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Dark Tranquillity - Construct review




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Band: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Construct
Style: Gothenburg metal
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

Comments: 40   Visited by: 590 users
11.06.2013 - 19:50
Rating: 7
Silent Creeper
Senile Veteran
Nice review, I would mostly agree. Kind of an album that teases you but never really delivers, giving you some sort of auditory "blue balls".
Anyway, little bit better than We Are The Void, but still one of the weakest releases by DT's (high) standards. Even though I would still rate this around 7.5.
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11.06.2013 - 20:53
qlacs
"The Quaker"
You know funny thing is, I also didn't like We Are The Void, but I don't consider that or Construct a reinvention of their own; to me that would be something they've done back in the day on The Gallery, or maybe Haven. To me DT just becomes more and more sloppy with each release since Damage Done, and I can't help it.
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11.06.2013 - 21:00
Rating: 6
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Nice, great to see DSM back in the review saddle, even if just a cameo. will be checking this out, but my only real DT experience is Character, which I rather like. Worried anything else they've done will fall flat comparatively.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

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11.06.2013 - 21:15
Rating: 7
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by BitterCOld on 11.06.2013 at 21:00

Nice, great to see DSM back in the review saddle, even if just a cameo. will be checking this out, but my only real DT experience is Character, which I rather like. Worried anything else they've done will fall flat comparatively.


If you liked Character, you'll probably like Fiction. You should try it. It only hurts the first time.

As for me, I agree with many things you said Momo. I said it before elsewhere, but it just lacks consistency this one although there are good moments in there. Still, it is disappointing but I'm a fangirl just like you
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


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11.06.2013 - 21:56
Darkside Momo
Retired
Thanks for the comments people!

@ Agnostik: agreed on "Anyway, little bit better than We Are The Void, but still one of the weakest releases by DT's (high) standards."

@ qlacs: I don't think they reinvented themselves with Construct, but at least they tried to sound a bit differently this time, which is good

@ BitterCOld: thanks, but yeah, only a cameo for now As for Character, it's definitely one of their best, the others being (for me) The Gallery and Projector - and both are wildly different from Character. Fiction is Character part II, but less good - that's why it hurts the first time (yep, BloodTears's right). Also, there's "Inside The Particle Storm" on it

@ BloodTears: yep, sadly it lacks consistency, both in the 'classical DT sound' (but that would have made another We Are The Void) or in experimentations... But, still some great moments
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"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
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11.06.2013 - 22:03
blackmamba

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.
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11.06.2013 - 22:25
Rating: 9
Risto
Wandering Midget
I think this is actually one of their strongest records. Unlike the reviewer, I think minimalism and restraint are some of the reasons why this album is so enjoyable; there are quite a few sonic punches in the stomach that just wouldn't work if the songs were more drawn out.

It's hard to find such a string of great tracks elsewhere from DT's discography than what the first four are here, in my books only Character can rival that.
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11.06.2013 - 22:49
psykometal
A staff guy...
This is definitely on my list of things I need to check out. I too have been a fanboy for the last decade+ beginning with my discovery of the (imo) fantastic Damage Done later that year of it's release.

Fiction is definitely one of my top Dark Tranquillity albums for sure; probably right behind Damage Done and Projector.
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11.06.2013 - 22:58
psykometal
A staff guy...
Written by Darkside Momo on 11.06.2013 at 21:56

Also, there's "Inside The Particle Storm" on it

"Inside the Particle Storm" is a magnificent track indeed!
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11.06.2013 - 23:27
Darkside Momo
Retired
@ Blackmamba
[disclaimer: fanboy mode on] so true!! [/fanboy mode]
more seriously, I kinda agree that most of their copycats can berely scratch DT's OK albums

@ Blizk: while I guess you're right about minimalist and restraint (heck, For Broken Words is great because of that], I still don't think this is one of their greatest works (and if you ask me, for a longer string of awesome tracks, there's Projector with "Brought To A Bitter Halt" onwards )

Written by psykometal on 11.06.2013 at 22:58

Written by Darkside Momo on 11.06.2013 at 21:56

Also, there's "Inside The Particle Storm" on it

"Inside the Particle Storm" is a magnificent track indeed!

one of their best ever. And a reason to respect/worship Niklas Sundin
Oh, about Fiction: I felt it was a letdown after Character, to be honest. There's a lot of stuff I love on that album, but there are some sub-par tracks too, while Character doesn't have any. However, Character took a lot of time to really sink in, so spin it a few more times just to be sure, right?
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


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

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
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11.06.2013 - 23:39
psykometal
A staff guy...
Written by Darkside Momo on 11.06.2013 at 23:27

one of their best ever. And a reason to respect/worship Niklas Sundin
Oh, about Fiction: I felt it was a letdown after Character, to be honest. There's a lot of stuff I love on that album, but there are some sub-par tracks too, while Character doesn't have any. However, Character took a lot of time to really sink in, so spin it a few more times just to be sure, right?

It is definitely one of their best tracks. Honestly though I lost track of the band (and all things Melodic Death in general) for a while due to a total lack of interest/burned the fuck out on all things Melodic Death metal, and I didn't even realize they had released Character until they had already announced Fiction. Even then I ended up not really giving it a full chance before falling deeply in love with Fiction. And I have just been a bad bad fanboy by never doing the band their due justice in fully checking out Character... :embaressed:
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11.06.2013 - 23:42
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by psykometal on 11.06.2013 at 23:39

Written by Darkside Momo on 11.06.2013 at 23:27

one of their best ever. And a reason to respect/worship Niklas Sundin
Oh, about Fiction: I felt it was a letdown after Character, to be honest. There's a lot of stuff I love on that album, but there are some sub-par tracks too, while Character doesn't have any. However, Character took a lot of time to really sink in, so spin it a few more times just to be sure, right?

It is definitely one of their best tracks. Honestly though I lost track of the band (and all things Melodic Death in general) for a while due to a total lack of interest/burned the fuck out on all things Melodic Death metal, and I didn't even realize they had released Character until they had already announced Fiction. Even then I ended up not really giving it a full chance before falling deeply in love with Fiction. And I have just been a bad bad fanboy by never doing the band their due justice in fully checking out Character... :embaressed:

time to correct that oversight of yours, then
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


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

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
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12.06.2013 - 07:04
carltonh

Maybe it's because I listen while properly lubricated with alcohol, or call me a fanboy if you must, but it's still genius. 8.8
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12.06.2013 - 08:42
Rating: 8
Wes

What Only You Know, a filler? That songs makes the album for me personally. Nice review though I have to agree with everything else you said.
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12.06.2013 - 09:19
Dinruth

I like the album .. certainly not their greatest, but a good effort imo ... I just don't know why some people consider Fiction a pain the first time they hear it ... It's my second favorite album of DT right after the Gallery
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12.06.2013 - 10:07
Rating: 7
Silent Creeper
Senile Veteran
Maybe Sundin and Henriksson suffer from "the Samson syndrome" which unables them to achieve songwriting greatness from the past.
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12.06.2013 - 10:27
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Maybe I'll give it a listen. Never was a huge fan of DT, but I used to enjoy there old works quite a bit and while I haven't heard an album from them I've truly enjoyed in a while, I still find their work difficult to completely ignore.
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12.06.2013 - 11:25
Rating: 7
Zadion

I pretty much agree, but I think that Construct is right there alongside We Are the Void in style. It's a real grower, that's for sure.
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12.06.2013 - 11:41
Rating: 8
Monolithic
♠♠♠
I still replay some of the songs and I really think it's a grower. Great review, by the way.
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12.06.2013 - 18:34
Lanthros

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.
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12.06.2013 - 22:23
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Lanthros on 12.06.2013 at 18:34
If your a purist/elietist idiot you will hate it.

It doesn't take a purist or elitist to recognise that this album is simply a weak album in their overall discog. Not liking it certainly doesn't make a person an "idiot" either.
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13.06.2013 - 12:07
Deadsoulman

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.
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13.06.2013 - 13:08
chaosscizzors
Account deleted
I'm starting to wonder if i'm the only DT fan that liked we are the void. i only heard construct once and i wasn't really feeling it but i'd imagine it'll grow on me like the rest of DT's stuff. i used to dislike DT completely so, yeah, but any album that can't cause any rise in my interest at any point on the first listen is a very weak album imo.
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13.06.2013 - 13:35
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
I'm definitely with Momo on DT's best albums. It's those three he mentioned for sure.
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13.06.2013 - 19:18
Rating: 9
Windrider
Raureif
Good review! I must say I think the album is better than you said but I clearly get your points, interesting to read.
Only thing I could argue with is "The Silence In Between" being only average, in my opinion it's the best song besides "For Broken Words".
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14.06.2013 - 02:14
Lanthros

Written by Guest on 12.06.2013 at 22:23

Written by Lanthros on 12.06.2013 at 18:34
If your a purist/elietist idiot you will hate it.

It doesn't take a purist or elitist to recognise that this album is simply a weak album in their overall discog. Not liking it certainly doesn't make a person an "idiot" either.

you can call it weak thats not the point but elitists ARE idiots. And if you had a grasp of grammer you would have noticed i simply pointed out that elitist idiots wont like it. That leaves an awful lot of room for others not liking it. Lets face it, elitists lead to stagnation, stagnation leads to death. Elitists abd racists all are very unmetal and should crawl back to the atrociousness that is RAC.
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14.06.2013 - 02:50
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Lanthros on 14.06.2013 at 02:14


you can call it weak thats not the point but elitists ARE idiots. And if you had a grasp of grammer you would have noticed i simply pointed out that elitist idiots wont like it. That leaves an awful lot of room for others not liking it. Lets face it, elitists lead to stagnation, stagnation leads to death. Elitists abd racists all are very unmetal and should crawl back to the atrociousness that is RAC.

Yeah that's "grammar," not "grammer."

"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 like those two albums. I think this one is very mediocre. Clearly your analogy of elitists and people's taste is flawed. I guess that's why I didn't get what you meant. Perhaps you could explain how elitism then relates to a dislike of this album? Seeing as I like both the other albums you mentioned the only reason, according to you, that I would dislike this album is because I'm an elitist.

"Lets face it, elitists lead to stagnation, stagnation leads to death. Elitists abd racists all are very unmetal and should crawl back to the atrociousness that is RAC."

By far and away the biggest load of rambling, nonsensical and non sequitur bollocks I've ever seen written anywhere. Aside from the fact that most of that statement makes no sense whatsoever, elitism, if anything, can lead to heightened critical awareness when it takes certain forms, which can lead to more creativity. Something which I regard this album to be lacking in. Elitism is a matter of perspective and not always a bad thing, and, as I say, does not make one an idiot necessarily. Blanket dislike of elitists is pretty dumb and reactionary though in my opinion. Seeing as you instantly relate elitism to racism I can tell you have a tenuous grasp of the concept.
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14.06.2013 - 05:23
Rating: 8
WorpeX
Made of Metal
Quote:
Oh, and bonus track "Immemorial" was largely album material; I wonder why it was pushed to the lesser status of 'bonus track', really.


They always do that, I don't know why. Some of my favorite DT tracks are bonuses. "The Poison Well" and "Zero Distance" to name a couple. Although Distance did end up being a single after the album was released.
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14.06.2013 - 08:59
Rating: 7
Zadion

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
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14.06.2013 - 10:52
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Zadion on 14.06.2013 at 08:59


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

Sounds nothing like Damage Done either to my ears. Far too plodding.
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