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Review: Dark Tranquillity - Projector
Dark Tranquillity

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 50:31
Tracks: 10
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 31, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating

Rated 3.36/5 (67.27%) (22 Votes)

"Projector" is somewhat of different (due to lack of a better word) release for Dark Tranquillity. There is no drastic change between the sound here when compared to the rest of the catalogue, but it is not a reiteration of it either. There were some edgy fans that found some reason or the other to complain about here. The vocals are primarily what the whole fuss was about.

"Projector" consists of a pretty half and half balance of clear versus growling vocals. The melody lines characteristic of the Gothenburg sound remain fully intact. Musically, this album is not as fast as "Minds" and pretty much all songs are either mid-tempo or slow paced. What I absolutely love about this disc is the use of the piano toned keyboards. Few bands make use of such keyboard work, and even fewer make it sound as good. Bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow and Mercury Tide have done it best, and Dark Tranquillity are definitely up there with them.

The album opens with a dark and beautiful piano intro to the song "Free Card" that absolutely smokes the ears when the riffs kick in. This is one of the faster songs on the disc and one of my favourites. The balance of clear and low vocals is ideal on this song. "Undo Control" is somewhat of a different track and it contains female vocals that has a Gothic feel to it, but is still a treat. It still sounds like Dark Tranquillity with Mikael Stanne's possessed vocal work in there. This is a pretty catchy song and difficult to get out of your head. The rest of the songs are all good with the exception of "Neither Nova" which I think is one of the weakest songs on DT's catalogue.

As we can expect from a Dark Tranquillity release, "Projector" carries all the traits that the band is known for: Dark music, awesome melody lines, killer lead work and melodic death growls. Extensive use of clear vocals or not, "Projector" is a fine release that is not out of place on the band's discography and if you have only heard the recent releases by the band ("Damage Done" and "Haven"), it would be a good idea to lend an ear or two to this release as well. This is definitely more melodic than those two. Recommended.

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