Dark Tranquillity
Haven


3.0
good

Review

by Darkvoid67 USER (32 Reviews)
January 11th, 2011 | 17 replies | 3,283 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While by no means a bad album, Haven is just missing the usual Dark Tranquillity spice that would turn it into something special

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Dark Tranquillity’s fifth studio effort, “Haven” is yet another strong release from everyone’s favourite melodic death metal band, but something never feels quite there. Everything from the snarling rasps of Mikael Stanne to the fills of Anders Jivarp feels watered down and without the usual bite expected when you listen to albums such as “The Gallery” and “Character”. For sure, you could dump the blame upon new boys Michael Nicklasson and Martin Brandstrom, but this would be highly unfair as the keyboards integrate well with the softer sound and Nicklasson can be heard clearly through some of the slower songs, especially on the title track and “Indifferent Suns”. No, the blame can be placed upon the band as a whole, for “Haven” is a good example of a band settling within their genre and refusing to explore their creative boundaries.

The main problem is that “Haven” just does not feel fleshed out enough. The guitars have plenty of melody and riffs thanks to Niklas Sundin and Martin Henriksson, but still doesn’t hide the fact that some of the songs feel short of ideas. There is no real standout track on “Haven”, although opener “The Wonders at Your Feet” does an admirable job in trying to be one. Even with the rather corny opening vocals of Mikael Stanne growling “Alright!” the song develops into a strong effort, with plenty of melody and new boy Martin Brandstrom fitting in well around his band mates. Follower “Not Built to Last” continues in much the same vein albeit with a much more prominent bass line and keyboard part, but from here the album goes through the motions.

In fact, it is not until “Rundown” that the CD seriously picks up any pace, as the aforementioned finally sees Stanne’s growls return to anything resembling full power. Throughout too many songs, one of the genre’s best vocalists sounds weak and even short of breath at times, which is odd considering that his vocal abilities return to full strength of later releases. What Stanne is singing about is still lyrically as strong as ever, but the overall delivery is rather disappointing.

“Haven” even goes against the traditional Dark Tranquillity flow established with their “new” sound and has a decent, fast album finisher in the shape of “At Loss for Words”. By this point, it is unlikely to change your opinion on the album considerably, but by finishing on such a high note it was a good sign of things to come for “Damage Done” from 2002. While Dark Tranquillity has not made a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, it just lacks the usual spark from this reliable group of musicians. If you’re a fan you’ll have heard this by now, if not then there are much better places to start in their discography than this.

Final rating: 3/5

Pros:
• Strong guitar playing from Henriksson and Sundin
• Good lyrical content
• Both new members make a solid case for themselves
Cons:
• Unusually poor vocal delivery
• No real standout moments on offer
• Overshadowed massively by “Damage Done”



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Cain (4)
Dark Tranquillity is probably at their melodic best here, churning out melancholic and yet often sub...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Darkvoid67
January 11th 2011



383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No matter how hard I tried (and I really did try) I just cannot get into this album as much as their other material. Hope review justifies my opinion

Crisis
January 11th 2011



169 Comments


I think this is better than you make it out to be. I agree that it's overshadowed by (the better) Damage Done, but I think Stanne's vocal performance isn't too bad, and there are some really great songs here. "The Wonders At Your Feet" and "Feast Of Burden" are highlight DT songs and "The Same" is one of my personal favorites of theirs.

Inveigh
January 11th 2011



24863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review, I'm essentially with you on all points. after the first two songs this one gets pretty boring.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Darkvoid67
January 11th 2011



383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Meh, I just felt it lacked his usual punch. I still do not agree with the fact that it feels "radio ready", thats a pile of crap

Crisis
January 11th 2011



169 Comments


I still do not agree with the fact that it feels "radio ready", thats a pile of crap


Yeah I'm with you on that.

Dreamflight
January 11th 2011



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm with Crisis on this one, the album is definatly not a 3. My personal favs would be Not built to last (the ending totally owns), Fabric and TWAYF. Title track's main riff is pretty awsome too. I preffer this one to Character.

FadeToBlack
January 11th 2011



10913 Comments


i woukdnt say this is massively overshadowed by Damage Done at all, it's just not quite as consistent. it still has its fair share of amazing songs

Crisis
January 11th 2011



169 Comments


I preffer this one to Character.


You're gonna get flak for that but I agree with you ;)

Hawks
January 11th 2011



35286 Comments


The Gallery rapes them all though, even though I haven't heard this.

Digging: Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

Dreamflight
January 11th 2011



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I say, let them come. :D

Darkvoid67
January 11th 2011



383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^agreed. And for me its a three, some ten listens in. That probably aint gonna change anytime soon

ninjuice
January 11th 2011



6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cons:
• Unusually poor vocal delivery

This doesn't apply to any DT album besides Skydancer haha

Dreamflight
January 11th 2011



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Humm Stanne's vocal delivery on Exposure's live cd is pretty weak and forced if you ask me. Never saw them live though.

Gyromania
January 11th 2011



15449 Comments


Second favorite DT album.

skinthief
January 11th 2011



14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Title track is so epic.

I always feel that Stanne's lyrics are overlooked too, he puts a bit more though into it than most metal bands. A lot of the sci-fi/dystopian concepts they play around with are pretty cool.

OmairSh
February 23rd 2013



10829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, can feel linear but has loads of quality.

Digging: Paco de Lucia - El Duende Flamenco

OmairSh
February 23rd 2013



10829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Takes some getting used to



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