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Dark Tranquillity - "Fiction" (CD)

Dark Tranquillity - "Fiction" CD cover image

"Fiction" track listing:

1. "Nothing to No One" - 04:10
2. "The Lesser Faith" - 04:37
3. "Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)" - 04:24
4. "Blind at Heart" - 04:21
5. "Icipher" - 04:39
6. "Inside the Particle Storm" - 05:29
7. "Empty Me" - 04:59
8. "Misery's Crown" - 04:14
9. "Focus Shift" - 03:36
10. "The Mundane and the Magic" - 05:17

Reviewed by on September 20, 2008

"Through and through 'Fiction' is a solid release, showcasing all the best elements of Dark Tranquillity."

Dark Tranquillity has stood the test of time with several great releases to date. “Fiction,” Dark Tranquillity’s eighth, is another example of the band's ability to produce great metal and hold the interest of old and new fans alike. Dark Tranquillity is often referred to as melodic death metal. Their ability to blend death metal brutality with soft melodies make them an interesting band to listen to and would surely appeal to fans of bands such as In Flames, Soilwork, Arch Enemy, Opeth, etc. All the bands I’ve listed are from Sweden, a country is known for producing awesome metal. Dark Tranquillity is no exception.

“Fiction” starts of with the track “Nothing to No One,” which offers the signature Dark Tranquillity’s sound. Mikael Stanne’s vocals are harsh and intense, as the music blasts with speed and technicality. The riffs are memorable with the keyboard and guitars taking the spotlight. Ever since the album “Projector” Dark Tranquillity has incorporated the keyboard and other electronic sounds into their music, adding new layers and dynamics to their music. The technical keyboard sound added with heavy guitar parts dominate this album. “The Lesser Faith,” the second track, proves what the pervious track (and previous albums) have mastered. As raspy as Stanne’s vocals are, his vocals are easy to follow, which drives the lyrics of the album deeper into the listener’s ears.

The third track “Terminus (Where Death is Most Alive)” is another hard hitting song with machine like riffs and futuristic electronics. If more guitar and blasting drumming is what you want then pay attention to the fourth track, “Blind At Heart.” But if it’s the layered, more technical/progressive Dark Tranquillity that you want, then “Inside the Particle Storm” is the track you want to hear. This epic is a highlight of the album and all Dark Tranquillity has established in their 10 years as a band. “The Mundane And The Magic” is another track like “Inside the Particle Storm.” With much to offer, it will have the listener picking up on new things after multiple spins. This track also offers guest female vocals from metal singer Nell Sigland.

Through and through "Fiction" is a solid release, showcasing all the best elements of Dark Tranquillity. There isn’t much on the album that is radically different than their last few releases, and for some fans that may be troublesome. It’s often the case that bands try to reinvent themelves or do something to become noticed all over again and fail horribly, losing fans in the process. Dark Tranquillity has managed to stick to their sound and blast out album after album that impresses new and old fans alike. For those who aren’t familiar with this band, "Fiction" is a good album to start with just because you’d be getting a seasoned flavor of who the band is. Then if you enjoyed what you heard, you could go back and listen to past Dark Tranquillity albums, and come to understand their firm footing in the metal scene as one of the pioneers of melodic death metal, and a band who is not ready to back down from creating music.

Highs: Melodic death metal at it's finest

Lows: Nothing new or drastically different from this album

Bottom line: Looking for melodic death metal? Dark Tranquillty is the band you need to know.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)