24. Dark Tranquillity - Construct
Dark Tranquillity is, with In Flames, one of the first "real" metal bands I got into when I was in high school. They were a very good gateway, since they kept releasing albums of a constant catchiness and pure quality (except for the previous one, We Are the Void
, which felt a bit more bland). The formula pretty much stayed the same since 2000's Haven
, but each new album felt fresh, fun and destructive. Construct
doesn't really stray from this glorious path, but there still is a slight change of sound. For one, it is more atmospheric than the previous ones: it integrates a lot of post-rock (a darker version of Mogwai or This Will Destroy You, for example) influences in songs like "For Broken Words", "Uniformity" and "What Only You Know" by adding tremolo-picked and pedal-blurred leads. The electronica element is also much more present on Construct
, in the form of short, but masterfully crafted interludes and transitions. I really wish that Martin Brändström would someday make a fully electronic album!
Another great point to this record is that it emits some kind of dystopian ambiance, that is created by the synthetic, almost futuristic guitar sound and electronic programming, the dramatic keyboards, the dark anthemic melodies and the mechanically precise hammering drums. This ambiance reaches its climax in the overwhelming album closer "None Becoming".
While being dark and apocalyptic, Construct
stays a pop album, with all the hooks, great riffs and memorable choruses, which is why it is so fun to listen to. My personal favourite tunes are the sorrowful "What Only You Know" and the simply beautiful "State of Trust". The riffs and arrangements in those two are outstanding, and I have to admit that I have a weak spot for Mikael Stanne's clean vocals.
The only flaw I can find in this album is called "Apathetic". It is a generic melodic death/thrash song, with the solo and everything. Still, it has some great moments. If you forget this one, Dark Tranquillity's
latest effort was nearly perfect. I can't wait to see them live for the first time in February! It's going to be a child's dream come true.
What Only You Know