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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends return, 14 Jan. 2008
By 
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Can you think of another metal band that has been consistently putting out consistently excellent cds for almost 2 decades? Dark Tranquillity are just about the only band that come to mind and with Fiction they not only prove that they're the best thing to come out of the Gotenburg scene but one of the best metal bands ever.

Fiction is pure brilliance in that it combines all the different aspects of the bands vibrant career into one BEAST of a cd. There's the chilling clean vocals of Projector, the magestic guitar melodies of the Gallery, the unholy heaviness of Character, the subtle electronics of Damage Done, the progression of the Minds I, and then some! If you've liked any of their previous stuff there's a good chance you'll love something on here. Always pushing the boundaries, always making great music, thats DT. Yet, they've managed to stay true to their original sound and the melodic death scene while evolving their sound and incorporating new elements.

Unlike many of their peers, DT show no signs of slowing down or selling out on Fiction. Nothing to No One is a brutal opener (check those blast beats and that hideous breakdown) that proves age hasn't mellowed them out (take note In Flames!). What a crushing chorus! Focus Shift and Terminus carry on this churning melo death with ethereal melodies and great use of keyboards. No power metal silliness or Children of Bodom wannabe stuff, the keys are dark, cold and layered in the background to add atmosphere to an already great sound; its almost close to some of the 80's dark wave music. Into the Particle Storm goes for all out heaviness and proves that DT can hold their own against the likes of Neurosis or Isis, while the excellent Misery's Crown hearkens back to the Projector days (Therein anyone?) with Mikeals wonderful deep singing and an athenmic scream fest a chorus. He still manages to pull out demonic screams and gutteral roars that puts most new bands to shame, despite the fact that he's been huffing and puffing for over 15 years. Also, for all the fans you've been there from the beginning they throw in 'empty me' and 'blind at heart' which brings back the nostalgia of the Minds I. Seriously, can these guys make a bad album? I have to give special mention to 'the lesser faith' - probably my fav of the album. Its just sounds so damn epic, with such a masterful combination of guitar and keyboards and some completly out of this world spacey parts jarring head to head with some thick guitar crunching...i cannot get enough

So, while At the Gates split, In Flames went nu-metal and Arch Enemy seem content to produce bland cd after bland dc, DT kept it real and churned out blasting melodic death. This album is a testemant to a maturity and depth of songwriting that only years can bring, yet still beats with a heart of youthful intensity and red raw rage. Variety, creativity and aggression in equal measure, this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Forget your metalcore, your emocore and your 'new wave of american metal'. This, my friends is were it is at.

Note: see if you can get the expanded version with the bonus tracks
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than 'Character' and almost as good as 'Damage Done', 29 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Dark Tranquillity is one of the few bands that manages to alter and improve its sound on every new release. Each release since their "The Gallery" sounds different from the previous one but still is easily distinguishable as a Dark Tranquillity offering.

Their sound follows the Swedish melodic death metal recipe but it is different from the other bands playing in the same genre (At The Gates, In Flames, The Haunted, etc). Fast, aggressive yet melodic guitar riffs and leads, pounding but also varying drumming, the perfect use and amount of keys and Stanne's low and high death vocals. The good thing about DT's songwriting is that it is not predictable. All songs are versatile, aggressive, melodic, progressive and technical all at once.

Some fans and reviewers claim that 2005's "Character" is the bands strongest release since their 1995's classic "The Gallery"... well, I strongly disagree. Although "Character" was another masterpiece, it was fast paced throughout, rawer and not so versatile. It was definitely more 'death' than 'melodic death' and that similarity of tempo in most tracks resulted in a monotonous sounding release, in a way. "Fiction" IMO perfected "Character's" sound. There are still plenty of fast songs with outstanding drumming (with the use of blast beats aswell), down tuned and heavy guitar riffs and death vocals, but there are also passages within these same songs that are more atmospheric and incorporated wonderful melodies provided by keys, guitar leads and solos.

Songs like 'Nothing To No One', 'Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)', 'Inside The Particle Storm' and 'Focus Shift' are some of the best songs that the band has ever written. Even 'The Mundane And The Magic' which is the most simplistic and slow song manages to sound amazing due to the use of beautiful keys, varying drumming and the application of both female and clean vocals in the chorus. You will be certainly amazed by this album, it contains some of the best guitar riffs I have ever heard (you will be forced to head bang), melodic and technical guitar leads and solos, truly amazing (and not over the top) drumming and the best vocals of the genre!

I honestly believe that "Fiction" is Dark Tranquillity's strongest release after the brilliant "Damage Done" and the experimental masterpiece "Projector". For any fans of the band and for any fans of metal this is a must buy. DT are still going strong after being active for over 15 years and haven't released a weak album yet. Congratulations to them...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...gold standard metal..., 7 April 2007
By 
Mr. H "Mr H" (Embra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Dark Tranquility often seem to get forgotten about when discussions on Swedish melodic death metal get heated, and I'm at a loss to explain why.

After all, along with At The Gates and In Flames, they virtually defined the Gothenburg sound. And unlike former bandmate Anders Friden in In Flames, they could never be accused of 'selling out' by their fanbase. Instead, they've refined their sound across a series of fine albums, although their last album, 'Character' sacrificed some melody in the pursuit of brutality.

Well fans of their earlier material are going to find a lot to love here, as a large part of their core sound is present and correct.

In fact, I'll stick my neck out and claim this may be their best album since "The Gallery". Really. In fact 'The Lesser Faith' is now my new favourite DT track.

Everything you could want is present and correct - the shredding guitars, keyboard textures and raw, brutal vocals. From top to bottom, it's gold standard metal, and one you should own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...gold standard metal..., 7 April 2007
By 
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Dark Tranquility often seem to get forgotten about when discussions on Swedish melodic death metal get heated, and I'm at a loss to explain why.

After all, along with At The Gates and In Flames, they virtually defined the Gothenburg sound. And unlike former bandmate Anders Friden in In Flames, they could never be accused of 'selling out' by their fanbase. Instead, they've refined their sound across a series of fine albums, although their last album, 'Character' sacrificed some melody in the pursuit of brutality.

Well fans of their earlier material are going to find a lot to love here, as a large part of their core sound is present and correct.

In fact, I'll stick my neck out and claim this may be their best album since "The Gallery". Really. In fact 'The Lesser Faith' is now my new favourite DT track.

Everything you could want is present and correct - the shredding guitars, keyboard textures and raw, brutal vocals. From top to bottom, it's gold standard metal, and one you should own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than 'Character' and almost as good as 'Damage Done', 29 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Dark Tranquillity is one of the few bands that manages to alter and improve its sound on every new release. Each release since their "The Gallery" sounds different from the previous one but is still easily recognizable as a Dark Tranquillity offering.

Their sound follows the Swedish melodic death metal recipe but it is different from the other bands playing in the same genre (At The Gates, In Flames, The Haunted, etc). Fast, aggressive yet melodic guitar riffs and leads, pounding but also varying drumming, the perfect use and amount of keys and Stanne's low and high death vocals. The good thing about DT's songwriting is that it is not predictable. All songs are versatile, aggressive, melodic, progressive and technical all at once.

Some fans and reviewers claim that 2005's "Character" is the bands strongest release since their 1995's classic "The Gallery"... well, I strongly disagree. Although "Character" was another masterpiece, it was fast paced throughout, rawer and not so versatile. It was definitely more 'death' than 'melodic death' and that similarity of tempo in most tracks resulted in a monotonous sounding release, in a way. "Fiction" IMO perfected "Character's" sound. There are still plenty of fast songs with outstanding drumming (with the use of blast beats aswell), down tuned and heavy guitar riffs and death vocals, but there are also passages within these same songs that are more atmospheric and incorporate wonderful melodies provided by keys, guitar leads and solos.

Songs like 'Nothing To No One', 'Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)', 'Inside The Particle Storm' and 'Focus Shift' are some of the best songs that the band has ever written. Even 'The Mundane And The Magic' which is the most simplistic and slow song manages to sound amazing due to the use of beautiful keys, varying drumming and the application of both female and clean vocals in the chorus. You will be certainly amazed by this album, it contains some of the best guitar riffs I have ever heard (you will be forced to head bang), melodic and technical guitar leads and solos, truly amazing (and not over the top) drumming and the best vocals of the genre!

I honestly believe that "Fiction" is Dark Tranquillity's strongest release after the brilliant "Damage Done" and the experimental masterpiece "Projector". For any fans of the band and for any fans of metal this is a must buy. DT are still going strong after being active for over 15 years and haven't released a weak album yet. Congratulations to them...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Fiction (Audio CD)
Great
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Fiction
Fiction by Dark Tranquillity (Audio CD - 2007)
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