Dark Tranquillity - Construct review

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Band: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Construct
Release date: May 2013

01. For Broken Words
02. The Science Of Noise
03. Uniformity
04. The Silence In Between
05. Apathetic
06. What Only You Know
07. Endtime Hearts
08. State Of Trust
09. Weight Of The End
10. None Becoming
11. Immemorial [USA bonus]
12. Photon Dreams [USA bonus]

When "For Broken Words", Construct's opener, was first previewed, reactions were mixed, to say the least - and that's only natural given the weird, mid-tempo nature of this song. Then we got a classical Dark Tranquillity song ("The Science Of Noise", a future live anthem to be sure), and a mellow song with clean vocals ("Uniformity"). Varied album? Indeed! So, how's the rest? Well, screaming 'masterpîece' is obviously a case of blind fanboyism, but talking about 'pure crap' is totally a prejudiced, off-the-mark vision; as usual (and especially with an album like this one) the answer lies in the silence in between (ah ah).

I'd say, for starters, that like its predecessor We Are The Void, it can't compare with DT's best works, but in a very different way. We Are The Void had its moments, but it was ultimately generic and bland; Construct isn't bland at all, it is a half-success / half-failure (your choice) of a band that, at last, tried to redefine a bit of themselves. And so we've got an album that oscillates between classic Dark Tranquillity songs (a classic but average example being "The Silence In Between") and things a bit more unorthodox than what we're used to - "For Broken Words", with its weird drumming and dark mid-tempo pacing, comes to mind; with the variations and emphasis on the various electronic effects and keyboard lines being a close second. This, combined to the fact that the main songwriter this time is Martin Brändström, gives Construct a slight Haven aftertaste.

Alas, even if it definitely features interesting variations and ideas, and as usual great riffs and guitar parts, the songs don't always end up that good. The band didn't push the experiments far enough, showing too much restraint somehow, and that's probably why this album feels awkward. And that's how we end up with an album that features, at the same time, some of DT's very best works - Mikael Stanne's best clean vocals so far on the beautiful "Uniformity", or the simply fantastic "Endtime Hearts" which once again shows that Niklas Sundin can be the best songwriter of the band - and some real, disappointing fillers (like "What Only You Know" or "Weight Of The End"). Oh, and bonus track "Immemorial" was largely album material; I wonder why it was pushed to the lesser status of 'bonus track', really.

To conclude, let's be honest: Construct is pretty weak. Yet, it grew on me a lot, and yes, I like it. I always find something moving me, or resonating with me, in any DT album, and their latest offering is no exception (that's probably why I'm a fanboy to begin with). In the end, this Construct really feels like a transition album, just like Haven was back then - it seems Daniel Antonsson's departure during recording sessions had a much bigger impact than expected on the band - and as such isn't always musically great, but a step forward (finally), a proof that Dark Tranquillity can still change and evolve. A good thing for a band that, in recent years, used to rest a bit easy on their laurels.


Written on 11.06.2013 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 40   Visited by: 570 users
16.06.2013 - 15:24
Well it seems that I'm the only one enjoying all DT albums from Projector till Construct I cannot say such or such album is better or weaker, they all have great moments and above all they still show that DT is a strong constructed band ^^ When I first listened to We Are The Void, I couldn't stand it and after a few spins, I couldn't stop listening to it. That's the same with Construct : maybe it needs a little longer to get into it, provided you like DT style, but once you get into it, you cannot leave it away ! Not saying all tracks are equal, but overall it's a very enjoyable album !
16.06.2013 - 21:00
Given this a listen or three, i'll just say it won't be appearing on my top 25. generally this style isn't my cup o tea, but "Character" hit the mark with me, so it can be done.
get the fuck off my lawn.
17.06.2013 - 11:47
Darkside Momo
Thanks for the comments everyone!
Written by Deadsoulman on 13.06.2013 at 12:07

Written by Darkside Momo on 11.06.2013 at 21:56

As for Character, it's definitely one of their best, the others being (for me) The Gallery and Projector

Strange you didn't mention Damage Done, which is actually my favourite followed by the three you mentioned.

Well, you know how much I like it, but still I think it's a bit weaker that the others...

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
17.06.2013 - 11:55
Written by Darkside Momo on 17.06.2013 at 11:47

Well, you know how much I like it,

Yes, that's why I was a little surprised. I guess I'm the only one who can't separate the emotional aspect from the actual quality of music then
17.06.2013 - 11:59
Darkside Momo
Written by Deadsoulman on 17.06.2013 at 11:55

Written by Darkside Momo on 17.06.2013 at 11:47

Well, you know how much I like it,

Yes, that's why I was a little surprised. I guess I'm the only one who can't separate the emotional aspect from the actual quality of music then

took me ten years and a serious re-listen of Character . But I still listen to Damage Done more often than to The Gallery

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
19.06.2013 - 05:57
Written by blackmamba on 11.06.2013 at 22:03

DT's worst album would be most band's best album, so an OK album by DT is a great album. 8. Get it now.

20.06.2013 - 04:38
Written by Zadion on 14.06.2013 at 08:59

Written by Lanthros on 12.06.2013 at 18:34

Honestly I enjoyed this album. The reviewer and several other people seem to completely ignore one strong aspect of this. album.
But then it seems alot of people want to ignore the existance of he strongest similar album to this one. PROJECTOR. Construct is somewhere between Projector and Damage Done for me. If you like those two albums you will like this one. If your a purist/elietist
idiot you will hate it. I for one am glad of the return of the cowardly lion vocals.

Projector is my favorite DT album. This album does not have very strong Projector elements, IMO. Clean singing =/= Projector influence

its not the clean vocals that make me think of projector (which is my fav as well) its the synth elements. I also wasnt so much saying that it is like projector as much as the progression from projector to now. It sounds like it should have been released in that period to me hence the between.
10.07.2013 - 16:38
Excellent album except for the bonus track. 'The Science of Noise' is classic DT. I've listened to repeatedly for umpteen times. I am a big DT fan.
04.08.2013 - 22:54
I must say that reviews are always the thoughts of the author, they are the opinion and, in the case of music, the feelings that the author experiments while listening to an album.
I respect the initial review, however, to me, Construct is nothing but weak album. I agree with the fact that We Are the Void was not the greatest, and it was in OK album. However, the fresh feeling I got while listening to Construct makes me give a 10 to the album. I can identify how the band keeps evolving (State of Trust, What only you know, Uniformity) and also Niklas Sundin's maturity as a song writer (apathetic, end time hearts). Sundin is, indeed, the best song writer in the band, however, letting Brandstorm add it's touch to every song this time, makes it fresh (at least for me). A band is like a team, every member is allowed to input their emotions, or at least that is how it should be, and this band has reflected it this time.
Lyrics are also very good, some of them really have a meaning for me, maybe because of the time I am living right now, but a lot of emotions can be identified there. Art work is also great, Niklas Sundin again exceeded his standars.
The album is a must have for every DT fan, and if you can treat yourself, get the Box Set, you will enjoy the artwork and it will help you create the atmosphere while listening to the album.
Thank you for reading!
31.10.2013 - 22:52
The Psilosopher
I cant say which is the worse thing here, the artwork or the music. We might have to poll it out.

This is one of THE worst kind of Melodeath (If you can call this record that is. Because I say this is neither melodic nor deathy its mostly Alt metal) I have heard.

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