Melodic death metal
pioneers Dark Tranquillity are back with their ninth studio album, "We are
the Void," celebrating the band's 20th anniversary. I have only been a
casual fan of Dark Tranquillity.
Nothing they have done has ever truly grabbed me, but
the band does possess some talent for what they do.
Part of the original Gothenburg scene, Dark
Tranquillity has a heavier sound and more of a black-metal influence than
fellow countrymen In Flames. On "We Are The Void," the Swedish sextet create
moody slabs of emotion with an abundance of heavy keyboard arrangements to
go along with their intricate riffs. The death growls of Mikael Stanne are
standard fare from a band of this genre, but they add character to the bands
sound. The technical aspect of their music is more challenging than some of
their peers, thus making Dark Tranquillity a standout in this style of
metal. Dark Tranquillity has a formula that they've only slightly modified a
couple of times, but basically has remained the same for their 20 year-span.
Opener "Shadow In Our Blood," displays some tight
riffing and some good leads from guitarists Niklas Sundin and Martin
Henriksson. Breaking into his clean vocals on "The Grandest Accusation,"
Stanne explores the moody side of the band, mixing it up with his trade mark
harsh growl and different tempo changes. "Her Silent Language" sounds a
little too close to an In Flames song in some parts. Haunting, almost
goth-like closer "Iridium," is layered with huge sounding tremolo guitar
riffs and prominent keyboard accompaniment. It moves along at a
melancholic-pace, but a good closer, and it's the longest song on the album
at six-plus minutes.
"We are the Void" continues the consistent sound of
Dark Tranquillity and will keep them in the forefront of the melodic death
They aren't exploring any new boundaries, but the
band stays true to the Gothenburg style and the formula of creating good
Swedish melodic death metal, and that's all you can ask for in a Dark