Review of the Album We Are the Void by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band Dark Tranquillity
We Are the Void Is Similar to the Album Fiction
In the long career of Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity, we have not reviewed or covered their 2010 studio release called We Are the Void. If Fiction is their best release since The Gallery, We Are the Void takes its style and approach just like Fiction is structured. These stylistic factors are the more modern heavy vocals, more keyboard and or electronic uses, and heavy riffs which define their more modern sound. We Are the Void also sees the use of clean vocals in a few parts which may be welcome news for fans of the band's more modern style.
Dark Tranquillity Is Even Better Than Metallica
They are not like In Flames which have transitioned to more of alternative metal style if we can call it that.
At this point, it is a foregone conclusion that these Swedish guys can do nothing wrong musically. I don't even recall if they have any bad songs to speak of. Their history of musical excellence beats even some of our favorite bands such as Metallica.
Initial Analysis of the Album We Are the Void
It is said that these guys started writing the songs for this album in 2008 with the exception of the song Iridium which was written around 1996 through 1998 but it was not included on any of the band's albums until this one. In spite of the album's title there is no void left to speak of but just another melodic death metal album that flows rather nicely. It feels like magic when you listen to these guys because the songs fit in nicely with each effort for the most part. Even 2000's Haven which is the band's weakest album isn't something to be dreaded. The vocals by Mikael Stanne are raspy, heavy, and he even uses clean vocals in this album as well. Even if bands such as Metallica have been so great, they cannot be as good as Dark Tranquillity has been. Dark Tranquillity has had a record of musical excellence ever since their very first studio album that has continued unabated and they have never changed their style to conform to trends or to get lighter. They may not have made too many softer songs but their musical talent is at the top of the Swedish metal world basically. It is hard to explain unless you have followed the band for a long time. One full listen through We Are the Void and it can be said that this album is not as good as Fiction or the band's first three albums but it is still better than 2000's Haven album.
"Shadow In Our Blood"
Shadow In Our Blood Is a Very Influential Beginning Song
Shadow In Our Blood has that electronic beginning before switching to the heavy style that we are familiar to on the album Fiction. We are indeed delusional as human beings if we want to fight against mortality. Still, humans fight, love and create as the song says. The lyrics in the first part are very introspective, that is they really make you think deeply as a listener. What is that one grand secret that the song speaks of?
Dream Oblivion is the next song and lyrically it gets even more complex but the melodies are still great! I would say that the album is trying to point out that if humans are not careful we could see a loss of morality as freedom becomes just an illusion. What is real freedom? Because if the free will of human beings to choose between good and evil, there are going to be times when a person makes a mistake that could be very costly. Musically, the songs are still melodic, creative, and heavy but not the kind of heavy that could overwhelm your mind or emotions. The song style and or structure has not seen much change since the album Fiction and the songs deal with very fundamental life issues such as the meaning of human existence, our mortality, what it means when someone is absent and the flaws of human nature. In that sense, We Are the Void is a musically mature album and the title can also mean that humans have a certain void in themselves and they turn to destructive actions to try and fill what they feel that they lack. At the Point of Ignition is a song that asks a very fundamental question: are we going to be the fuel or the flame? This kind of means that are we going to be the catalyst for change in our lives or are we just going to let life “burn” and pass us by?
Final Thoughts About the Album We Are the Void
By the second listen through We Are the Void you are convinced that this is another solid release in the history of Dark Tranquillity and the use of the electronics plus the melody shows that this band can do no wrong musically. I would score We Are the Void at about 88 out of 100 points which is still a solid B grade if we use the A through F scale.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian