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Dark Tranquillity - "Construct" (CD)

Dark Tranquillity - "Construct" CD cover image

"Construct" track listing:

1. For Broken Words
2. The Science Of Noise
3. Uniformity
4. The Silence In Between
5. Apathetic
6. What Only You Know
7. Endtime Hearts
8. State Of Trust
9. Weight Of The End
10. None Becoming
11. Immemorial
12. Photon Dreams

Reviewed by on May 27, 2013

"Breaking the chain of three solid full-lengths that all sounded interchangeable, Dark Tranquillity has defied the naysayers and finally changed up the formula for an album quite unlike any other in the band’s discography."

Breaking the chain of three solid full-lengths that all sounded interchangeable, Dark Tranquillity has defied the naysayers and finally changed up the formula for an album quite unlike any other in the band’s discography. Moving at a much different pace than the stellar “Fiction” or copycat “We Are The Void,” the “Construct” album works the atmosphere and melodies above all else for a slow burn of a death metal experience.

Overall less booming and fast paced than before, most of “Construct” puts the melody front and center in the guitar sounds, but is also aided by surprise clean singing appearances and piano segments. While definitely a slower and perhaps less ferocious album than usual (especially on “Uniformity,” “What Only You Know,” and “State of Trust”) the album does a good job of alternating tempos between each song to keep the music interesting even during the less heavy parts.

“Construct” is more of a downer album, steeped strongly in melancholy even during the heavier parts, in a way not wholly different from recent Swallow the Sun releases. Even with the change of focus, the extreme parts of the melodic death metal equation aren’t completely absent, as there’s still a good deal of Mikael Stanne’s trademark growling and furious guitar work. There are plenty of high points, but one of the best combinations of melody and metal is easily “Immemorial,” which meshes stringed instruments and keyboards into the melancholic metal.

While not precisely experimental or avant-garde, these tracks do like to play with sounds well outside the standard melodic death metal norm. “Endtime Hearts” and “None Becoming” in particular use odd keyboard sounds in the background and tempo shifts for a different feel. The outro track, “Photon Dreams,” also radically changes gears for a dark and mysterious ending.

The slower pace may not work for everyone, but Dark Tranquillity has to be commended for finally progressing and experimenting with different types of sounds. “Construct” is a gamble that paid off, and hopefully the metalverse will hear even more progression from this pioneering act in the future.

Highs: Finally an album that distinguishes itself from others in the band's discography!

Lows: The pacing has been slowed down quite a bit.

Bottom line: Dark Tranquillity switches gears for a more melodic and atmospheric sound - and it works.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)