Dark Tranquillity - _Character_
(Century Media, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9.5 out of 10)
Last time around, when I reviewed _Damage Done_, I decided to look back at Dark Tranquillity's career, the evolution of their sound, and what led them to that album. This time, in order to avoid repeating myself I will just pick up where DT left us with _Damage Done_: a mixture of new elements and some more traces of their roots. But with such illustrious predecessors, is _Character_ an unremarkable album by a group of jaded veterans, or is it an outstanding slab of Swedish melodic death metal by the masters of the genre? The answer, fortunately, is clearly the latter.

_Character_ builds on the notion of mixing old and new elements, and although it isn't a surprising album or a departure from its predecessor, it still holds many a trick up its sleeve. While they've added some more technical twists, they've also tweaked their electronic touches -- which are not only really good, but also used only when appropriate, often leaving the center stage for the guitar -- and come up with many subtle touches that the DT addict will appreciate. In other words, this is the kind of album that will prompt many to cry "rehash", but deep down has much to offer, even to someone whose expectations were as high as mine. There are many delicious morsels to be found within _Character_, such as the goosebump-inducing guitar solo that pops up twice during "Lost to Apathy" or the instrumental interplay on "Dry Run", among many others that ensure the album remains gripping throughout.

I won't go through the motions of describing every track; suffice to say that _Character_ is a brilliant collection of varied, memorable songs that remain intensely enjoyable on several levels: they can be aggressive, melodic, technical, emotional, and a lot more. Regardless of the band's great past, Dark Tranquillity have created an album that sounds fresh, vibrant and modern without coming across as the least bit trendy. They are doing their own thing, and they are on top of their game -- to the extent that this may be my second favourite album of theirs, after _The Gallery_, and that is saying one hell of a lot.

The best album of 2005, so soon? Quite possibly, yes.

Contact: http://www.darktranquillity.com

(article published 1/31/2005)


CHATS
7/5/2008 C Burton Dark Tranquillity: Merging the Mundane and the Magic
9/1/2002 D Rocher Dark Tranquillity: Of Damage Done and Introspection
5/25/2000 P Azevedo Dark Tranquillity: Projecting and Reinventing
ALBUMS
10/13/2013 A El Naby 8 Dark Tranquillity - Construct
6/13/2010 K Sarampalis 7.5 Dark Tranquillity - We Are the Void
3/25/2007 K Sarampalis 8.5 Dark Tranquillity - Fiction
11/29/2004 Q Kalis 8 Dark Tranquillity - Exposures: In Retrospect and Denial
1/30/2004 P Azevedo 8 Dark Tranquillity - Live Damage DVD
9/1/2002 P Azevedo 9 Dark Tranquillity - Damage Done
8/12/2000 P Azevedo 9 Dark Tranquillity - Haven
7/7/1999 P Schwarz 8.5 Dark Tranquillity - Projector
7/14/1997 P Azevedo 10 Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I
2/9/1996 A Bromley 3 Dark Tranquillity - The Gallery
GIGS
2/5/1997 P Schwarz Dark Tranquillity / Enslaved / Bewitched / Swordmaster / Demoniac / Dellamorte We Must Dominate, We Will Dominate
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