Like a swarm of hornets they approach you, the guitars of "Final Resistance", opener of the sixth album of DARK TRANQUILLITY, one of the forerunners of the Gothenburg-scene. After "Haven" I had been waiting for a long time and asked myself, how DARK TRANQUILLITY would have developed, since their colleagues of IN FLAMES just have released a very controversially received new album.
Well, and what should I say? They continue right where they had left off with "Haven", but do not make the mistake of copying the same recipe, but manage the trick of taking up elements that we could find on "The Gallery", "The Mind's I" or "Haven" and to compute them in a way that they still have made a step forward instead of back. Contrary to most other Death Metal-bands Mikael Stanne roars in best "The Gallery"/"The Mind's I"-manner, so turned a little harsher again compared to "Haven" and especially "Projector" instead of using more and more clean vocals or effects. He's still my favourite voice in Death Metal :)
Musically the sextet appears more intricate than ever, without bringing progressiveness in the sense of breaks of complexity into the compositions, also the keyboards and light electronic elements are embedded into the songs absolutely seamlessly and have turned into an integral part of the DARK TRANQUILLITY-sound, as if they always had been there. The characteristic, super-melodic guitar-leads, the DARK TRANQUILLITY-typical rhythm-guitar that does not only do the rhythm, but creates its own runs in the background, everything still is there and sounds equally familiar, but still always fresh and new.
Stuff like "Monochromatic Stains", the fast title-track or "Cathody Ray Sunshine" are classic DARK TRANQUILLITY, with strong riffs and just classic Melodic Death Metal of the Gothenburg-school, but with the very, very own DARK TRANQUILLITY-sound that sets them apart from ALL other bands out there by far. "Hours Passed In Exile" and "Format C: For Cortex" show more the "newer" side of the Swedes, the brilliant "White Noise / Black Silence" stands exactly in the middle and "Ex Nihilo" is the first instrumental in band-history and is played so very emotional and sombre, great! But basically I could name every track here, because this album contains killers only!
And even though they are on a far more straight-forward approach to the listener, it is not a "back to the roots"-album, how some bands label it when they run out of ideas or see that a change of style had not worked out. The six Swedes celebrate melodic Death Metal of highest degree, also nine years after their debut-album "Skydancer", typical and unique DARK TRANQUILLITY. With this album the gentlemen Stanne, Sundin & co. cement their status as one of the most influential, important and even more best bands of the Metal-scene! (Online July 24, 2002)