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Rating:
9.0
Dark Tranquillity - Character
19 January 2005


Disc I
01. The New Build
02. Through Smudged Lenses
03. Out Of Nothing
04. The Endless Feed
05. Lost To Apathy
06. Mind Matters
07. One Thought
08. Dry Run
09. Am I 1?
10. Senses Tied
11. My Negation
12. Derivation TSB [Japanese bonus]
13. Endless Feed (Chaos Seed Remix) [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [digipack]
01. Damage Done [Live in Korea]
02. The Wonders At Your Feet [Live in Korea]
03. Final Resistance [Live in Korea]
04. The Treason Wall [Live in Korea]
+ Lost To Apathy [video]


It's already been three years since the last ravages of the Gothenburg gods. Meanwhile, they've released their first DVD Live Damage, a compilation for their fifteenth anniversary, Exposures and they've re-signed with Century Media. In other words, it's been a busy break. But it's also been a frustrating break, since Character was recorded and mixed more than one year ago. However, due to the time needed to choose a label, they've not been able to release it until now. Believe me now, the fans are going to be very pleased by the new album, just like I am.

I don't think I'm being over-enthusiastic when I say that Character stands among their two or three best albums. To give you an idea of the contents of this album, I can say it mixes most of what they've done from The Mind's I up to Damage Done. The first two songs resemble a lot what Dark Tranquillity released ten years ago. Especially the opener 'The New Build', with its blast-beaten introduction and its riffs typical of Swedish extreme metal of the mid-90's. 'Through Smudged Lenses' shows a mix between this old period and some more modern electro/atmospheric elements. This is one of the tracks that sound like the latest album. 'The Endless Feed', more progressive, more experimental, points out an interesting new direction for the future. The single 'Lost To Apathy' and its chorus a la 'Monochromatic Stains' is by itself a perfect description of everything this album offers: a melting-pot of melodies, very heavy riffs, fast passages battling against tempo changes, and subtle but useful arrangements. There's also the great and furious 'Dry Run' or the magnificent melodic closing track 'My Negation', which uses tunes I hadn't heard for long in Dark Tranquillity. The chorus is particularly beautiful and emotionally strong, like what they used to do on The Mind's I or even Projector. I could go on and on with every song, but that would not be very interesting nor useful.

The changes not only occur in the melodies, but also, in a more subtle way, in the musicianship and the sound. For example, Martin Brandström's keyboards are not here only to create atmospheres anymore; their purpose now is to strengthen the aura of imposing power that surrounds Character. Also the production has been boosted: the guitars sound clearer and heavier than ever, the drums are damn aggressive and the whole album exhales anger and violence. Mikael Stanne worked a lot on his vocals as well. He's now singing in a black/death way, and his growls are surprisingly impressive. Add to this great lyrics, new melodic elements like piano parts in the background and you get an album that sounds fresh and new despite going back to the roots, an album that has the indelible mark of Dark Tranquillity stamped all over it. And what about the futuristic cover drawn by Niklas Sundin himself? Just great, as always.

I think this dithyrambic review gave you a clue: Character is a must-have. Dark Tranquillity continue their evolution towards the skies, and it seems nothing and nobody will stop them. This is Swedish metal at its best.

Highlights: Lost To Apathy, The Endless Feed, Dry Run, My Negation, One Thought


Band profile: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Character


 


written by Collin | 31.01.2005



Comments

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Comments: 24  
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RazorOfTheLight - 04.10.2006 at 10:09  
This is music that will define classic melodic death of 2005. What a brilliant CD. It's pretty creative and whatnot and each song is a masterpeice in its own way. Our times has'nt diminished the flame that is Dark Tranquility! I enjoy their progression musically and can only hope it follows such a path.
PRIMAL FEAR - 07.10.2006 at 03:16  
A well explained review imo, it encompasses everything that character is, well done indeed.
gojko88 - 11.12.2006 at 14:03  
A very good album indeed, but after listening the album through, I got the impression that the keyboards are overused, whereas guitar work may sound too simple at times. It is nothing that bad, it's just that I think their sound is better when the guitars lead the song and keyboards create the atmosphere here and there instead of being a lead instrument.
Shadow Of A Man - 14.12.2006 at 17:51  
great album great review... Dark Tranquillity never seize ot amaze me one of my favorite bands and every release is amazing
Opium Magnet - 27.12.2006 at 23:01  
Written by Guest on 14.12.2006 at 17:51

great album great review... Dark Tranquillity never seize ot amaze me one of my favorite bands and every release is amazing

Don't you mean never CEASE to amaze?
Bitch Boy - 01.03.2007 at 20:07  
I fully agree with this review: while they take some elements from earlier works (for example those riffs in "The New Build") they were also using new stuff. Maybe this is my Dark Tranquillity's favorite.
Danny Thomas - 02.04.2007 at 08:49  
few cd's have sucked me in like this one does. i'll put it on when im driving at night and when it ends i'll just sort of snap out of it and realise that i just drove so many odd miles and didnt even notice, its that powerful. probably my favorite dark tranquillity cd actually. its rare that i want to lsiten to a cd from begging to end everytime, but this is just one of those amazing cd's
Doc Godin - 11.04.2007 at 09:07  
I recently got this album in a trade and I must say its very good, I originally bought 'The Gallery' and that album bored the hell out of me (with the exception of the Merciful fate cover and the opening track), but since I was getting this album pretty much for free I had nothing to lose, and it surprised me, this a truly great album now that ive heard it I would gladly buy this album full price.
Dandelion - 21.04.2007 at 13:11  
one of the best albums ever...simply perfect...anything less than 10 would be too little...all the tracks are masterpieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KrystDopey - 10.05.2007 at 00:46  
although i love everything Dark Tranquillity does i consider this album weaker than their previous effort Damage Done.
BloodTears - 07.01.2008 at 12:20  
I'm surprised "Character" isnt considered one of the best albums of all time here in MS. Their best album, every song is absolutely stunning and the lyrics are as brilliant as never before with DT in my opinion. Its powerful musically. Can't complain about stanne's voice either.
Warman - 07.01.2008 at 15:42  
My Negation will always be their best song, always! Overall it's one of their best releases, probably their third best. Great review too.
Passenger - 16.05.2008 at 15:21  
Can a band be consistently brilliant, for over 10 years? Apparently yes. This album, just another perfect piece of MeloDeath, by one of the best Metal bands ever
Deadmeat - 03.11.2008 at 14:21  
Very good album from a great band. With a better production it would touch 10. To me also last 4-5 songs are not as strong as the first 5-6.
Black_Sheep - 23.01.2009 at 20:17  
I think this album is underrated. It's really good, awesome album. I would give it 8
ms68 - 26.02.2009 at 16:23  
Written by Black_Sheep on 23.01.2009 at 20:17

I think this album is underrated. It's really good, awesome album. I would give it 8

It's really good, awesome album then u rate it 8????? u r real sheep. this is why this masterpiece is not in ms top 100. if u think an album sounds awesome u should rate it 10
WorpeX - 12.06.2009 at 00:25  
Good album, ^^ My favorites on the album are The Endless Feed, Am I 1? and Mind Matters. All the songs are good though. The lyrics and keyboards on the Endless feed are incredible though!

The only song which I really dont like that much is Out of Nothing. The lyrics are just kind of stupid on it, "How does it feel to be out of nothing?!" Well... I'm not out of anything... so... good? Maybe I just dont understand the lyrics fully. lol
Deadmeat - 12.06.2009 at 09:53  
Written by WorpeX on 12.06.2009 at 00:25

Good album, ^^ My favorites on the album are The Endless Feed, Am I 1? and Mind Matters. All the songs are good though. The lyrics and keyboards on the Endless feed are incredible though!

The only song which I really dont like that much is Out of Nothing. The lyrics are just kind of stupid on it, "How does it feel to be out of nothing?!" Well... I'm not out of anything... so... good? Maybe I just dont understand the lyrics fully. lol

DT have some really strange lyrics.. i don't understand some of them either!!
Solstafir! - 18.08.2009 at 15:33  
Another great album from the Gothenburg masters!
"Lost to Apathy" and "Mind Matters" is a constant on my playlist...
SatyriconChick - 07.11.2009 at 19:52  
This album is amazing and is my favorite by Dark Tranquillity.
Builtforsin88 - 13.03.2010 at 06:41  
One of the first melo death albums i bought. Couldn't have made a better choice.
I_Die_Often - 25.04.2010 at 15:32  
My first and only DT cd so far, really like it!
I will have to check out others!
serega25 - 24.01.2011 at 21:17  
I like it so much!!!
m3ta1he4d - 01.06.2011 at 06:53  
Mind Matters. great guitar solos.. \,,/

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