Dark Tranquillity - _We Are the Void_
(Century Media, 2010)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (
Dark Tranquillity are the cause of endless frustration for me. On the one hand, I love them. I mean, what is there not to love? A bunch of supremely capable musicians who know how to write intelligent, mature and really heavy music, with a number of excellent albums in their discography. On the other hand, they are consistently letting me down with their last few albums.I gave this one time to mature, breath and grow. The very first listen was disappointing, to the point of dismissal -- and the first month did not do much to improve its odds. "Shadow in Our Blood" is a blunt opener, that with the exception of a short lived guitar solo has almost nothing to offer. Indeed, if anything, the simplistic drum-guitar combination at points makes one wonder if this is some sort of misplaced track from a different and very young band. "The Fatalist" picks up the energy a bit and marks the appearance of the first interesting song in the album.Maybe it is just me, but I want my Dark Tranquillity fast and furious. Brändström's electronics are being used a bit too much, perhaps to overcome the lack of inspiration in the guitar department. "The Grandest Accusation" makes effective use of atmospherics and also brings back Stanne's clean singing (which is always welcome). "Arkhangelsk" is almost black metal in it's denseness, but somehow fails to quite give you the (assumed) intended payoff. "Surface the Infinite" is the song that has seen the most play counts from me, perhaps due to old style heaviness, a mixture of _The Mind's I_ and _Haven_, say. Closer "Iridium" follows the band's tradition of finishing their albums with the longest and most out-there song, this time a slow and heavy number that is interesting enough.To sum up, _We Are the Void_ is a decent album, at times a tad uninspired and lazy, though when it picks up its pace and decides that there is excitement in life still, it manages to open a small window for you to glimpse through to the past with nostalgia. For ending my self declared endless frustration (I know, that is a paradox), I demand the Dark Tranquillity collective to stop socialising with the likes of Opeth and other lazy buggers, spend a few months in the Burmese jungles and, if they survive, return with a renewed lease of life and an album that is chock-full of excitement and energy.
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