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99 CENTS HAHAHAHAHA - 78%

Noktorn, January 30th, 2008

I got this purely as a novelty purchase, as it was available in an actual retail store (Hot Topic, I'll admit it, they have mainstream metal CDs for $10 typically) with a price tag of $.99. For that reason alone, it was a hilariously necessary purchase. What made it even more amusing was that it actually had one of those plastic anti-theft skeletons. The Hot Topic corporation really needs to protect their investments, I guess! Probably not a surprise when you have that many bad quarterly reports.

So apparently this was released as an 'ultra-limited' tour EP promoting 'Fiction', the Dark Tranquillity album that came out after 'Character' and is notable for being forgotten about two weeks immediately after its release. Judging from these tracks, I can sort of see why. They're not really BAD; they're pretty much an extension of the sound that was present on 'Character', but it seems to have gone waaay past that album in the more 'modern' elements (re: lots of bleepy and bloopy keyboards and electronic effects) to the point where it sounds a lot like Spineshank playing melodeath. It's kind of cool in its own way, but where on 'Character' the keys were used to augment the already very solid riffing, it seems that Dark Tranquillity decided they didn't really need to write riffs on the new album, opting for Dimmu Borgiresque one or two-chord chuggery. This means that the keys, while cool if obviously overblown, are pretty much the only interesting thing happening anymore. Neither of these songs are 'The New Build' part two.

Aside from that, it's pretty much what Dark Tranquillity has sounded like for a while now. It's not bad. If you see it for under a dollar like I did, you might as well get it just to marvel at the idea of a label putting this much effort into a two-song promotional EP and actually marketing it towards the public. It's a decent collection-filler if nothing else.