on 28 February 2008
I must admit that the first few times i listened to this it flew right past me and i didn't take much notice besides Hedon. But, Dark Tranquillity being one of my favourite bands, i thought that if i persevered it might reveal some hidden gems after a few listens, and it sure did.
This album is a logical progession from their masterful opus 'The Gallery'. While on the first few listens it might not seem that different, after really sinking my teeth in i discovered this to be much darker and heavier ( i think it's maybe tuned down a step or a half from the Gallery) with alot more palm mutes and low end riffing. Also, it sees DT taking their sound to its most technical extreme. While the band had never shyed away from complex riffing and difficult time changes, they went all out here and somehow riff master and guitar genius Niklas Sundin pulls out the goods again and delivers up some truely awesome guitar work. There's still a fair touch of classical influence in the beautiful leads, but altogether there's a bit more thrash and hard knuckle metal thrown in then before. As always, the bass work is fantastic and really pushes the band into another league, and Mikael Stannes vocals are once again the epitome of melodic death.
The album starts off with the good but not too memorable Dreamlore Degenerate, but quickly picks up the pace with the thrashy Zodijacyl Light, showing that DT can match their trademark melodies with aggression and speed as good as any of their peers. Then we hit the incrediable Hedon, which is in a similar vein to Lethe, a brooding, intense slow burner of a track that starts off with some clean riffing before exploding into some collosal riffing and intense growling. Easily on of the best DT songs ever. and the album doesn't let up untill the semi-industrial closer, which gentle lets you down after the technical thrash-fest of this album with some soft classical guitars and electronic ambience. Other highlights inculde the progy Insanity's Crescendo, the pendulum groove of Still Moving Sinews and the epic Tongues. While all the songs have the trademark DT sound, there's such a huge variety in the songwritng that i never get bored of this album for one second.
So, i guess this is probably the Gothenburg sound taken to its most technical extreme. Strangly, this seems to be the DT album that no one really has ( i think more people have Skydancer then this), which is a shame as i think this is easily on a par with their best. As the final album of their Gothenburg sound (Projector, which came after this, had alot of changes), this is an epic, mind blowing farewell to their original style. Just remember that you need to givce this album alot of listens and time to sink in; if you put this cd on as background music you'll miss alot of the goods.
Also, i'd try and get the re-issue that has the bonus tracks from Enter Suicide Angels, as Razorfever and Shadowlit Facade are two of my favourite DT tracks.
on 2 June 2002
The Mind's I is in my mind by far the best of Dark Tranquillity's albums so far. It combines all their best elements, except it lacks the more melodic vocals featured on Projector and Haven. In thier place comes the song Insanity's Crescendo which combines light melody with perfect female vocals, adding up to one of the highlights of the album. Altogether the album isn't too different from The Gallery, and it also reminds me of The Haunted and At The Gates - Terminal Spirit Disease, except with much better sounding production. The album features a few of Dark Tranquillity's more well known songs such as Constant, Hedon and Zodiakyl Light. The only real down point is after track 7 (Insanity's Crescendo) the album becomes a little indistinguishable - I constantly forget which track is which after, ad opther than tracks 11 and 12 there's no real momorable or catchy part to the song that makes you want to stick it back a track to hear it again.