Sound — 8
Dark Tranquillity never fail to impress, regardless of how their albums matched up to each other. While We Are the Void certainly isn't as good as Character and Damage Done, I'd easily place it above Fiction and Haven. The Mind's I, The Gallery, and Projector require more listening before I compare them to We Are the Void. Now that I have the obvious comparisons that most fans refuse not the make out of the way, getting down to business is a priority. We Are the Void is an exceptional melodic death metal album, but it is not nearly as guitar oriented as other DT albums. While there are more guitar solos on this album than either Character or Fiction, for the most part the guitars become the foundation upon which the keyboards take center-stage. This is what makes this album impressive. The keys that one hears during nearly every song are heart-wrenching. They create an epic feeling that Fiction lacked. Fiction fell short because there was nothing to make-up for the rhythm-based guitar-work. We Are the Void fills this "void" (pardon the pun, but it was just too easy) with keys. For an obvious example, listen to "The Grandest Accusation" which is the high point of the album.
Lyrics — 8
Mikael Stanne is and always will be one of the most talented vocalists in metal. His lyrical abilities are nearly un-matched and his delivery is absolutely astounding. His harsh vocals are very easy to understand and actually match the music. He sings quite a few times on this album, and delivers his usual baritone with ease and comfort. Stanne's clean vocals are untouchable and don't sound fake and over-produced. Lyrically, this album isn't quite up to Character standards and honestly, Her Silent Language has some cheesy lines that sound nothing like anything Mikael Stanne would ever write. However, Stanne's performance and the lyrical lines of brilliance on display throughout the rest of this record make up for that one minor derailment.
Overall Impression — 8
As I have already mentioned, this album does not touch Character, but nothing in DT's catalog does, so we'll leave it at that. A song by song review is necessary. 01. Shadow in Our Blood: a very interesting blend of genres. The intro is perfect and honestly it kick starts this album better than one would have expected. 8/10 02. Dream Oblivion: I don't like to get bored the instant a song starts and this is easily one of the weaker songs on the album. 6/10 03. The Fatalist: interesting lyrics and tremendous performances from each member of the band. 9/10 04. In My Absence: several lyrical high points and very good composition create one of the more solid songs on the album. 9/10 05. The Grandest Accusation: Easily the best song on the album. Lyrically exceptional and musically enticing. What Dark Tranquillity does best. This song perfectly displays how the guitars create a foundation for the keys. 10/10 06. At the Point of Ignition: very good live song, but it's just not the same on the record. Solid nonetheless. 8/10 07. Her Silent Language: interesting, but not nearly as good as Misery's Crown. 6/10 08. Arkhangelsk: I really like this song. It's fierce and heavy. Stanne's vocals are tremendous. Fierce is the perfect word to describe this song. 9/10 09. I Am the Void: good lyrics and tremendous instrumentation. Another high point for the album. 9/10 10. Surface the Infinite: not too bad, but certainly not a highpoint. 7/10 11. Iridium: good closer, and effective for this album. It's just not "My Negation" or "The Mundane and the Magic." 8/10