Released: 2005, Century Media
Reviewer: El Cid
*Gasp* “OMG!!!” “OH NOES!!!” “BBQ!!!” “Cid is doing yet another Dark Tranquillity album review!” “I’m sure he’ll give it a perfect score”
You bunch of wankers! Perfect score?? NAY!!! I have a surprise for you!! … Ok, fine I don’t, CHARACTER is hands down the best album of 2005 so far.
Quick rundown of Dark Tranquillity’s history: They are along with At the gates, Eucharist and In Flames, the founding fathers of the Gothenburg sound. As the years go by, Dark Tranquillity remain truthful to their roots and musical principles while at the same time, polishing their sound into THE GALLERY and THE MIND’S I until they were finally ready to redefine their sound for the new millennium. In 1999, with Martin Brändström’s keyboard as an integral part of the band and their new sound, out comes PROJECTOR, a transitional album into the new Dark Tranquillity. Following the coming of HAVEN and then DAMAGE DONE, the band finally decides to put out 2 very overdue (yeah I know, my opinion) releases in the form of LIVE DAMAGE (a DVD in which finally we can get live sample of the band with a decent production) and EXPOSURES IN RETROSPECT AND DENIAL (in which we find the lost gems from the demo days for which some of us paid a load of green when the only CD containing them was a greek special release that didn’t have the band’s approval and LIVE DAMAGE recording on the second CD of the package.).
Now, CHARACTER is yet another step forward in the direction the band has chosen to take. The guitar work as always is top notch, as Niklas Sündin’s slick brand of playing ties everything together along with Ander Jivarp’s driving drum rhythm. The music itself is as I stated, a progression in the same direction the band has maintained since PROJECTOR, the “electronic” sections are there, the keyboard melodies are there, the intense soloing and guitar duels are there, the impeccable drumming is there and of course… Mikael Stanne is there to lead the band’s delivery out of the raspy growl that has been trademark for many a year.
CHARACTER was recorded between 3 studios, Fredman, Rouge Music and The Room (???) and there is little to say about the production here, it fits. Like a glove. The album cover is yet again a Niklas Sündin original (http://www.cabinfevermedia.com
) yet again demonstrating that the band oversees every aspect of their releases trying to make them as personal as they possibly can.
I think there is very little I can say about Dark Tranquillity that I haven’t already said in one of my previous reviews to get you into them, but if all else fails, go see them live! There’s this random and unknown thrash act that has agreed to take them on tour through the Americas (hopefully they’ll have a stop over in my little tiny town). Oh yeah, the little thrash act goes by the name of Kreator and their tour is to promote their new album ENEMY OF GOD, no big deal. :p