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This album is one of they defining moments in the melodic death genre. The three main bands that sprouted this type of music (Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, and At the Gates) all sounded completely different.
At the Gates had the thrashy sound. In Flames had the power metal sound. And Dark Tranquillity had the most unique sound. A mix of several sounds combining to have a most epic and grandeur sound.
The Gallery for that latter half of the last paragraph was born and dead with Dark Tranquillity. Even the band now has all but abandoned their old sound. The Gallery never got boring. It drew folk influence at times, it never recycled riffs a repeatedly throughout a song, and futures dynamic vocals. Get this; the bass was AUDIBLE, strange for a metal release. The drumming had blast beats and double bass, but maintained a more controlled pace. Everything about The Gallery was perfectly done.
Punish My Heaven is the opener. This song alone would make you fall in love with this album; the opening riff feels so powerful. Not only that but the lyrics to the song feel like a medieval poem, a struggle between God and man. Heaven and Hell. The self and the universe. It's just empowering to say the least. The last two minutes are what sets cd's this apart. Most songs end in typical fashion, but Punish My Heaven ends with an epic closing two minutes that never get boring, no matter how many listens you take. No amount of words typed can justify the completeness and grandeur of this song.
The title track is another track much like the opening track. It has several passages that you wouldn’t expect, and even has some female vocals that really assist in making this song one worth noting. Dark Tranquillity really set in this song to capture the atmosphere of The Gallery as a whole. Well-composed music, intricate song writing and the talent of the band helps this song really set you in the mood Dark Tranquillity intended. The bass lines stick with you and aren’t always used for rhythm. The riffs constantly change to keep the dreaded monotony at a low. The guitars are crystal clear. The Gallery is a perfect example again of what melodeath used to be.
... Of Melancholy is the closer track. A closing track should do just that. Bring closure to an album. This fails to live up to that. But don't think that's a bad thing. For it just lingers on long enough and ends in such an epic fashion it begs the listener wanting for more. Just like any great movie or book does. Dark Tranquillity has succeeded on doing this through music. The song structure of this album really makes it a great listen. Of Melancholy never follows any sort of systematic formula. It had continuity through good writing, and some mind-blowing melodies. Whether it’s the leads, rhythm, bass, or drums carrying you through the song. Female vocals kick in a bit to help set the mood at one point. Just as you feel it may get to be a little repetitive. They kick off with the best closing 2 minutes to a cd. It has you pumping your fist in the air, humming the melody, and feeling every message the song is attempting to convey. Through all this they close it out with about five seconds of an acoustic melody that just really lets your mind take in the album you just listened to.
If you got the re-release you get some covers, of which I wasn’t to thrilled about. Their Uriah Heap cover of "Lady in Black" wasn’t too bad. Only because it reminds me of the Projector album which I highly approved of.
Overall this cd is for the music fan that is looking for more than sheer brutality and gut wrenching speed. This is for the music fan than sit back and take in the atmosphere.