Dark Tranquillity
Construct


3.6
great

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
May 22nd, 2013 | 519 replies | 56,052 views


Release Date: 05/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The pattern once again comes full circle, and with any luck will signal the beginning of something new

Projector was an important album for Dark Tranquillity. They were coming off 1997’s The Mind’s I – the final album featuring what could be now called “classic” Dark Tranquillity – and were met with an identity crisis that manifested itself in 1999’s Projector. This wasn’t the Dark Tranquillity everyone knew, this was the birth of something entirely different and alien, something that would help shape the “new era” of Dark Tranquillity that peaked with Damage Done, Character, and finally Fiction. History often repeats itself, and Construct is no exception. It may be safe to say that the Dark Tranquillity we have known for the past 10 years is shedding its skin, because we have a breakthrough in sound that mirrors what Projector did five albums ago: get Dark Tranquillity’s creative juices flowing free once again.

It’s all still melodic death metal, so don’t think that the band have decided to all of a sudden abandon who they are, but it’s a different style of melodic death metal entirely. The spacey keys of “Uniformity” or the deep cleans and pop-like styles of “State of Trust” are both familiar and unknown. We’ve heard this kind of thing before – in fact Dark Tranquillity have been slowly using these elements more and more with each new record – but it hasn’t yet dominated an entire album. If anything, the atmosphere of Construct is the most palpable and poignant of their entire discography, due in large part to its focus on dark, melodramatic tones in the synths and the swift, tight melodies that make up the guitar leads. It isn’t exactly surprising to see the winding harmonies of older Dark Tranquillity entirely absent, but Construct feels at home without them. When the guitars alternate between powerful chords and simple licks of melody it helps to secure a tighter, more focused vibe that complements Stanne’s raspy, slicing screams. Combine all of this with songwriting that is more diverse than We Are the Void and more daring than albums like Damage Done or Haven, and you have the makings for a record that sounds like Dark Tranquillity while at the same time sounding fresh and new. Construct makes a point to differentiate itself among Dark Tranquillity's other albums by working in different song structures and less traditional instrumental patterns.

Construct's style seems be knotted up tight, but its impact is still relatively light compared to what the band has done in the past, and that is where Construct shows its weaknesses the most. The socially-charged lyrical themes are the same as they have been on previous albums, yet on this one they seem to be delivered with less sincerity as past heavy-hitters like “Lost to Apathy”, whose impact, unlike much of Construct, lasts long after the amplifiers have silenced. There aren't many instances where the album really delivers something truly exceptional, and it is hard to pick out one or two tracks that can hold their own against singles from the band's other releases, simply because as individual pieces the songs here aren’t as strong as the sum of their parts. Still, there are moments when songs like “None Becoming” reach almost epic levels of emotional impact, and hint at something much deeper down than the surface that is scratched by Constuct, another level of songwriting potential which the band has tapped in the past but which they have lost sight of recently. Construct, though, is still puncturing that rigid frame set by We Are the Void, and that was exactly what Dark Tranquillity needed. “Endtime Hearts” bridges a gap between short, frantic, and traditional tracks like “Dreamlore Degenerate” and Construct’s more eerie and ominous mood, with slamming chords cutting through a looping, otherworldly synth line. This tendency to bring fragments of an old sound to new heights helps ideas to flourish, and allows the songwriting to escape from the cyclical, monotonous pattern that it seemed to be lost in on We Are the Void.

Everything leads back to where it all began, with Construct sounding alarmingly like the stepping stone that Projector proved to be. It is a good sign indeed, because bands that have been around for more than 20 years often find themselves recycling the same sound over and over again. For a while, it seemed like Dark Tranquillity were going to fall victim to that same plague, but Construct proves that this simply will not happen. Dark Tranquillity have a style all their own, and they do with that what they will. Construct can only mean great things for this band, even if the album isn’t the most memorable piece they’ve released. It’s all relative, though, because many fans thought the same thing about Projector, an album that set the stage for perhaps the best string of melodic death metal albums ever released. It is far too early to say if Construct will have the same effect, but the impact of an album like this is more than just a strong recovery from an album of questionable quality. The music on Construct is free-flowing, different, and wholly enjoyable on nearly every level. Whether or not it is a means to a larger end cannot be predicted, but here and now Construct is just the kind of album Dark Tranquillity wanted to release – needed to release – and it is the sweetest kind of melancholy that could be asked for.




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user ratings (337)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2013



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

It's worth noting that I think the best song on the album is actually the bonus track "Immemorial".

I enjoyed this quite a bit. Not as much as Willie, but then again I was never enamored with Projector ;)

JokineAugustus
May 22nd 2013



5878 Comments


Did this leak somewhere?

Digging: Renaissance - Scheherazade and Other Stories

KILL
May 22nd 2013



71454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didnt willie 5 this

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

ViralOblivion
May 22nd 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's been leaked for days

JokineAugustus
May 22nd 2013



5878 Comments


Didn't this band stop releasing good albums after Fiction?

pissbore
May 22nd 2013



9935 Comments


dark tranqlolity

ViralOblivion
May 22nd 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No they released one album after fiction that was very meh but this is much much better

Ire
May 22nd 2013



41754 Comments


gj

JokineAugustus
May 22nd 2013



5878 Comments


I hardly listen to these guys anymore anyway, save The Gallery and Damage Done occasionally.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2013



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I believe this has leaked, but we were graced with a promo.

Acanthus
May 22nd 2013



9537 Comments


Cool to see them be more true to form again, loved Character and Damage Done.

ViralOblivion
May 22nd 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then you should enjoy this

Acanthus
May 22nd 2013



9537 Comments


I gave "The Silence In Between" a listen, and while good it didn't grab me terribly much; will try to listen to this in full sometime later today.

ViralOblivion
May 22nd 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well this album has some pretty sweet riffs in it's which is what Void missed too much keyboard not enough riffs

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2013



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Would still like to see more riffs and better melodies tbh

ViralOblivion
May 22nd 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well so would I (hence the 3.5) but its better than void so I'm happy haha

Tyrael
May 22nd 2013



20824 Comments


shit band

jk great review kyle

Willie
Moderator
May 22nd 2013



15911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I love this album. I have been listening to it daily. It may be my second favorite DT album after Projector.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

CK
May 22nd 2013



4910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Gallery is and always will be their greatest. But it's good to know this is better than We Are The Void

Willie
Moderator
May 22nd 2013



15911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

This one requires a lot of listens to have it set in because there aren't all the instant old-school guitar melodies like their old stuff.



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