|Review: Dark Tranquillity - Damage Done|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2002
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: December 24, 2002
Reviewed by: Brad Allis
Rated 4.43/5 (88.7%) (23 Votes)
There are those in the metal community who feel bands like Soilwork and In Flames have sold out with the reliance of melody and clean vocals. If you are one of those people, but still like the "Gothenburg sound", the latest platter FROM Dark Tranquility may be just what you are looking for.
The melodic death band has completely ditched the clean vocals that permeated on their past few releases. Deathy growls are the only thing you'll find coming FROM Mikael Stranne's mouth. There is still melody in the vocals, but it is really the guitars and keyboards that keep this record catchy and memorable. In fact the occasional use of clean singing may help keep things a little more varied. There are a few spots where the music is too soft to support Stranne's tortured vocals.
The album kicks in with the instantly memorable "Final Resistance". The machine gun rift go very well with the violent imagery on the cover and the chorus will stick with you for some time to come. It may not be exactly humable, but you'll be growling along after the second spin.
The rest of the CD is just one solid song after another. "Monochramatic Strains", the third track slows things down a bit in the beginning, but then takes off with another great chorus. The title track is another highlight continues the great blend of melody with aggressiveness. The "Enemy" relies on haunting, almost dreamlike keyboards that could almost e found on the new Lacuna Coil album. For the first time the vocals don't fit and would have probably been better with some clean vocals somewhere in the song. DT closes out the CD with the instrumental "Ex Niho" that really puts the "melodic" in melodic death.
A very solid album FROM the hotbed of metal, Gothenburg. Dark Tranquility should make older fans very happy, while newcomers who have been lured in by "Natural Born Chaos" or "Reroute to Remain" will find this very interesting indeed.
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Interview with guitarist Niklas Sundin on October 20, 2002 (Interviewed by Christian Renner)
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