Thursday, 29 August 2013

Dark Tranquillity - Contruct (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 27/5/2013
Label : Century Media

Construct, album track listing :
1.      For Broken Words
2.      The Science Of Noise
3.      Uniformity
4.      The Silence In Between
5.      Apathetic
6.      What Only You Know
7.      Endtime Hearts
8.      State Of Trust
9.      Weight Of The End
10.  None Becoming

Bio :
Twenty years since Dark Tranquillity burst onto the metal scene with ”Skydancer”, the Gothenburg quintet prepares to release studio album number ten. ”Construct” is the sound of perseverance. It’s also proof of the band’s ability to reinvent itself and stay relevant. This record is quintessential Dark Tranquillity while giving a fresh spin to the trademark sound.

After four albums – ”Damage done” (2002), ”Character” (2005), ”Fiction” (2007) and ”We are the void”(2010) – that have walked a similar path, ”Construct” marks the beginning of a new era for the band.  It was recorded at Rogue Music, owned by keyboardist Martin Brändström, and was given more time to take shape than previous Dark Tranquillity records. Extra fat was trimmed – songs were sharpened. The ten compositions that make up”Construct” are the most well-crafted and striking collection of songs the band has ever produced.

The writing process has changed, as has the musical approach. These tunes offer an urgency that comes from melody and emotional depth rather than intricate riffing – while still conjuring up killer guitar work.

Dark Tranquillity have been around for more than two decades. The new album shows that the death metal pioneers are more vital than ever and continues to push the boundaries of the genre. Vocalist/lyricist Mikael Stanne and guitar player/songwriter Niklas Sundin sits down to discuss the vital aspects of ”Construct”.

Band :
Mikael Stanne – vocals
Niklas Sundin - guitar
Martin Henriksson - guitar
Martin Brändström - keyboards, programming
Anders Jivarp - drums

Review :

Arguably pioneers of the melodic death metal style, Gothenburg’s Dark Tranquillity have released their tenth studio album ‘Construct’. Implementing a more experimental sound, with hefty doses of melody and sombre rhythms, Dark Tranquillity demonstrate their versatility as a metal band. Whilst being noticeably less ferocious than what you would expect from a Dark Tranquillity album, brutal death metal elements still thankfully remain.

Diversity is the overwhelming factor of this album; each track almost reflects a different musical direction. Opening track For Broken Words showcases Dark Tranquillity’s incredible use of guitar work, alternating between tremolo picking and chugging riffs alongside front man Mikael Stanne’s sinister growl. While Uniformity exudes a distinct emotional atmosphere, significantly emphasised by the stunning clean vocals in the chorus and haunting elements which permeate through the track. The Silence in Between sounds startlingly un-metal in the opening instance, however that’s soon corrected by the unmistakable vocals of Stanne, and the pummelling chorus that makes this track one of the most memorable of the album.

Apathetic immerses thrashy influences, with fast paced riff heavy verses, then slowing down for a dark, gothic style chorus. The unpredictable tempo changes interject a real sense of intensity into the music. An ambient feel pervades the album throughout, predominantly through the keyboard along with smatterings of chilling sound effects, particularly in tracks Endtime Hearts and State Of Trust, which are noticeably keyboard based.

While I 100% appreciate the progression that ‘Construct’ offers, the balance between melody and metal at time weighs a little too heavy on the melodic side. As aforementioned, death metal elements are still very much present but I would personally prefer this aspect to be more prominent. Where this album does truly excel is the vocals, which never falter at any point and transform this album into a metal must have.

Words by : Heather Blewett 

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy the record here. This record is available now. Thanks to Nina@ The Noise Cartel