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Review of the Album "Character" by the Band Dark Tranquillity

Updated on April 23, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Musical Style of Character Compared to the Band's Early Years

Dark Tranquillity continues in their tradition of melodic death metal excellence with their 2005 album called Character. This band has musical character to stick around as long as they have. If their album Damage Done was any indication, then this one is even better. Or is it? We shall find out if this is the case. Musically, there has been little change for the band since 2000 however, I don’t hear any attempt to use clean vocals in this album so it looks like the band went to its pre-1999 musical style with complex, philosophical lyrics. What I notice by this album is a more modern approach to the genre of melodic death metal. In albums such as Skydancer and The Gallery, the guitar sound resembled the older style of melodic death metal such as In Flames’ The Jester Race. There was a use of female vocals by Dark Tranquillity for two straight albums in addition to that superb guitar work. Starting from 1999 up to the point of the album Character, there are electronic elements, no female vocals, and the same heavy guitar riffs.

Analysis of the Songs The New Build and Through Smudged Lenses

From the start of the album the band shows that they want to go with lyrics that describe major life issues such as the fear of taking risks which do not lead to progress. If we do not take risks we will not grow as a person or know how we can succeed. Sometimes some countries do not experience a revolution for a while and they wonder what might have been. Through Smudged Lenses sees a return melodically to their earlier albums and only shows that this band can still play music that has value even 15 years later. I cannot even name one album from Dark Tranquillity that is bad in the literal sense.

"Through Smudged Lenses"

Dark Tranquillity Still Had Superb Melodies Even in 2005

Some may be asking how does Character compare as an album to 2002’s Damage Done? There is not a song as good as The Treason Wall but their melody construction is so catchy and superb that it beats other melodic death metal bands. For instance, even the catchy album Follow the Reaper is not as good as most Dark Tranquillity albums. This band is in a league of their own!

A Few Photos Symbolizing That the Human Mind Matters

This girl is thinking about what to do.
This girl is thinking about what to do. | Source
This woman is smelling the flowers and it seems like she is meditating in a field of flowers.
This woman is smelling the flowers and it seems like she is meditating in a field of flowers.

Character Songs 4-6

The song called The Endless Feed is a song about someone that may encourage others to engage in entertainment that may be counterproductive to others. The entertainment industry generates billions of dollars and this entertainment isn’t always the best for people. There are also electronic influenced moments in this album which only adds to the versatility and greatness of this band. The song called Mind Matters is a song that tries to show that the human mind has great potential if it is used for the right purposes to bring about real, positive change. Contrary to what the song says about the human mind not mattering, it does matter because our mind is there for us to use it, keep it active and strive for the goals that we want to achieve in life. Sometimes meditating in a field of flowers can help us feel calmer, more relaxed, and figure out what we want to do in the future. Your mind does matter.

The Album Character Vs. Damage Done

Which one of these two albums do you think is better?

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The Song Called Mind Matters

What Happened after the Release of Character?

After the album Character, Dark Tranquillity would get even better, releasing what may be their finest work in the modern era called Fiction. Through lineup changes and slight musical changes, Sweden's Dark Tranquillity shows that they may be Sweden's best melodic death metal band.

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The Song Called Dry Run

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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