Dark Tranquillity - Construct
Century Media
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (42'21'')
Release year: 2013
Dark Tranquillity, Century Media
Reviewed by Jared
Major event

I’ve always wondered where Dark Tranquillity would stand if they had kept vocalist Anders Fridén from In Flames, and vice versa if In Flames had kept Mikael Stanne. Both have been Gothenburg Sweden’s biggest players in the melodic death metal scene and have had an obvious competition among the two since the early 90s. For a while, I absolutely loved In Flames, but after Clayman, the band failed to ever catch my attention again. Dark Tranquillity was way more successful in their later years in comparison, even though I’ve got a lot of adoration for their album The Gallery released back in 1995. Their experimentation with albums such as Projector was a decent effort, but found their niche between albums Haven and Fiction. If I were to describe such a period for the band, that would be their golden years. Damage Done still may be one of their finest as well, but in relationship to their newest album Construct, it didn’t really affect me as positive as they did with previous albums. For many longtime fans of the band like myself, this album will be a little difficult to digest, but still worth exploring.

To go as far as to say this album is more experimental in their discography maybe a good description of it as a whole. Everything feels so much more on the calmer side of things in terms of song writing. Character and Damage Done were absolute gems for melodic death metal albums, but Construct doesn’t seem to capture the essence those two had successfully did. The first track, For Broken Words, started out sounding similarly to the album We Are the Void. The song contains a tremolo guitar picking lead layered over by simple rhythm guitar and provokes a dark atmosphere during the main riff of the song. I would have to say I felt rather impressed with the mood presented to me by the song but the album still left me feeling a bit disappointed once I had completed it. The album is obviously much softer in a lot of aspects, especially with the sheer tone of the guitars which in comparison to previous albums, felt extremely weak in Construct.

As I said before, this album maybe a bit hard to stomach if you have been listening to them as long as I have, but I found myself feeling the same way about We Are the Void. This time around in Construct, there is a little bit of the album Projector found in three of the songs. Mikael this time around likes to sing cleaner than I have ever heard him before. In terms of screaming, Mikael is fantastic. His clean singing voice is also something to take note during the songs Uniformity, What Only You Know, and State of Trust. He is indeed very versatile as a vocalist, and helps capture many of the memorable moments on the album. The band’s focus used to rely on the truly magnificent riffing of melodic guitars in their past, but Construct just feels more on the gentler side of things. The album does have this clear dark approach to each track holding a lot of emphasis on keyboards, but it will be something that many may have a hard time adjusting to as I did.

Construct’s approach to a more progressive easier going sound may not sit well with many fans, but still is worth a shot this year. I may have a lot more respect for their past, but I still see Dark Tranquillity as one of Sweden’s best metal bands despite my feelings for their latest album. I doubt we will see another album such as Damage Done in the future, but Dark Tranquillity’s history in the Swedish melodic death scene is one filled with great milestones.

Killing Songs :
For Broken Words, The Science of Noise, Apathetic
Jared quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Dark Tranquillity that we have reviewed:
Dark Tranquillity - Moment reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - Atoma reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - Zero Distance EP reviewed by Chris and quoted No quote
Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - We Are The Void reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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