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Review: Dark Tranquillity - Exposures: In Retrospect And Denial
Dark Tranquillity
Exposures: In Retrospect And Denial

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 141:44
Tracks: 31
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: June 27, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Exposures: In Retrospect And Denial

Rated 3.63/5 (72.5%) (8 Votes)

It's finally out boys and girls! One of the most anticipated releases of the year! The centerpiece, the heart and soul of Gothenburg is back with a point to prove! This is a two disc release: Disc one consists of extremely rare/previously unreleased material, while disc two is a live set that Dark Tranquillity performed in Krakow, Poland (Audio version of the "Live Damage" DVD released earlier this year). The album also comes with a 20 page booklet featuring dozens of photos, lyrics and a comprehensive history of the Swedish death metal scene.

Disc one starts off with a dark piano intro to undoubtedly one of the best songs Dark Tranquillity have ever recorded! 46 seconds into the disc I was already headbanging when the awesome chorus kicked in (ok…I was nodding my head). Why on earth "Static" was not released on their "Damage Done" album is a mystery probably better left unsolved. I can understand why the song "In Sight" was never unleashed upon us previously though…yeah it sucks pretty hard, but that is the only weak song here. And on an album with 31 freakin' tracks, one mistake is more than excusable.

In addition to the unreleased material, disc one also includes the extremely rare stuff. People who have been trading and paying with arms and various other limbs on E-Bay for Dark Tranquillity's 1991 demo now have a reason to feel a little silly because it is available on this release right here ;)! I will point out that these songs are very different from DT's recent outputs. If I didn't know any better, I would say they came out of Germany during the early-mid 1980's. So if you are a pure flowercorist who cannot handle something a little bit sadistic and vicious, then you might want to stay away from this because it WILL scare you. Fans of early extremities in metal will surely get a kick out of this no doubt, but I must warn the casual DT fans that the last 5 songs on disc one sound more along the lines of Sodom, Celtic Frost or even some early Destruction with a little bit more technicality involved.

Disc two features a great compilation of live tracks. The song selection is awesome and Mikael Stanne showcases his immaculate live vocal style. This would be a good comprehensive collection of DT tracks for the casual fans or first time listeners as it definitely features many of Dark Tranquillity's finest moments. For me the highlight of this album is clearly the demo material in addition to "Static", "Misery In Me" and several other live tracks from disc two such as "Final Resistance" and "The Wonders At Your Feet". I like how Stanne even talks to the audience in that growling voice of his. No doubt his vocals are highly addictive and will leave you growling for hours after this! Overall I would say that this album is not trying to pull in legions of new fans but rather is a precision guided bomb directed entirely and entirely at the long time fans of the band.

2004 is turning out to be an awesome year for metal. First it was Kataklysm, then Into Eternity and now this! All I can say is that Kreator and Angel Dust better have tons and tons of ammunition at their disposal if they are going to measure up to these aforementioned masterpieces! I'll keep my fucking toes crossed if it means that they will! ;)

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