Dark Tranquillity: Haven (2009 Reissue)

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Dark Tranquillity: Haven (2009 Reissue)
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Dark Tranquillity: Haven (2009 Reissue)
Gothenburg, Melodic Death Metal
Century Media Records
July 17th, 2000 / July 24th, 2009
Release length: 43:09
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The second of three Dark Tranquillity albums to be reissued in 2009, Haven is easily one of the band’s best works. Dropping the experimental aspect, as well as the singing on all tracks but “Emptier Still”, that the band had on their previous album, Projector, the album still carries over some of the melodic aspects in the music from that release, and really just amped up their old sound with it, or so it sounds.

Practically every song on this release is great. You have your heavy, faster paced tracks on here, such as the openner “The Wonders At Your Feet” and “Feast Of Burden”, as well as the slower, and often melancholy driven cuts, like “Indifferent Suns” and “Haven”. While the band may have lost some of the complexity that was evident in their previous albums to a much simpler style, it doesn’t cause the album to become mainstream, which is a common during a transition like this. Instead, the music is still intense, and, in some cases, still a little different.

Haven is where the band took the keyboards to a new level, adding them to just about every song. The only downfall is that much of the keyboard work on the album is simple, but at least it works with the music. Really, the only song on here it doesn’t is “Fabric”, where it adds a sort of Middle Eastern sound in the background of the music, and just feels like it was put there to have it there. At least in some of the songs, there’s some more keyboard work then just three simple notes played sporadically through the song. “Ego Drama” also has this issue. While the keyboards on here are done well and through the album, at random points, towards the end of the song, you’ll hear what sounds like four clicks, almost as if, during this time, a modern day cell phone were going off during the recording session. Even though this two tracks can be annoying by the weird guitar keys being played for pretty much no reason, it’s “Emptier Still” that comes to save the day, as it, and “At Loss For Words, are superb throwbacks to Projector, and close the album nicely.


Again, the real shining point to this album would be that is has been digitally remastered. Like the others, this one also features some bonus tracks, but, again, they serve no real purpose if you already own the compilation Exposures – In Retrospect And Denial. “In Sight”, “Misery In Me” and “Cornered” are included on here, as they did not make the cut for the original issue of this release, according to the liner notes in the start of the booklet to this release, so at least these are appropriate, and no changing discs, or having to waste money on a blank disc to burn the appropriate tracks onto it, to waste time and lose the flow of the album. And, again, this reissue features the live version of “The Wonders At Your Feet”, another track off the band’s upcoming like DVD, Where Death Is Most Alive. Just be ready to press skip on “In Sight”, as the song is more of a ballad with some over the top singing that, after a while, will just become comical.


Haven still has a feel of experimentation, but of a different level. It tries to blend in the simplistic sounds found on the band’s previous release, as well as the heavy sound of their earlier full lengths, and it does a great job at doing so. For some of the metal elitists out there, this record is another abomination like the last two At The Gates releases, but for someone who just enjoys well composed melodic death metal is catchy and a little different, Haven is the perfect choice and jump on point for the Dark Tranquillity newbie, and this reissue is a great piece to add to the collection, especially if you liked the original pressing.

Initial Pressing:
01. The Wonders At Your Feet – 3:01
02. Not Built To Last – 3:39
03. Indifferent Suns – 3:35
04. Feast Of Burden – 3:26
05. Haven – 3:32
06. The Same – 3:10
07. Fabric – 3:56
08. Ego Drama – 4;35
09. Rundown – 3:53
10. Emptier Still – 3:40
11. At Loss For Words – 6:42

2009 Reissue:
12. In Sight (Bonus Track) – 4:12
13. Misery In Me (Bonus Track) – 4:38
14. Cornered (Bonus Track) – 3:58
15. The Wonders At Your Feet (Live) (Bonus Track) – 3:46

Initial Pressing: 7/10

2009 Reissue: 7.5/10
Dark Tranquillity (band)
Dark Tranquillity (logo)Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.