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DT never ceases to amaze... - 93%

WitheringToSerenity, September 6th, 2004

Haven is often a very overlooked album by a generally underrated band. In a genre where In Flames and Soilwork seem to gain the most general acceptance, its bands like Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates and Sentenced(arguably) that put this genre on the map and wrote consistent kick ass melodic death. Haven has been labelled a return to their heavy sound. Which while true is also incorrect. Much heavier than their experimental gem Projector, with the vast majority being distorted growls although not quite as heavy as The Gallery era. Still enough softer more atmospheric influences to be considered a true return. But outstanding nonetheless. The guitar riffage is excellent as always on this album whenever present but what differentiates this album is the heavy use of keyboards mixed with the aggressive stylings of Dark Tranquillity.

There is a fair share of complex guitarwork here but most of it just fast pace and the guitar melodies cannot stand with The Gallery but they are outstanding nonetheless. Not much to say about the drum and bass section as usual. Creates a unique sound which really beats Soilwork's attempts with keyboards in my honest opinion. To top it all off Dark Tranquillity managed to incorporate dare I say catchy choruses with deep growls. I could list each song in its greatness but most revolve around fast paced/epic riffs, memorable guitar melodies(many dual guitar parts) and gorgeous keyboards and Stanne's usual growls giving this album a unique touch for Dark Tranquillity. This is more of a personal favorite for me. Most people seem to think The Gallery and Damage Done are better for an introduction to this band. Well, if the description is more to your fancy than traditional melo death maiden worshipped guitar harmonies and harsh growls without the atmospheric presence stick with the other recommendations. It is very hard to go wrong with Dark Tranquillity.

Favorites: The Wonders At Your Feet, Feast of Burden, Fabric