"Skydancer", "The Gallery", "The Mind's I", all of DARK TRANQUILLITY's three albums of the past, had been true masterpieces. Their fourth longplayer now sees a switch to one of the best Metal-labels of the universe: Century Media Records, a change that was long overdue, because stylistically D.T. did not fit into the musical scheme of Osmose at all...
Anyway, on "Projector", the Swedes show an evolution that might cause a few die-hard-fans to turn away from the band, because the band has opened its compositions to different styles, but the band did not want to start to copy itself, what is only too understandable, especially if made in a fashion like this.
The most obvious change to the sound is the fact that Mikael Stanne now also uses his voice for clean vocals, and this in nearly each song, what gives them a new dimension.
Already the opener "FreeCard" is a very successful mixture of the "old" DARK TRANQUILLITY and the newer influences, because in addition to the highly Melodic Death Metal you can also find calmer parts with piano and Stannes natural voice. This also defines most of the other songs, of which's high quality, three tracks have to be exalted even more. Firstly there is "Day Of End"; which may be the biggest shock to those who liked the brutal side of DARK TRANQUILLITY, because the beginning of it is nearly pure Gothic in the DEINE LAKAIEN-vein, very dark and atmospheric with deep, clear vocals, before a guitar comes into the play as well. Number two is called "The Sun Fired Blanks", which showcases D.T.-typical fast and furious Death Metal with playful lead guitars.
The most outstanding track is "ThereIn". Already the beginning guitar-riff could not be more typical of DARK TRANQUILLITY, a unique sound that already has become their trademark. What follows then, is an awesome mixture of heavy and fast, yet highly melodious Death Metal and clean vocals with calmer parts for the chorus, an absolute killer!
As said at the beginning, some die-hard-fans may have their problems with the "new and improved" DARK TRANQUILLITY, but they still have taken a big step into the right direction for a copy of themselves would have been most disappointing. Despite opening their music to other styles, the compositions are still out of one mould and electrifying as ever and still typically DARK TRANQUILLITY!
With the option for another development for the next album: