Dark Tranquillity
We Are The Void

2010, Century Media
Death Metal

Il nuovo "Fiction", che a sua volta era il nuovo "Character", che a sua volta era...
Review by Fabio Rigamonti - Publish on: 26/02/10

Each time that a Dark Tranquillity’s album comes out, the critics always expect some kind of revolution, some signs that lead towards the future of melodic death metal. It should be expected, since this band, at the door of the new millennium, came out with “Projector” and since then melodic death metal was never the same. On the other hand, by having this kind of expectation you could not consider in the proper manner the composition and the good quality of the songs.

Well, I tell you that this simply isn’t the case, since “We Are The Void” – 9th studio album – it’s one of the weakest work in Dark Tranquillity’s career. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because of the strong sense of déjà vu that lurks during the listening, where you get this string sensation that you are in front of a clone of “Fiction” or “Character”, albums that are not revolutionary at all, but filled with good songs.

Yes, I am well aware of the urgent – and absolutely pleasant – sense of melodic urgency of the keyboards (never so industrial and nu metal) in the magic three songs that open up the work (but with a “The Fatalist” reminding me Arch Enemy so much…); I am well aware that Mikael Stanne sings so well – like never before in every Dark Tranquillity album; of course I'm aware that not all the pieces are so auto referential, so we get a progressive and absolutely interesting song at the end of the album like “Iridium”, rather that an humoral “At The Point Of Ignition”.

I am also well aware that the album’s production is brilliant, with a magnificent underlining of the guitar work of the duo Sundin-Henrikkson … But all of this will never make disappear that strong sensation of music already heard. Let’s take for example” “Her Silent Language”, which is the new “Mundane And The Magic”, which was the new “Lethe”: how many “which is the new” we have to add before we realize the self-abusing process that this band is building up against herself?
Yes, I wrote above that there are some innovations in this record, but all this news only build up the sensation that Dark Tranquillity needed just more time to come up with something maybe not revolutionary, but surely of high impact and more catchy. But nowadays how many bands take the time they need to build up significant works? And it’s truly a pity that a band such as Dark Tranquillity endend up in the vortex of the record put out every two years “just to maintain high the hype”. With “Fiction” I could be more forgiving, but now, at the third or fourth clone of the same song structure (melodic synths intro – overwhelming riffing of guitars – merciless beating of the drums on the verse – chorus always engaging – instrumental break of synths  - and again explosion of death metal. Rewind and repeat).

As it is, “We Are The Void” is the classic record of transition which fans would easilly learn to love, a work that nor adds nor takes anything from the band, but a formation like Dark Tranquillity really should stay away from goals such like mediocrity and self-satisfaction. They cannot be the void that they declare to be in the title of this work. Should it be an album made up by some strangers, surely the evaluation would have been higher, but since it’s Dark Tranquillity the signature of this cd, it’s really the case to lower down by one point the score.

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