Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dark Tranquillity - Construct (2013)

Dark Tranquillity is one of the more well known and respected bands in the so called Gothenburg sound genre. Mostly because they have not changed their main direction for the worse (like In Flames) or stopped producing albums in a constant stream (like At The Gates), but the main reason to their success is that they try to find new ways in their music without leaving their roots behind.

"Construct" is the band's tenth studio effort and it is a very dark and mellow album that the Swedes are presenting. The whole album is build on an atmosphere that just screams sorrow and despair. There are few times the band is kicking the speed up, but even then, they are not blasting it out in light speed. So it is more death metal with some melodic influences in "Construct", which is good. I have always felt that Dark Tranquillity is at their best when they let the darkness take over.

Another part that is important for Dark Tranquillity is Mikael Stanne's magnificent voice. In "Construct", he is saving his clean vocals to instead focus on the growling. Actually, he only uses his clean vocals in three tracks ("Uniformity", "What Only You Know" and "State of Trust"). No matter what, Mikael makes no mistakes and his contributing is big for this album. The rest of the band is doing a fine job as well, but I wished that the bass would have been more enhanced, but that is a minor bump that is more or less insignificant.

So the problem with "Construct" is not the performance, it is infact the song writing I have a problem with. None of the songs on the album is bad, but they are not great either. The songs lack a own personality, which in turn leads too a album where every song is more or less blended in together. It is like taking small bits of same colored Play-Doh and mashing it together to create a big blob. It took a while for me to seperate the songs from each other and recognize them for what they are. I do not want to listen several times extra just to know which song is which, that is a waste of time for me.

So which songs has most personality? Well, we have the melodic "The Science of Noise", the heavy "Apathetic", the beautiful "Uniformity, the fist pumping "Endtime Hearts" and the epic "Weight of The End". Without these songs, I would say that "Construct" would have been a failure, but here they are, and they are helping the album to become another solid piece in the discography of Dark Tranquillity. "Construct" is not a album that stands out from the masses, but it does its work, and it does it pretty well. If you are a fan of the band and enjoyed their latest effort ("We Are The Void"), then you will probably learn to love "Construct", but I know that the band can do better. Still, this album is a continuous proof that Dark Tranquillity is one of the best bands in the swedish death metal scene.

Songs worthy of recognition: Weight of The End, Apathetic, Uniformity

Rating: 6,5/10 States of Trust

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