Dark Tranquillity
We are the Void
Style: Melodic Death Metal
Release date: March 1st 2010

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 metal genre.

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 Tranquillity album.

01. Shadow In Our Blood
02. Dream Oblivion
03. The Fatalist
04. In My Absence
05. The Grandest Accusation
06. At The Point Of Ignition
07. Her Silent Language
08. Arkhangelsk
09. I Am The Void
10. Surface The Infinite
11. Iridium
Label: Century Media
Distribution: EMI (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: January 17th 2010
Website: www.darktranquillity.com