Dark Tranquillity Damage Done

A return to form of sorts for this Swedish melodic death metal outfit, who along with At The Gates helped to formulate the classic sound now known as the "new wave of Swedish death metal." This release sees Dark Tranquility playing faster than on the past few releases, with their patented razor-sharp guitar riffing fully intact. The keyboards, which played an upfront role on both Haven and Projector, are still present, but they have been pushed into the background, both sonically and production-wise. Michal Stanne once again puts in a great vocal performance, refraining from clean vocals this time, and really shines. He has one of the better death growls out there right now and is right up there with Opeth's Mickael Akerfeldt. Lots of twin riffing (even some Maiden-isms in the soloing), powerful drumming and really great songwriting makes this one of the best new metal releases of the year. (Century Media)