Company: Century Media Release: 2010 Genre: Melodic Thrash/Death Reviewer: Raising Iron
A bit of a conundrum to be sure
Well, the archaic architects of Gothenburg Death Metal designs continue to construct and sublimate their shrine to a sound they helped create; and yes, if anybody's going to continue with expansions that'd give Mrs. Winchester a race for her money (and guns!), I too would prefer it to be Dark Tranquillity.
Nigh on twenty years and our favorite melodic Swedes are back with their ninth and latest opus, We Are the Void. This album is a bit of a conundrum to be sure, like all those staircases and doors that often go nowhere in the Winchester home, so too is the feeling one gets from this latest effort. Saying so is as bizarre as the San Jose abode referenced, for the guys (as usual!) use all the right elements in all the right places, but somehow it falls a bit flat. Chalk it up to, "heard it all before", "it's been done to death", or a number of other clichés used to nail such issues to the ground, but when such clichés are apropos, what can you say?
This is in no way a bad release; the opening track, "Shadow In Our Blood" instantly seduces with its dark and caustic melodies slicing and dicing all in their path, and "At the Point of Ignition" offers some *gasp* traditional rock-like transitions, heavily augmented by the keys harmonizing Stanne's vocal lines. My personal favorite would be "Her Silent Language", offering it's gothic pastorals awash the same canvas as Moonspell; which is sure to be a gripe among hardcore fans of old, but these guys pull this style off so damn well when they enter into such territories I can't help but enjoy. "Arkhangelsk" is writhing and bitter with its trundling melodic ascensions; and likely to be the standout track among fans (as well as "I Am the Void").
We Are The Void is by no means a bad release, but more or less mediocre; lacking the lush dynamics of their last two or three outputs, and more often than not finding itself treading similar ground to Haven or Projector. Maybe it simply comes down to 2010 not being the place for such recollections, but regardless, it's likely most fans will at least "like" this release and consider it a worthy addition to their DT library (if this be you, add another half point!).
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