Published Nov 02, 2016It can often be super disappointing for those with a deep love for the roots of melodic death metal and the Gothenburg sound to check out new records by big names like In Flames or Dark Tranquility. Most of the bands that established this sound, with the exception of At the Gates, have gone in a completely new direction from what their earlier offerings prophesized. While Dark Tranquility are a band that started out their career incorporating electronic and experimental elements, many fans feel their sound has grown stale and failed to progress over the years.
The new Dark Tranquility record does some damage control in that regard by delivering in terms of musical craftsmanship. Like most of their other records, there are moments that feel more goth-rock-influenced and atmospheric, and moments that deliver a straightforward black metal assault. But that aside, there just doesn't seem to be much on this record that is new and forward-thinking. The group isn't taking their sound any further than on previous records; nothing about the material stands out as new or different, and a few of the tracks, particularly the opener, "Encircled," sound watered down and over-produced.
If you're a die-hard fan of DT who hasn't been disappointed by any of their past material, then this record is possibly still for you. However, if you feel the group hasn't really broken new ground on their last few recordings, I would steer clear of this one as well and look for some fresher sounds. (Century Media)