Dark Tranquillity: Fiction

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Dark Tranquillity: Fiction
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Dark Tranquillity: Fiction
Gothenburg, Melodic Death Metal
Century Media Records
April 24th, 2007
Release length: 45:46
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Hot off the release off their last album, Character, Dark Tranquillity have brought us Fiction, a rather eery melodic death, piano driven album reminiscent of the aforementioned release. The only problem is that some of the album is just not all that appealing.

Being an avid fan of Character, it was a bit disapointing to hear this release. No matter how many spins it was given, it always came to the same conclusion: It has it’s moments. Much of the material on this release is mid-tempo and somewhat generic. The real savior of Fiction is easily the keyboards, giving the music that very eery sound. Without it, much of this album would be absolutely boring. It’s just too bad that the piano aspect couldn’t save the opening track, “Nothing To No One”, but it does work some magic with the next track, “The Lesser Faith”. These two songs build up to the catchy as hell “Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)”, one of the more upbeat tracks on this album, and easily one of the best.

Another drawback to this album is the random blast beats. Throughout the CD, you will just hear blast beats come out of nowhere, that seem to last forever. These actually have the power to destroy some of the songs on here, such as “Nothing To No One”, and nearly “Blind At Heart”, which sounds a lot like a song At The Gates would have done. There are also moments that just completely slow down mid song, or near the end, for no real reason aside creating a failed atmosphere that only prolonges the ending of the song. Take “Inside The Particle Storm” for example, a decent track that, for no reason, completely slows down to just simple guitar chords and background sound effects, lasting well over a minute and a half before the drums and keyboards kick in to bring the song back from the dead where it should have just stayed at that point.

It is the ending of the album that really holds any promise. “Empty Me” starts off the Dark Tranquility sound we love by simply being a good track with a really haunting ending. “Misery’s Crown” is where the band shows what it can do, featuring clean singing, a catchy as hell chorus, and a sound unlike every other song on the release. Then you have the single off the album, “Focus Shift”, which actually sounds like a song that was scrapped from the Character sessions, perhaps an alternate version of the song “Lost To Apathy”, but heavier. And “The Mundane And The Magic” is just a good, haunting song with female clean singing vocals, and obviously what the band was trying to achieve this whole album.

So when all is said and done, this release pales in comparison to anything the band has done in the past. What could have been one hell of an amazing album is enough to depress even the strongest Dark Tranquility fan. It would have been better if Fiction had stayed just that, instead of being an album that tried to cash in on the success of it’s predecessor, failing miserably, and only bring us four, maybe five songs that are even worth the time. This is one of those albums that will make anyone consider purchasing MP3s instead of regular CDs.

01. Nothing To No One – 4:10
02. The Lesser Faith – 4:38
03. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive) – 4:24
04. Blind At Heart – 4:21
05. Icipher – 4:40
06. Inside The Particle Storm – 5:29
07. Empty Me – 4:59
08. Misery’s Crown – 4:14
09. Focus Shift – 3:36
10. The Mundane And The Magic – 5:18
Overall Score: 3.5/10
Dark Tranquillity (band)
Dark Tranquillity (logo)Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.