Dark Tranquillity - We Are the Void

1. Shadow in Our Blood
2. Dream Oblivion
3. The Fatalist
4. In My Absence
5. The Grandest Accusation
6. At the Point of Ignition
7. Her Silent Language
8. Arkhangelsk
9. I Am the Void
10. Surface the Infinite
11. Iridium

Mikael Stanne (V)
Niklas Sundin (G)
Martin Henriksson (G & sound recording)
Anders Jivarp (D)
Martin Brändström (Kb)
Daniel Antonsson (B)

Where Death is Most Alive (20th anniversity (Live 2009)
Fiction (2007)
Character (2005)
Exposures – In Retrospect and Denial (2004)
Damage Done (2002)
Haven (2000)
Projector (1999)
The Mind’s I (1997)
Enter Suicidal Angels (1996)
The Gallery (1995)
Skydancer (1993)

Tue Madsen (mix & Prod)

Released: 1/3-2010
Reviewed: 19/2-2010

century media

The Swedish kings of electronic death metal makes a new piece of creative outburst and puts a new album in our hands. The past ten years, we've seen albums that completely have thrown dirt on the competition. Therefore, at least my hopes for a new "in-your-face" album was raised to the top and seen to what they've done with their melodic, electronic death metal putting albums like 'Haven', 'Damage Done', 'Character' and 'Fiction' on the market - I'd say they've deserved some pressure from their fans. We've certainly been spiled. So the question is - will 'We are the Void' live up to our expectations? The answer comes after this nervwrecking blank row...

Yes. Once again, Dark Tranquillity delivers an album that only sounds better and better the more you hear it. Songs that are super strong already from the beginning gets impossible to stop listening at when you hear them some more and the fabulous mixture between hard and heavy music with wonderful melodies and superb instrumental work is something only Dark Tranquillity can do. I haven't heard any band do this kind of music with a quality this high.

As usual, the opening track is very strong and good, but only a fragment in quality compared to the three-four tracks following it. It feels as if this album is heavier than the previous two, which didn't quite have the heavyness of 'Damage Done', but at the same time I think this album have even greater melodies than those two. In my review of the last album, I wrote that 'Fiction' "is a fine piece of art, well planed and made into the finest piece of it. It’s as good as perfect all the way and what more can anyone wish for?". I think the answer to that question comes in the eleven tracks of this album. 'We are the Void' is so divine and fantastic - I don't really find any words to describe it.

Every sound Stanne makes is made in such a way I can't do anything but love it. Guitars and base, drums and keyboards as well as everything else that these guys have put on the album just is the shit! It's hard, fast, changes tempo from time to time and makes freaky burst outs as well as crazy sticks. And Mikael Stanne roars like a dragon from the black lagoon (but not only) and everything just fits perfectly as a whole. Musically, I think they've put more heavy guitars on this album, a bit less electronics and substituted this for more keyboards, but this is something that doesn't seem to matter for me - this album is either way a masterpiece. And this even though they have titles like Arkhangelsk and Surface the Infinity. And also, even though they've replaced baseplayer Mikael Niklasson with Daniel Antonsson since 'Fiction'.

If I absolutely must find something to talk down at, even though there's nothing that deserve it, it would be the sound. This is something Dark Tranqullity has made to their trademark, to have a sound cleaner than a Rocky mountain stream in the spring, and this album doesn't quite rerach that quality (where the sound is clean as a Rocky mountain stream, in the spring). But with that said, I want to make it clear that this album in no way have any faults on the sound, it sounds just as brilliant as everything else, but maybe a tiny bit worse that before. But that's only if you force me to search for anything negative, even when there is nothing.

All we get to do with this artwork is just to put it on the wall. Dark Tranquillity continues to be far more than just a foot further ahead of the rest, They are so superior on doing melodic death metal that I think you can write a rule book from them. They are what Sergei Bubka was for pole jumping - so superior to the competitors that there most certainly never will be anyone that can match their results. It can, as you realize, only be one grade on this album - the very best one there is. This grade, I've only given one album before this one. Thank you Dark Tranquillity for a new piece of wonderfulness!


Label - Century Media
Three similar bands - In Flames/Soilwork/Sonic Syndicate
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm