Damage Done is another great DT album and a real milestone in the evolution of their sound that began with the still great but slightly awkward Projector back in 1999 when toned down their aggression and added in some keyboards and more of a gothic feel. Haven went along way in bringing back the heaviness, et it was obvious that they were still in working out the kinks in their new sound. But the stage was set for Damage Done, and damage surely was done on the metal world when this came out and DT finally delivered what we were all waiting for.
In its song writing approach Damage Done isn't remarkably different from Haven (modern melodic death metal with ambient keyboards); it's just better. Simple as that. Many of the same elements, yet more refined, more precise, and just a little bit more magic. For one, the electronics are alot more balanced out and don't so much fight with the guitars as they compliment them beatifully. Damage done also ses the band using more catchy melodies, such as on the anthemic chorus of Final Resistance (great opener) or the haunting Treason Wall. At the same time though, this is where they began to throw in in a lot of old school melodic riffs that harken back to earlier albums, such as on the great Hours Passed in Exile with soft piano's backing some great melodic thrashing or the wonderful interplay on Single Part of Two. I love the tasteful use of keybaords; it just coats every song in such a wonderfully dark atmosphere. Easily miles ahead of the likes of Soilwork in bringing keys into the metal lexicon.
On first listen you won't pick up on all the subtlties, but if you really get into this and give it time to sink in you'll find a whole host of great little creative touches. It's hard to pick out favourites for me, as all the songs really rock out and the whole album plays very well from strat to finish. Not one dull moment. The only thing that i'm not too keen on are the vocals; thats not to say the vocals aren't good. its just that Mikael Stanne usings a pretty low roar for most of the CD whereas i prefer his gargled screams of the Gallery and the Minds I. i guess its just personal preference.
A very memorable album, Damage Done sees DT stepping up and bring their A game to the play. Not quite as epicly heavy as Character, not quite as magestic as Fiction, but nonetheless another great album from one of the most consistent metal bands ever to grace my speakers.
The absolute pinnacle of NWOSDM, this album encapsulates everything that is great about the genre. there are searing metal riffs, screamed vocals, beautiful keyboard melodies and fantastically catchy hooks all over the album. The songwriting is of the highest calibre, and, for once, the peculiar Swedish take on the English language isn't present - the lyrics actually make some sort of sense! Dark Tranquillity's earlier efforts were noteworthy enough slabs of metal, with 2000's 'Haven' hinting at the progression that would be made on this record. As far as modern metal goes, this is where its at, real metal, played from the heart. Not a hint of an oh-so-fashionable rap collaboration anywhere to be seen! Like fellow Swedes Soilwork, DT show where Iron Maiden should be today, twin guitar leads abound and the lush keyboard work complements the music perfectly. Not pushed to the fore and used as a soloing instrument (as in Children Of Bodom), DT utilise their keyboards to provide 'mood' to tracks. They certainly sound huge on record. Having never seen them on tour I'd be interested to see whether they come across as well live. The whole album is superb, so its hard to pick standout tracks, but my particular favourites at the moment are 'Single Part of Two' and 'Hours Passed In Exile'
If you’re a fan of the Melodic Death scene, you could do a fair bit worse than to check out Dark Tranquillity. Similar in style to former kings of the genre Soilwork and In Flames (indeed, In Flames vocalist Anders Friden sung on the first Dark Tranquillity record), they combine some reasonably brutal death metal riffing with melodic guitar harmonies and the tastefully-done use of keyboards in a similar fashion to that which Soilwork did from ‘A Predator’s Portrait’ onwards. Mikael Stanne’s rasping singing voice is pure Gothenburg Melodic Death, and he himself is actually an ex-member of In Flames, showing how tight knit the whole scene is. The riffs will get your head nodding, the keyboards add colour to the mixture without ever being overpowering, it’s all a perfect mixture for those into the less harsh and brutal side of Death Metal. Stand-out tracks are hard to choose on an album as consistently impressive as ‘Damage Done’, but my personal favourite is the third song ‘Monochromatic Stains’ with its driving riff and near-perfect use of electronics just adding a bit of texture to the mixture. However, none of the songs are far short of excellent and the record, along with all of the rest the band have recorded, comes highly recommended. If this seems a bit too lightweight for you, try some of the older records, particularly 1995’s ‘The Gallery’, as the band have undoubtedly mellowed with the passage of time.
After the mind-blowingly incredible releases that Dark Tranquillity have previously released, many would start to wonder whether the band had reached their peak and would now begin to tumble from the heights of the melodic death genre. It is safe to say that Damage Done is NOT the album that will see them fall; if anything Dark Tranquillity have once again pushed the boundaries as far as they will go. With the fade-in crunching guitars of opening track 'Final Resistance', the memorable chorus of 'Hours passed in exile' (who has not heard Mikael Stanne's tortured soul cry of 'I brought you fires which you put out' and not sat in stunned rapture?) to the melodic guitar lines and furious drumbeat of 'Cathode Ray Sunshine', Dark Tranquillity have interwoven their various styles from the previous five albums into a work of art. Seamless matching of keyboards to guitars, bass to drums, and Mikael's voice into everything prove one thing; when you've reached the top of that mountain, start building.
Though I dont believe Damage Done to be Dark Traquility's best album, it is a very powerful piece of music worthy of recognition. Strong guitar riffs with impressive drums holds it together accompanied by the more "electric" samples added on keep the music exciting. The actual lyrics are thought provoking and come off as always with Mikael Stanne truly brutal. And a word to the other reviewer In Flames and Dark Tranquility are easily equals and In Flames best album is by far Whoracle though Clayman is okay if a little to (for lack of a better word) "happy".
I absolutely love this album!! It is filled with powerful melodies, passionate, visceral vocals and churning guitars. How anyone can say this is unremarkable is beyond me. I am a huge fan of both In Flames and Arch Enemy and I would place this album happily alongside either of these bands' releases. I never tire of listening to this - it has such a powerful, driving force and sounds constantly as if it's about to burst out of your speakers!!!! Brilliant!
i admit this album may come across as mainstream mainly for fans of the older music but it does mean each song has a stronger more memorable sound. each song flows off one another so well it creates an amazing album and there are so many well made songs you could never get bored of. i suggest hearing monochromatic stains and white noise/black silence. an easy 5/5. for fans of in flames, soilwork, the haunted e.t.c cheers
After thirteen years together, Gothenburg's Dark Tranquillity have unleased this, their sixth full-length opus, on a relatively unsuspecting public. After all, while Iowa might have topped the UK album charts, I would imagine that few can stomach the gut-wrenching ferocity that makes up a DT album. Marrying frantic double-bass drumwork to hyperactive guitar runs and swirling keyboard motifs, all topped with throaty vocals that sound like an Orc on acid, DT are heavy. Providing a fix for those who crave true heavy metal, DT are more theatrical than Shadow's Fall in their use of Gothic pianos, but heavier (and less cheesy) than Cradle of Filth. Iraqi soldiers may be tortured using Metallica - they'd soon find out the real whereabouts of everyone from Saddam to Lord Lucan if they used Dark Tranquillity. Anything but tranquil.