We Are The Void review by Dark Tranquillity

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  • Released: Feb 25, 2010
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.7 (58 votes)
Dark Tranquillity: We Are The Void
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Sound — 6
Dark Tranquillity tend to deliver the goods, we've learnt that much over the years, but the greats don't come quite so often. However, the greats' came out in full force for 2007's Fiction' and they made a few appearances on Character' too, so there's good reason for a bit of optimism. In many ways, DT have been making the same record for the last decade they've been absolutely consistent in hitting the bull's-eye with their production, and their formula hasn't been tampered with in a major way since Haven'. They're far too good to become an if it ain't broke' band, though frankly not an awful lot is being fixed' on We Are The Void' anyway. The adoring reception of the last album's big hit, Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)', has clearly had an impact on Martin Henriksson and co, because its influence is felt on many tracks, where bouncy chugs and keyboard motifs break up the familiar bass-snare-bass-snare verse style. In fact, electronics fiddler Martin Brndstrm has probably taken up a more prominent role than ever before on this one. He has his share of the blame for the weaker parts of the album (Shadow In Our Blood' and The Fatalist' both have fairly pedestrian melodies) but Her Silent Language', by far the best song here, is made truly excellent by Brndstrm's subtle contributions. Head back through other highlights like Surface The Infinite' and The Grandest Accusation' and you'll find his stamp there too.

Lyrics — 8
Mikael Stanne's lyrics may well be even more recognisable than his band's particular strain of melodic death metal. His contributions have remained top-drawer even when he's been singing over less interesting tunes, and I daresay that there's been a specific improvement on this album: the clean vocals. Whilst his baritone flourishes are not much more common than they were on Fiction', he's dialled down the melodrama, resulting in a more fitting singing voice that feels less like a croon. Often mentioned when considering metal's gifts to lyricism over the years, Mikael is on good form yet again, finding new things to talk about but talking about them with the same tongue that he always has.

Overall Impression — 6
It would be difficult to see this band making an Unspoken King', and We Are The Void' certainly isn't bad. That said, for a band that recently hit the 20-year landmark (with a great creative mentality, might I add) and acquired some new blood in the form of bassist Daniel Antonsson, Dark Tranquillity have underwhelmed us all here. All the boxes are ticked but the music escapes your attention with relative ease - only a select few songs dig in fully. The album is easy to listen to, but difficult to truly engage with on the same level as this band's best.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Fazzeh
    I hear you. I wasn't all that pleased with the musical kind of theme that flows through the album. That being said I might add that the album roughly gets better by the number.
    Amuro Jay
    CaRveItiNbass wrote: The album cover... goatse..
    Goddammit! *shakes fist angrily* Don't judge the album by the cover, though.
    da Bat
    Have to agree, not bad in anyway just doesn't really hit the mark like Fiction
    HavokStrife
    What a letdown... maybe I'll check a few songs to make sure the reviewer isn't crazy or anything... but I guess I'm putting all my hope in Soilwork now. That's gotta be by far their worst album art ever too.. That big red "VOID" kills all the potential it has.
    namegoeshere
    slayerific wrote: Am I the only one who sees this album cover and automatically thinks "goatse"?
    I do
    GustavLW
    I think this album is a grower, several tracks, such as Shadow In Our Blood and I Am the Void, have grown from "meh" to "f'ing great" for me. I think that the album deserves a couple of listens, it's a bit harder to melt than Fiction.
    legacy5k
    I definitely agree with the review. This album just didn't punch me in the face like most of their other albums did. I do not feel blown away... some of the songs don't even have anything memorable about them at all. Still love me some DT though and I expect the next album will get them back on track.
    slayerific
    Am I the only one who sees this album cover and automatically thinks "goatse"?
    duncang
    I tend to only mention songs when they relate to a point I'm making on the album as a whole. Considering Iridium was (apparently) written in 1998, its difference from the rest of the album is pretty understandable.
    AdenZerda
    I mentioned Shadow In Our Blood. One of the worst songs on there.
    Shadow in Out Blood is secondary; Iridium was the big miss. Best song on the album and not even a mention.
    adrianjunger
    Lensver wrote: Anyway, this album is still far better than anything In Flames put out in... well, the last decade.
    And with Jesper gone, I doubt they can ever make something truly epic again. Maybe that's just me, though.
    Lensver
    It's worse than Fiction, not very very bad though - albeit I hope that they will come up with something better next time, because DT's got awesome potential. There are fillers, yes, but Iridium is a truly memorable moment, a very good closer. Anyway, this album is still far better than anything In Flames put out in... well, the last decade. Looking forward to seeing Dark Tranquillity live in October in Budapest
    Touch_Of_Red
    In my opinion they made some great songs: In My Absence Dream Oblivion The Grandest Accusation At The Point of Ignition The rest is not bad, but the songs on Fiction were more catchy, like Terminus.
    GustavLW
    But still, it's odd that you haven't even mentioned Iridium, that I find to be one of the strongest songs they've ever made... While Her Silent Language is a gem and have great melodies, vocals and structure, I still find a bit too... I don't know the word for it, but a bit "juvenile" or "unepic" to be the true album highlight that Iridium is.
    The Tak
    very good review Duncan.. this is the biggest disappointment of the DECADE... 4/10 haha finally someone agrees with me, i guess a lot more people like this album than I thought but sorry to me it just seems stale. Iridium though wasn't bad..
    duncang
    AdenZerda wrote: Not even mentions of Shadow in Our Blood or Iridium? Sorry, reviewer. You've missed the mark on this one.
    I mentioned Shadow In Our Blood. One of the worst songs on there.
    AdenZerda
    Not even mentions of Shadow in Our Blood or Iridium? Sorry, reviewer. You've missed the mark on this one.
    Schpudd
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree as well. Track 4 is currently my ringtone, whilst not perfect it has all the elements of DT and just overall makes me want to punch something.
    EpiExplorer
    Her Silent Language is the epiphany of good melodeath. Loved all the other songs too, especially Arkhangalsk. Thing I didnt like though, was that it was mixed poorly, like quite a few of DT's albums. You can hear everything well enough though.
    GustavLW
    I disagree. While some of the songs sounds very samey (I'm looking at you, The Fatalist, At the Point of Ignition and Surface the Infinite) they're still quite solid tunes. All in all, I find more than half the album to be absolutely blinding, especially closing "Iridium" that the review didn't even mention - clearly one of their best songs ever and the chorus is just mindblowing. I Am the Void, Arkhangalsk (in all its black metal glory), The Grandest Accusation, Her Silent Language and In My Absence are all awesome slabs of metal as well. Even if some weaker moments are present on this album, I still wouldn't hesitate to give this album at least 8,5/10 - sure it ain't revolutionary, but it have got a personality that sets it aside from Fiction and Character and it's easily one of the best metal albums of the year.
    cRaZy/RoCkEr
    In my opinion this album is great.Its like the continuance of Fiction and i love it because i wanted more and more from that album.
    crazyhaircut94
    I disagree very much. To me this is one of the band's best albums. Every song is a masterpiece. Fiction was great, but it's nothing compared to this. I purchased this album along with The Gallery, and so far they're both on my top albums list.
    The Tak
    In my opinion this album is one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
    MrWeenie
    i agree, not many songs are nearly as memorable as the ones from Fiction, Misery's Crown and Icipher were great! nice review.
    jthm_guitarist
    slayerific wrote: Am I the only one who sees this album cover and automatically thinks "goatse"?
    Hahaha no you're not