We Are The Void by Dark Tranquillity (Century Media Records)
One of the most respected bands from the world famous Gothenburg metal scene, Dark Tranquillity has grown tremendously since their humble roots in 1989. Now in the year 2010, the band has unleashed their 9th studio album to date – a masterpiece of extreme metal entitled We Are The Void. This is Dark Tranquillity in their finest hour, as the tracks featured within are nothing short of mesmerizing. The material is certainly diverse and ambitious in scope, and definitely one which will find its way into many a Top Ten list when the year comes to its grand conclusion.
The subtle yet evocative keyboard interludes mixed with the stunning guitar work really makes the material shimmer. The rhythm section is a professional as ever. And then there’s the dynamic death metal growls of Mikael Stanne, delivering the lyrics with a good deal of persuasion. Melodic yet still carrying their extreme trademark, Dark Tranquillity is remains mighty force of nature to be reckoned with. The band recently toured in support of Killswitch Engage and The Devil Wears Prada, and surely they made a lot of new fans along the way that may be switching onto them for the very first time.
We Are The Void opens with the ominous strains of Shadow In Our Blood, instantly reeling the listener in with its compelling beats and fiery musical presentation. Dream Oblivion blasts at the listener, complete with its sonic guitar presentation and atmospheric keyboard underscore. The Fatalist starts off with a gloomy introduction, but swiftly brings up the intensity like no other.
The Grandest Accusation is a definitive highpoint, a mid-tempo track that will chill to the bone, featuring some impressive clear vocalizations courtesy of Mikael Stanne. Her Silent Language continues with the band trying out new things with their sound, incorporating the darkness of a Moonspell with their own standard Gothenburg style, coming up with a theatrical song that shows DT at the very height of their creative prowess. And if its pure kick ass thrash you want, just check out the title track and prepare to break your neck as you bang your head into sheer oblivion.
Be sure to stay around to the end, as closing cut Iridium will devastate your senses with its absolutely thrilling presentation. This song, and the entire We Are The Void experience, is an adventure that should be experienced by all who demand to be transported into another musical dimension when listening to metal.
Over 25 years and counting, and this collective remain an extremely influential force in the world metal arena. If you are only encountering Dark Tranquillity for the first time, this new one, as well as their second studio album The Gallery, would make for a great introduction to the band. And if you have been on board for a while, be sure to check into We Are The Void and prepare to be thoroughly swept away. A classic!
As a side note, this is the first Dark Tranquillity album to feature Daniel Antonsson of Dimension Zero and Soilwork on bass. All other core members on the recording – Mikael Stanne on vocals, Niklas Sundin on lead guitar, Martin Henriksson on rhythm guitar, and Anders Jivarp – drums- – have been with the band since their inception in 1989! Also notable is the wondrous keyboard work of Martin Brändström, who has been with Dark Tranquillity since 1998…
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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