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Better than the last full-length at least - 65%

joncheetham88, April 22nd, 2012

Dark Tranquillity have decided to pursue a similiar course of action with their latest, We Are The Void, as with their previous full-length Fiction - that is, milking their increasingly wide and young fan base of their pocket money or wages with tour editions, filler EPs and compilations, all beautifully presented in digipaks and so forth and emblazoned with their well known logo or the recent brand 'DT'. However, rather than a quick cash grab, Zero Distance seems to actually present a digital alternative to re-purchasing the last album in its tour edition form, allowing devotees to get hold of these unreleased songs without paying for the whole album again. Fair 'nuf.

'Zero Distance' is a fairly standard song, with futuristic, industrial guitar chugs standing in for the serrated guitar lines of a few years ago, and the familiar plonking gloom of the keyboards underscoring Mikael Stanne's guttural ruminations on displacement and apathy. 'Out Of Gravity' is more of the same, but with a more soaked and captivating atmosphere than the previous song; beautiful lead work and all. Here you can hear how impressive Stanne's voice still is after all this time - he still sounds pretty bloodthirsty even when he's rambling about shadows and other such intangible things. 'Star of Nothingness' is an acoustic song of celestial atmospherics, and leads into the still heavier and more oppressive 'To Where Fires Cannot Feed', and the EP rounds out with the more urgent 'The Bow and the Arrow', which has a bit of a Norther feeling going on and doesn't really hold the attention like its forebears.

I seem to remember lambasting We Are The Void, but if you ask me the industrial, cold and dystopian progression of their Gothenburg sound that record tried to portray is better captured on this scant collection of B-sides, and it makes for a pretty cool listen if you were able to dig both their experimental works like Projector and Haven as well as more recent and wrathful creations like Character and Fiction. The same issues as with the last album remain - less interesting guitars, some repetition on the part of the keyboards, but with a more solid atmosphere and better vocals this makes for a fulfilling twenty minute taster.

I would only complain that this is the sort of release they could have included a bunch of rare but sweet stuff from Fiction and Character, plumping this out into a collection like Exposures - but perhaps they're saving that for some other exquisitely packaged digipak eh.