Album Review: Dark Tranquillity ‘We Are The Void’

Check out my video interview with Mikael from Dark Tranquillity HERE!
I got into Dark Tranquillity a few years ago when ‘Fiction’ came out. I was immediately blown away by the tight production, the ferocity of the songs and the catchy melodic energy that each song pushed forth. I went back a few albums and was surprised by the consistency of each album. ‘Character’ was just as solid an album and just as accessible. I was really becoming a huge fan of these guys and their songs were on constant rotation on my iPod. 
We Are The Void cover

So, after ‘Fiction’ was released in 2007, I had to wait three years to hear the new album, ‘We Are The Void’. At first listen, my impression was, to be honest, serious disappointment. Something just felt so different! I didn’t feel the frantic energy of ‘Friction’. But, being a big fan of their work, I played it over and over, time after time, to see if my mind would change. It did. 
‘We Are The Void’ took me many listens to fully appreciate (Much like ‘Versus’ by The Haunted). With each playthrough, I heard new layers and felt the intensity of the songs in a new way. These tracks built their emotion on the atmosphere rather than the immediacy. That isn’t to say that Dark Tranquillity have gone soft. No, not at all. These guys still rock out and create infectious riffs that will be stuck in your head well after the album is over. 
The production on this album is beautiful. Each instrument is easily discernable and sounds crisp. Mikael’s vocals are mixed perfectly, seeing as he transitions from his death growls to frantic whispering to beautiful clean vocals. The drums hit hard and the cymbals sizzle without sounding piercing. The bass rolls nicely, filling in the low end spectrum without creating any muddiness. The keys add wonderful melodies and subtle ambient soundscapes. The guitars are thick and crunchy without getting buried in this massive mix. 
An interesting point to make is that the album has a very ‘Gothic’ feel to it. Listening to many of the melodies, there is a sense of gloom and melancholy that ‘Fiction’ didn’t have. 
Overall, ‘We Are the Void’ stands head to head with previous Dark Tranquillity releases. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it, but now that I do, I can’t stop listening to it. 
4.5 out of 5 skulls