Dark Tranquillity - _Construct_
(Century Media, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8 out of 10)
A weeping guitar trills away a vibrant melody that gives off the feeling of soaring through the sky. This is Dark Tranquillity starting off an album in style. This is one of Sweden's giants standing tall in the face of time as they kick off _Construct_ with the dark and pressing "For Broken Words". Given their legendary status as one of the pioneers of melodic death metal, Dark Tranquillity's output is always highly anticipated and highly debated. In his review of 2010's _We Are the Void_, our former colleague Kostas Sarampalis expressed his frustration with Dark Tranquillity's consistency over the years. _We Are the Void_, despite its high moments, failed to impress me as the worthy successor for the gigantic _Fiction_; but _Construct_ is a different animal.

The high intensity of the music on _Construct_ is continuously matched by the vocals. Mikael Stanne's commanding screams come fully supported by guitars flinging their melodies all over the place, while Anders Jivarp continues to push himself forward and improve his drumming performance. The Niklas Sundin / Martin Henriksson guitar partnership also plays a massive role in constructing _Construct_ and making it the solid album that it is. As the album rolls on, amazing melodies like that pre-chorus on "Uniformity" and "The Silence in Between" reinforce the album's steady flow while affording the drums some additional space. The drumming on "What Only You Know" includes some very clever patterns that pair the hi-hat and ride cymbal, while the much darker "Uniformity" ends with a mélange of awesome fills.

More virtuosity abounds on this record as "Apathetic" chugs on in a very old-school manner and "Endtime Hearts" includes a rather surprising guitar solo -- while Mikael Stanne exploits his studiously developed vocal range by combining some smooth clean vocals on "State of Trust" and "What Only You Know" with his standard screams. Despite their experience and extensive back catalogue, these Swedes don't rely on their name to sell a new album; they really challenged themselves with _Construct_ and managed to produce a very fine effort. The only thing that pulls it just slightly backwards is the song structures. Most of them follow the same formula, which renders some of the sections quite predictable. This is a minor issue of course, but one that can affect an album's long term satisfaction potential.

Regardless of which chapter of Dark Tranquillity's career tickles your fancy the most, _Construct_ is definitely a fine addition to a largely respectable discography, and it belongs there. The primordial energy that shines through their timeless masterpiece _The Gallery_ hasn't come back yet, but there are still traces of it.

Contact: http://www.darktranquillity.com/

(article published 13/10/2013)

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
6/13/2010 K Sarampalis 7.5 Dark Tranquillity - We Are the Void
3/25/2007 K Sarampalis 8.5 Dark Tranquillity - Fiction
1/31/2005 P Azevedo 9.5 Dark Tranquillity - Character
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
2/5/1997 P Schwarz Dark Tranquillity / Enslaved / Bewitched / Swordmaster / Demoniac / Dellamorte We Must Dominate, We Will Dominate
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