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Dark Tranquillity - Fiction - 90%

Orbitball, July 27th, 2012

6 members creating this album, and my God, what a follow-up from their previous release entitled Character. They use a lot of electronics on here, but it doesn't drown out the melodic riffs. The vocals are not really varied, they're mostly just screaming, which was different than their epic release back in 1999 with Projector. I got used to that album and deem it higher than Fiction. I like the variety on the vocal aspect of that release.

Every song on here deserves praise. They're totally original sounding. Guitar wise it's varied with chord progressions, somewhat fast tempos, some tremolo picked riffing but not much, mostly just purely melodies. They didn't abandon their roots on this release and it's a little more aggressive and anger stricken than what I wasn't used to on Projector. I don't own Character, so I can't really make any comparisons to that one compared to this.

Long songs clocking in 4-5 minutes in length for a total of about 45+ minutes in length. Well played out melodic death metal. The only beef I have with the album are the solos. I don't think that they were very good. But there weren't many on here. Mostly rhythm guitar which is very good. The quality in the riffs are what stands out the most. Even some blast beating is featured here on the drums. They were very angry on this album. It's not really mellow at all.

I think that the electronics created more of a darker atmosphere for the music which was the band's aim was on this album. Their lyrical concepts consist of death, memories, despair and chaos theory. Quite a lot of topics there and creative to the core. If they took out the lead guitar on this album and made it all rhythms, then I would give the album a higher rating. But the reality is that their guitarists play great guitar, just not leads.

The production was impeccable. All of the instruments are well heard on here. The guitars, electronics, bass, drums, and vocals are well mixed into this release. Nothing is left out here. Total quality from all aspects. No complaints at all on here in terms of the mixing and production. Just a great melodic death album overall. Great atmosphere they have on here. Dark, melodic, aggressive and quality in musicianship.

If you're a melodic death freak like I am, this is a must have for your collection. It's only lacking on the lead department, but the melodies, the electronics, piano, riffs, and vocals are all good. They didn't lose their aggressiveness in their songwriting at all. They progressed on here and what stands out the most to me is how well they're able to incorporate piano/electronics in together and not drown out the vocals or drums. As I previously stated, the mixing is phenomenal. Pick this one up!