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Dark Tranquillity - Projector review

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Band: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Projector
Release date: August 1999

01. Freecard
02. Therein
03. Undo Control
04. Auctioned
05. To A Bitter Halt
06. The Sun Fired Blanks
07. Nether Novas
08. Day To End
09. Dobermann
10. On Your Time
11. Asleep In The Bandaged Light [bonus]
12. No One [bonus]
13. Exposure [bonus]
14. Therein [live] [bonus]
+ UnDo Control [Live in Poland 2002] [Korean version bonus]

If some of you are die hard fans of the times when Dark Tranquillity used to play real death metal, then you don's have to read further, because this album is the more likely to disturb you. Some would call them sellouts, would cry for the nostalgy of the fast riffs and the flow of violence that you could find on Skydancer or on The Gallery, or even insult them because of the clean vocals and the piano parts, but for myself I think I'm going to talk about evolution and about the courage of a band that has not been afraid to lose a part of their fans just to explore a new side of the metal spectrum... This is an artistic move, that even if it cannot be understood by all, at least it has to be respected.

Let's talk about the album itself: after the melodic death metal albums of the beginning, Dark Tranquillity has decided to keep only some elements of this style that lots of people love, and to add more progressive elements with a kind of new gothic/Paradise Lost attitude. The first track of the album, ?Freecard?, starts with a melodic and sad intro on piano, before blowing everything with a riff that can remind of the ?good old times?. Mikael Stanne still uses harsh growlings most of the time, but the difference is that on a huge part of the choruses he shows the vocal abilities of which we had had a glimpse on some tracks from ?Skydancer? and on ?Punish my heaven? taken from their masterpiece ?The Gallery?. And the least we can say is that the man really has a beautiful and so powerful voice that could compete with a lot of gothic and power metal singers. The second track was also the first single, ?Therein?. It has almost the same construction as ?Freecard?, with still this quiet but catchy chorus, that makes of it one of the most relevant songs of this album. Then comes ?Undo Control?, with the first surprise as the vocals are equally shared between Stanne and beautiful female vocals. But still, those who say they have turned into commercial and mellow crap can come back to Manowar, because even if what you notice first are the gothic passages, the riffs still remain fast and furious, not so far from the prrevious albums. The first track that does not confirm the violent beginning of the album is the beautiful power ballad ?Auctioned?, which is above all a pretext for Mikael Stanne to show the splendor of his voice. On this song, you realize that the greatest care has been exercised in the choruses, that still remain on the edge between commercial and really metal. Then back to the tune of the first two songs with ?To a bitter halt? and ?The sun fired blanks?, one of the best tracks of the cd, that release the fury after the previous timeout with pure melodic death riffs and usual screams. ?Nether Novas? is also a good song, maybe a little behind some others, and then come the most surprising track of the album: ?Day to end? is also a ballad, except that this time it is absolutely not metal, but it's more something like alternative industrial music a bit in the style of Nine Inch Nails. Anyway, it's a very good one, that gives a moment to rest. To rest before the crazy end of this album, that blows out your brain with the unleashed anger of ?Dobermann? and ?On your time?.

You probably have already understood that I like this album very much... That's right, I?ve not felt any disappointment when I?ve heard it, maybe because the new vocals and the piano parts bring a change not only in the music, but also in the general mood of the band: I mean, when you listen to Projector, you can feel that behind the aggressivity, behind the violence inherent to this proper style, it is dripping of melancholy and sadness, two new feelings in the heart of our five Swedes... No regrets!

Highlights: Freecard, Therein, The Sun Fired Blanks

Written by Deadsoulman | 11.09.2003


Comments: 15   Visited by: 196 users
23.07.2006 - 11:38
Rating: 9
dark awakening

Good review, one of the best swedish album ever!
Baptized in a lake of acid tears...
03.04.2007 - 01:12
Account deleted
How can this be so underrated?
03.04.2007 - 05:33
Rating: 10
Danny Thomas

great review. i remember about 2 years ago i listened to this album and didnt like it, but for some reason i brought it back out 2 weeks ago and i love it. maybe its the difference in style, im not sure, but i like.
Our children are dead. Burnt in the ruins that were left by war.
23.06.2007 - 22:43
Rating: 7
Overlooked album. Not sure why many people didn't like it. ThereIn = amazing.
23.06.2007 - 23:43
Rating: 8

Don't like Stanne's clean vocals that much. They're great when used in moderation, but tracks like 'Day to End' aren't great...and his accent gets a bit annoying.

The first half of the album is very good, but I think the last couple of tracks (Day To End and On Your Time esp.) lack focus and drive. It's no 'The Gallery', but it's quite good, for what is an extremely risky and experimental album. About 7.9 from me, and Martin Brandstorm's keyboards are great (better than Fiction, at any rate).
24.06.2007 - 01:47
Rating: 7
I love Stanne's vocals period. No matter what he does, I think it sounds excellent.
05.10.2007 - 17:02
Rating: 9
I would give it exactly the same rating: 8. It was risky, they experimented and their sound evolved with Projector and that was an important step to become the band they are today. This album is very piano-oriented and slower at times, which creates a good atmosphere that I can appreciate. His clean voice is interesting, it doesnt make my heart sing though

I give them extra points for being bold. "therein" and "undo control" are probably my favourite songs on this one.

Good review.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

My Instagram
17.06.2008 - 00:11
Account deleted
one of the best album(by my opinion)
22.04.2009 - 16:50
Liver Failure
Written by Guest on 17.06.2008 at 00:11

one of the best album(by my opinion)

I have to agree... The Gallery was the best until I heard this one. Amazing progress with the clean vocals, all songs perfectly structured and accessible to non-melodeath fans. Exellent album.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
09.05.2009 - 23:52
Rating: 9
Written by Stigmatized on 24.06.2007 at 01:47

I love Stanne's vocals period. No matter what he does, I think it sounds excellent.

that's right, Stane's voice is something really special...
Υou've sold your human essence to the cold world of dead and empty things... You're SOLD!
18.08.2009 - 15:24
Rating: 9

For me, this is the album that showed glimpses of DT's later (brilliant) works (excl. Haven), which are some of my most favourite metal albums of all time...
Putting this in mind, I would call this the turning point of DT...while not exactly perfect it's still great...especially "ThereIn"...
30.08.2009 - 23:47

Agreed on ThereIn! And I think his voice is unique, powerful and capable of wringing emotion from you.
Ill Omen Nation - Great Finnish/Scandinavian Metal!
03.02.2010 - 07:45
Adjuchas Shaman
Account deleted
Like all Dark Tranquillity albums, this one is amazing, surpassing In Flames' Colony(though that is an awesome album too). Nether Novas is an underrated, sexy-ass song. Subtract "Day to End", and this would easily top The Mind's I.
09.06.2010 - 16:02
Account deleted
For me this is the best DT album ever, it's just one of those rare albums that is just amazing. nothing surpasses it yet.
26.07.2015 - 23:04
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
But what if DT would stay and play DM as in Skydancer... would it not be so boring? we never will know
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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