Dark Tranquillity Haven

Could it be possible that Dark Tranquility has taken a positive step backwards? With Haven, this Swedish quintet have made an amazingly melodic yet atmospheric piece of music. Gone are the gothic vocals that in my opinion ruined their last CD, Projector. Instead, the band has returned to their earlier vocal style and has managed to evoke memories of previous works. The biggest improvement, musically, this time around lies in the drumming of Anders Jivarp, who manages to pull off some very creative fills and double kicks. The big surprise overall, however, has to be the added electronics sprinkled throughout every song. The samples are not cheesy or tacky as one may expect, but are actually very dark and calculating. They give the already great songs an added modern, contemporary side. Fans of the band's earlier work, such as The Gallery, will be pleased to know songs like "Rundown" and "Feast of Burden" harken back to their speedier sound of days past. (Century Media)