Dark Tranquillity
We Are the Void


3.0
good

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
February 19th, 2010 | 365 replies | 39,541 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When all is said and done, it is likely that the vast majority of We Are The Void will slip away unnoticed for many years to come.

It seems to me that Dark Tranquillity have been resting in the cradle of their sound for quite a while now. Since 2000’s Haven, the style of these six gentlemen from Gothenburg has remained more or less unchanged, for better or worse. Their previous effort, 2007’s Fiction showed that the band was definitely as strong as ever, releasing an album which was rock-solid and highly memorable. In an effort to continue on the path which they have been walking for a decade now, Dark Tranquillity have produced their ninth full-length album We Are The Void. It’s an album which shifts direction ever-so slightly, cranking up the keys of Martin Brandstrom and turning the atmosphere of the album in a darker direction while pushing aside the memorable guitar leads and harmonies in favor of a strong chord presence to keep rhythm. However, the overall package comes off as both uninspired and lackadaisical, and shows noticeable cracks in Dark Tranquillity’s established, concrete sound.

If you take Fiction, cut out the awesome guitar riffs, increase the keyboard presence tenfold, and then make it more depressed-sounding, you will have exactly what We Are The Void delivers. While the strong gothic presence in such tracks as the daring and out-of-character “Iridium” hits a home run in terms of progression on Dark Tranquillity’s sound, much of the remainder is comprised of what sounds like Fiction b-side material played with a load of minor chords. While Stanne’s vocals remain as strong as ever, retaining that viciousness and bite which was present on Fiction, his clean voice also appears in fine form, showing a more refined tone which undercuts the screams on such tracks as “The Grandest Accusation” or provide a driving force on “Her Silent Language”. Jivarp’s performance behind the kit also remains unchanged, giving a solid but unremarkable base on which the rest of the instruments build.

Behind this all-too familiar approach, though, linger the flaws which have been nipping at Dark Tranquillity’s back for quite some time now, but have been kept at bay by the sheer songwriting ability of the band. Now, however, they begin to bleed through and show themselves. The watered-down riffing of Sundin and Henriksson now becomes completely apparent considering the utter absence of memorable riffs and leads, masked only by the numerous, short solos which litter the album’s runtime. Instead, the melody is almost all placed on Brandstrom and his synth, a move which in the end makes We Are The Void the most forgettable Dark Tranquillity album since Projector. Before long, you’ll wonder exactly why two guitars were needed on the album, since much of the time both are taking on the role of rhythm while the lead is eerily absent. Thankfully enough, however, the closing half of the album brings a small flicker of hope as songs like “I Am The Void”, “Iridium”, “The Grandest Accusation”, and “Surface The Infinite” bring life back into the album, saving it from the wallows of “Shadow In Our Blood”, “The Fatalist” and “Dream Oblivion”.

It’s quite unlike Dark Tranquillity to allow so much filler slip through, but since that’s exactly what happened on We Are The Void, one can’t help but wonder whether the guys of Dark Tranquillity are beginning to lose their touch. Sure, “Iridium” is one of the best tracks the band has done in the past few years, but that can’t make up for the inexcusably uninspired guitar performance and the obnoxious, overbearing keyboards all playing re-hashed ideas for just about half of the album. The solos are all very good but noticeably out-of-place in the band’s sound, and the darker atmosphere is very intriguing and well-executed, but when all is said and done it is likely that the vast majority of We Are The Void will slip away unnoticed for many years to come.



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user ratings (513)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Been checking DT's myspace every day for the past two months waiting for a stream but I guess I wasn't quick enough..... oh well. Album is a huge disappointment.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2010



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

excellent review. im listening to this now and atm i agree with the rating and quite a few of your points.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thank you. I'm sure there are some tracks here which I will listen to in the future, but as a sum of its parts this album is a mess.

qwe3
February 19th 2010



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

album was boring and really disappointing good review crys etc

Ponton
Emeritus
February 19th 2010



5784 Comments


good review, man. I love "lackadaisical" haha. Pos

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Haha thanks, I had to use that word because it pretty much sums up the entire album.

TheSpirit
February 19th 2010



17171 Comments


Good review as usual. I've always had trouble getting into these guys

Digging: Rx Bandits - Gemini, Her Majesty

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks broseph, and for some reason I get the feeling that melodic death isn't your thing, so that could explain why you don't really like these guys.

jingledeath
February 19th 2010



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

great review as usual dude. this is like the most disappointing release of the year for me =[

BigTuna
February 19th 2010



5154 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ this.

Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this is like the most disappointing release of the year

By far. I totally agree, and unless Ikuinen Kaamos really drop the ball hard then it will stay that way.

bodiesinflight57
February 19th 2010



869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm disappointed by all the criticism this is getting, I've been looking forward to this for ages

TheSpirit
February 19th 2010



17171 Comments


Thanks broseph, and for some reason I get the feeling that melodic death isn't your thing, so that could explain why you don't really like these guys.


Haha that's very true. The only "melodic death metal" i can really stand to listen to is Bodom

FadeToBlack
February 19th 2010



10913 Comments


seriously you're not missing out on much, I rarely listen to melodeath at all nowadays (aside from DT and Hypocrisy)

TheSpirit
February 19th 2010



17171 Comments


Oh, Hypocrisy is good too!

Poet
February 19th 2010



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Totally agree with the review

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Poet

I'm disappointed by all the criticism this is getting, I've been looking forward to this for ages

Yeah same for me, I wanted this album to be awesome but no matter how many times I listen to it, it still falls far short.

FadeToBlack
February 19th 2010



10913 Comments


I still haven't listened to this yet, i'll change that now

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

lol at your second reco by reviewer haha.

Same words as to observer - excellent review bro, really enjoyed reading it and will probably give the album its first spin today, depending on wether or not I'm gonna thrash a party

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Metalstyles, glad you caught the recommended lol



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