songs... so basically if you liked that song, you'd probably like "Projector".This Message Edited On 11.09.07

Remembrance
November 9th 2007


45 Comments


Thanks you really gave me a nice (and short) indication of what to expect from this. I prefer the harsh vocals, but this makes a nice change. I'll go get this later on today.

Tnx again

TheHamburgerman
November 9th 2007


1302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Now, Stanne isn't necessarily a poor vocalist like Anders Friden or Bjorn Stride, as his voice doesn't embody the sound of dying animals,

This =/= cool

EDIT:

also, your recommedation list is not true. The best are Freecard, Dobermann and ThereIn.This Message Edited On 11.09.07

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 9th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

oh, sorry

There are no high speed songs on that album, they're all about the speed of "Misery's Crown" or slower with maybe a little more speed in a few songs... so basically if you liked that song, you'd probably like "Projector".
Yeah, you can see a bit of Misery's Crown here. I guess the difference between that and some of the songs here is the experience they had wrting in this style, like you mentioned earlier.
This =/= cool
it's true though.

Reign_In_Blood_89
November 9th 2007


298 Comments


This was a pretty bad review...This Message Edited On 11.09.07

Altmer
November 9th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Because...

rasputin
November 9th 2007


14555 Comments


This is the one DT album I have still yet to check out. It looks promising though.

Reign_In_Blood_89
November 9th 2007


298 Comments


...Because the only thing that I got from this review was how the singer is underwhelming even though he doesn't sound like a dying animal and how the music is mellower. Not a good review in my book.

Remembrance
November 9th 2007


45 Comments


With metal music you either like vocals or not.. Yes some, you might get into, but if you don't like it why spend all that time trying to like it while there are probably 20 cd's you could listen you do like.

Review was informative.. but lacked to answer my question... that does not make it a bad review



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