Dark Tranquillity
We Are the Void


4.0
excellent

Review

by bodiesinflight57 USER (14 Reviews)
March 2nd, 2010 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes an album doesn't live up to your expectations. In following the classic '[b]Fiction[/b]' Dark Tranquillity have set themselves a task high enough to deter most bands...but then most bands don't have the songwriting chops of Dark Tranquillity.

It's important to get one thing straight upon listening to this new Dark Tranquillity album. Don't expect new degrees of experimentation and a record that sounds unique within the, now extensive, catalogue of the band. This is standard Dark Tranquillity fare and therefore it is also an above average example of melodic death metal, a genre that is sadly filled with imitators. Whilst 'We Are The Void' does feature minute elements of experimentation, such as the Eastern elements to songs like 'The Grandest Accusation', it brings nothing drastically new to the table and nor does it need to. This is a band that consistently writes great songs with great riffs and, in contrast to the likes of In Flames, great vocals.

All of the above does not mean that this is an album without its flaws. As a whole it does feel somewhat underwhelming upon first listen as it certainly lacks the immediacy of its predecessor 'Fiction' for the most part. However the rewards are there if perseverance is shown. Some of the songs on this album are amongst the finest the band has written. The most obvious standout is the epic closer 'Iridium' which adds a gothic feel to the mix and utilises Mikael Stanne's vocal prowess to its maximum. Indeed the fact that the album ends with its strongest track is somewhat appropriate. This is certainly an album in which the second half is notably better than the first. 'Arkhangelsk', named after a town in Northern Russia, is a dark anthem straight out of the top draw with an intriguing black metal feel to the guitar and keyboard combination. Stanne is also on great form lyrically; "Underneath the heavy clouds/the lifted sword, the broken shield/the hand that drew the final word/from the frozen mouth of Arkhangelsk". Although these songs are the most apparent at first, the likes of 'I Am The Void' and 'The Grandest Accusation' are also amongst a series of high points. The former features a shout out chorus that immediately weaves its way into the brain whilst the latter is another track allowing Mikael to use his lungs to their full capacity.

"But" I hear you cry, "where are the rest of these flaws you mentioned earlier?". Well there are a couple of problems with the record aside from its lack of immediacy. Firstly the songs that are distinctly memorable are so more because of Stanne's assured vocal performances rather than any incredible riffs from guitarists Niklas Sundin and Martin Henriksson. Second track 'Dream Oblivion' features some guitar work so stale that it sounds like a left over from the early days of the band's career. 'The Fatalist' meanwhile features music so forgettable that it might just as well not exist. There certainly aren't any obvious singles on this album. Opener, and lead single, 'Shadow In Our Blood is a pretty impressive example of consistently good songwriting but there's no danger of it, at any point, jumping out of the stereo and shackling itself to your ears for the rest of the day in the same way the likes of 'Misery's Crown' or 'Monochromatic Stains' did to persuade you to listen to their respective parent albums. This may not be a major issue but occasionally it is nice to hear a song and think to yourself "That's a pretty great tune", something that is expected on a Dark Tranquillity record after all.

In conclusion this is definitely a record that is dependent on the mindset you listen to it on. If you go into it looking for the negatives there's no doubt you'll find them. It's up to you whether you let them dominate your opinion of the album or not. For the most part this is an excellent album. There are only two bad songs, which even appear conveniently next to each other in the tracklist so you can skip them if necessary. The majority of the tracks present are more than enough to give you your melodeath fix for the time being.



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user ratings (819)
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
bodiesinflight57
March 2nd 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I felt this needed a positive review...and as I genuinely like it I thought I'd do the honours.





Crysis
Emeritus
March 2nd 2010


17624 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Put album names in italics, and leave song names in quotes, it looks better. Album is pretty half-assed but I respect your opinion.

BallsToTheWall
March 2nd 2010


51216 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I completely agree bro.

ninjuice
March 2nd 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Overreact much?

BallsToTheWall
March 2nd 2010


51216 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I was voted as drama king in my 8th grade so the answer to your question is yes.

Observer
Emeritus
March 2nd 2010


9393 Comments


I am glad to see a positive review for this. Solid review, besides the coding issues that Crysis mentioned and some punctuation issues.

bodiesinflight57
March 2nd 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry, the coding is the way I like it but I will of course cater to the tastes of the readers in future.



I changed some of the punctuation as a result of Microsoft Word, although knowing that program that's quite possibly where mistakes originated...

Observer
Emeritus
March 2nd 2010


9393 Comments


I was speaking more about the Fiction problem in the summary. I don't think coding works for those.

Yeah, Word can often miss a lot. I will pos for your hard work.

bodiesinflight57
March 2nd 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks :-)



I actually hadn't noticed the summary coding issue until you just pointed it out...

bloozclooz
March 3rd 2010


1770 Comments


melo death is a huge yawn fest.

Crysler
March 7th 2010


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got a question for the reviewer: what are the two weaker songs on this album ? I'll kill you if you mention "Her Silent Language". That's my personal favorite after Arkhangelsk.

bodiesinflight57
March 7th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Dream Oblivion" and "The Fatalist" are the two weaker songs



"Her Silent Language" is good enough although it's not one of the best on the album imo

Crysler
March 7th 2010


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't understand why. The chorus on "The Fatalist" is a killer, and so is the electronic parts on "Dream Oblivion". For me, the weaker parts of the album are "In my absence" and "Surface the Infinite". They sound like copies of the previous albums.

Crysler
March 8th 2010


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It was a mistake. Was the swearing necessary ? I'm new to this forum, that's how you greet us ?

bodiesinflight57
March 8th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree entirely. I feel "The Fatalist" is flat as a pancake and "Dream Oblivion" is just really, really average.





bodiesinflight57
March 8th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh and most of the album feels like a copy of previous material. DT have hardly changed their sound on this record after all

Crysler
March 8th 2010


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I agree that this album is not as good as the previous releases, but still, quallity is still here, and there is still room for a bit of innovation (see: "Arhangelsk" and "Iridium").



P.S: I can't seem to understand why most people want change in something that works. Dark Tranquillity defined a genre, I love it, I don't want them to change their sound at all (and I don't want to put up here the all known example of how In Flames changed from a godlike band to an emo-core-shitty group)

bodiesinflight57
March 8th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, that's why I gave mine :-)



I don't disagree wit you on the second point, altho I wouldnae say IF are emo-core now at all

taskeen1989
March 10th 2010


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really liked this review. Even though I gave this a 3, I am an ardent fan of Dark tranquillity and I think your review had some excellent points. Overall, excellent review.

bodiesinflight57
March 11th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks!



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